Prof. Dr. Dumitru Teaci
During 2001, Romanian Soil science community suffered a heavy loss by the sudden death of Prof. Dr. Dumitru Teaci a prominent soil scientist of recognised national and international value.
Prof. Dumitru Teaci was born in Republic of Moldavia in 1926 in a farmer family. He obtained agricultural engineer degrees at Timisoara Agricultural University, and got his Sc. D and Ph. D in agronomic at Bucharest Agricultural University.
In 1951 he started his professional activity as soil surveyor in Banat (Western part of Romania). After a short period of time he was appointed in the Ministry of Agriculture - Land Resource Direction, where organised the first nation wide team with charge to do large scale (1:10 000) soil mapping of the whole agricultural land of the country. Under his direct co-ordination the first territorial Centres for soil survey in Bucharest, Cluj and Timisoara have been settled.
Since the beginning of the sixth decade of the 20th century he moved to the Institute of Agronomic Researches of Romania and later on (in 1970) to the new created Research Institute for Soil Science and Agrochemistry (RISSA) as head of Land Evaluation Development where he worked until 1976 when was promoted as General Secretary of the Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences. He becomes member of this Academy in 1990. He acted as professor at the Faculty of Civil Construction - Bucharest, at the Faculty of Geology and after 1990 at the Ecological University.
Although retired in 1990 he continued to work until his death. Prof. Dr. Dumitru Teaci was a dynamic and complex personality.
He was interested in several fields of soil science (soil mapping, soil classification, soil genesis, a.o.) however his main contribution concern soil rating and land evaluation. He is the founder of the Romanian System of soil rating and land evaluation. This system is based on quantitative parameters and uses a scale of 0-100 points (marks) to express the suitability of lands for different agricultural field crops and uses. As a basic spatial (mapping) unit for assessing land suitability Prof. Dumitru Teaci developed the concept of Ecologically Homogeneous Territory (EHT) defined as a piece (area) of land into which the soil and other physical parameters (e.g. slope, aspect, climate ground water), are uniform within a given range of variability.
Among other important of his achievements one must also mention the definition and characterisation of Romania Agroecosystems. He is author of a large number of scientific papers and books in the field of pedology, ecology and general agriculture.
By the passing away of Prof. Dumitru Teaci the Romanian Soil Science community losses not only one of its most representative personality but also one of its symbols, because Prof. Teaci identified himself with the Romanian soil science.
Dr. Ioan Munteanu