IUSS Alert - 45 (January 2009)
Information for and from the global soil science community
Happy New Year!
The year 2008 is over and 2009 has just started. First of all, may it be a healthy and prosperous year for all of you! Although the world slipped in some sort of economic valley in 2008, the year has been a good one for soil science. Many new international projects have started, over 18,000 soil publications have been published, the appreciation for soils and our discipline is much on the rise, and so are job vacancies and student numbers - all indicators of the vigour of soil science. The world seems to refocus on real things that really matter and on real matters, including the soil. In 2008 the IUSS has stimulated and promoted soil science across the globe; one of the efforts has been an A4 flyer that briefly highlights the importance of soils. The flyer has been translated in Bahasa, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Danish, Korean, Polish, Finnish, Russian, French, Spanish, Greek, Thai, Hungarian, and Turkish. They are all as PDFs on www.iuss.org and can be freely downloaded. Although the survival of our discipline depends on imagination and great new scientific development, it is with these flyers that we can educate and generate interest into the natural resource on which so much depends: the soil. Use them, and have a Happy 2009!
A new issue of Pedometron has been published in December. The chair of the Pedometrics commission, Murray Lark, notes that 2008 was a year with two centenaries: W.S. Gosset's paper on the probable error of a mean, and F. Haber's discovery of the nitrogen reduction to ammonia. There are reports from the Third Global Workshop on Digital Soil Mapping in Utah and from EuroSoil in Vienna. The Newsletter contains interesting articles on boundaries in linear relationships, on experiments using data-mining techniques for digital soil mapping, and the origin of the soil formation equation by Alex McBratney and Budiman Minasny. Three books are reviewed and the best paper for 2007 is announced. There are details on the new IUSS working group on proximal soil sensing, and there is the pedometrician and non-pedometrician profile. The Newsletter can be downloaded here www.iuss.org and on www.pedometrics.org
Online directory of soil science groups
Couple of new books
Microbiological Methods For Assessing Soil Quality. Edited by J. Bloem, Alterra, Wageningen, The Netherlands; D.W. Hopkins, University of Stirling, UK; A. Benedetti, Instituto Sperimentale per la Nutrizione delle Piante, Rome, Italy. With growing concern about the protection of soil quality and biodiversity many countries have established regional and national programmes to monitor soil quality. This book reviews the theory and practice of a range of the various microbiological methods used within these programmes. The first section gives an overview of approaches to monitoring, evaluating and managing soil quality. The second section provides a practical handbook with detailed descriptions of the methods. The methods are described in chapters on soil microbial biomass and numbers, soil microbial activity, soil microbial diversity and community composition, and plant-microbe interactions and soil quality. Finally, a census is given of the main methods used in over 30 European microbiological laboratories.
Videos on missions in space-time
Nature Video presents five short films on the future of physics. Recorded at the 2008 Nobel Laureate Meeting in Lindau, these films capture the conversations between young researchers and physics Laureates George Smoot, William Phillips, John Hall, David Gross and Gerardus 't Hooft. They grapple with universal ideas including dark matter, dark energy, the Large Hadron Collider, space-time and quantum computing. Click here to see these videos.
Conferences, meetings, workshops
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