It can take more than 1000 years to form a centimeter of topsoil.

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The International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) is the global union of soil scientists. The objectives of the IUSS are to promote all branches of soil science, and to support all soil scientists across the world in the pursuit of their activities. This website provides information for IUSS members and those interested in soil science.

Awards, Medals and Prizes


Dokuchaev award

This award was established in 2006. It is made for major research accomplishments, resulting from basic researches in any field of soil science. At each World Congress of Soil Science (WCSS) IUSS grants the Dokuchaev Award to recognize outstanding contributions for basic research in soil sciences.

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Von Liebig award

This award was established in 2006. The award recognizes outstanding contributions in applied soil science research, contributing to new discoveries, techniques, inventions or materials that increase food security, improve environmental quality or conservation, land and water development, and other areas covered by the divisional structure of IUSS.

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Jeju award

This award was co-established by IUSS and the Korean Society of Soil Science and Fertilizer (KSSSF) in commemoration of having the successful 20th World Congress of Soil Science (WCSS) in Jeju, Korea in 2014. The Award is a strategic award being delivered to a young and mid-career soil scientist who has innovative and outstanding accomplishments in education, research, or extension in soil sciences and has made a substantial contribution to IUSS missions.

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Dan Yaalon young scientist medal

This medal is awarded by the IUSS Division 1 Soils in Space and Time and the IUSS Commission 4.5 History, philosophy and sociology of soil science. The award honours Dan Hardy Yaalon (1924-2014), a professor of soil science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Dan H. Yaalon had 57 years of an exceptional research career. He contributed to some of the most fundamental issues of soils in space and time as well as theory and history of soil science.

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Kubiena medal

The Kubiena Medal was introduced by Subcommission B - Soil Micromorphology of the ISSS to commemorate Walter L Kubiëna for his distinguished contribution to soil micromorphology. This IUSS medal is awarded for outstanding and sustained performance in the discipline of soil micromorphology.

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Guy Smith medal

The Guy Smith Medal Award Committee is a group of experts invited by the current officers of the IUSS Commission 1.4. Soil Classification to select outstanding individuals among the candidates proposed for investiture of the Guy Smith Medal.

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The Richard Webster medal

The Pedometrics Commission of the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) has decided to award a medal for the best body of work that has advanced pedometrics (the subject) in the period between consecutive IUSS World Congresses, i.e. over a period of four years.

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Margaret Oliver Prize

The Pedometrics Commission of the IUSS is pleased to introduce a new prize, which is intended to recognize up-and-coming talent in pedometrics. The prize is named for Margaret Oliver, in recognition of her outstanding commitment to the promotion and encouragement of pedometricians in the early stages of their careers as well as her overall service to pedometrics.

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Pan Ming Huang Prize

This prize is awarded every 4 years by IUSS Commission 2.5 in recognition of significant contributions to advancing the understanding of the interactions between soil minerals, soil organic matter, and soil organisms. The prize is named for Prof. Pan Ming Huang who was instrumental in promoting worldwide research leading to integration of knowledge on mineral colloids, organic matter, and microorganisms, and its impact on agricultural production, environmental sustainability, and ecosystem health.

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