Taking care of soils since 1924
IUSS Alert 154 (April 2018)

IUSS Alert 154 (April 2018)

Announcement of IUSS Special Alert on personal data protection

According to the European General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 coming into force on May 25, 2018, the IUSS Secretariat located in Vienna is obliged to ask all subscribers to the IUSS Alert for their explicit consent to further use their personal data (e.g. your name and email address) in order to be allowed to send them the Alert after May 25, 2018. For that purpose IUSS will prepare an online tool asking all subscribers to provide their name and email address for the subscription list. A special Alert will be sent out beginning of May. Please, do not miss it!


IUSS Global Soil Icon Contest – results

Soil is the essence of all terrestrial life, and critical to the delivery of major ecosystem services for human wellbeing and nature conservancy. Thus, IUSS launched a contest looking for an iconic symbol that represents major ecosystem services of soil, while being simple and easy to be comprehended by the general public.
The deadline for submissions was 15 March 2018, and a total of 22 interesting soil icons were received. Here, the IUSS Secretariat would like to thank all contestants for their stimulating submissions. The selection committee, comprised of members of the IUSS Executive Committee, decided to award 2,500 USD of the IUSS Stimulus fund to the winning soil icon created by Monique Lima de Oliveira and Alessandro Samuel-Rosa (Brazil).
The winning icon will be used during the International Decade of Soils (2015-2024), an initiative launched by the International Union of Soil Sciences to raise awareness of the key roles played by soils.
The best 12 icons out of all submitted icons will be displayed on the IUSS website (one per month).

Read more: https://www.iuss.org/index.php?article_id=588


IUSS Presidential Elections 2018 – call for nominations still ongoing

The election of the next President of the IUSS is due this year. The appointment of the President represents a total of six years commitment to the Union by serving two years each as President-Elect (2019/20), President (2021/22) and Past-President (2023/24).

The Standing Committee on Presidential Elections has defined the respective procedure and the guidelines. Nominations should be made by two accomplished, highly-respected senior soil scientists.

Full nomination documentation should be submitted electronically to Roger Swift (Email: r.swift@uq.edu.au) by June 30, 2018. A copy should also be sent to iuss@umweltbundesamt.at.

Procedure and guidelines: https://www.iuss.org/media/president_election_full_info_2018.pdf


21st World Congress of Soil Science – Result of Mascot selection

Two mascots stood to vote until 31 March, and the winner is Armadillo representing the Brazilian soil scientists responsible for the biggest transformation of tropical agriculture of the planet.

Have a look: https://www.21wcss.org/?secao=conteudo&id=51

Please consider that normal registration ends May 12, 2018.

Read more: https://www.21wcss.org/

Download the congress information: https://www.iuss.org/media/21wcss_-_meeting_information.pdf


Richard Webster Medal 2018 – Call for nominations

You are encouraged – individually or as a group – to nominate candidates for the Richard Webster Medal of the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS), to be awarded at the 21st World Congress of Soil Science (WCSS) in Rio de Janeiro (Brasil) in August 2018 (https://www.21wcss.org/, see above). This medal recognizes the person who has most advanced pedometrics in the period between the IUSS WCSS of 2014 and 2018, while also considering achievements prior to that period.

According to the IUSS, “Pedometrics” is defined as “the application of mathematical and statistical methods for the study of the distribution and genesis of soils”; see, however, an extended discussion of “what is pedometrics?” at http://pedometrics.org/?page_id=26.

Nominations should be sent before June 12, 2018 to the Chairman of the Pedometrics award committee.

Read more: https://www.iuss.org/media/webstercall2018.pdf


IUSS book The Nexus of Soils, Plants, Animals and Human Health

This book is the third one in the series of IUSS books produced as part of the activities during the International Decade of Soils 2015 – 2024. It was edited by Bal Ram Singh, Michael J. McLaughlin and Eric Brevik on behalf of the IUSS; Published as GeoEcology essay by Schweizerbart in November 2017. VII, 163 pages, 17 figures, 12 tables, 17×24cm, 480 g. ISBN 978-3-510-65417-8.
The 21 contributions in this book describe the role soils play for plant, animal and human health. They show that soil- and human health are intricately connected, because healthy soils produce healthy crops, which in turn nourish humans and animals, allowing for their health and productivity.

The book summarizes the current state of research of these important issues and provides a comprehensive treatise of the global importance of soils for humankind.

Copies can be ordered directly from the publisher or from the IUSS Secretariat for EUR 24.90 (paperback). IUSS members may order the book from the Secretariat at a reduced price of EUR 20.00 (minimum 10 copies) – please note that shipping costs will be added to the sales price.

Read more: http://www.schweizerbart.de/publications/detail/isbn/9783510654178


Request for contributions to IUSS book on Global Soil Proverbs

In 2018 – on World Soil Day (5th Dec.) – IUSS intends to publish a book on Global Soil Proverbs which is part of the book series launched during the International Decade of Soils 2015 – 2024. The Secretariat would like to thank all potential authors for the numerous letters of intent which have been submitted so far. For those who still wish to contribute a chapter on proverbs used in their native language, please send a letter of intent to contribute a chapter until May 10, 2018 to yangjay@kangwon.ac.kr and in Cc to iuss@umweltbundesamt.at. The deadline for provision of the chapter is June 30, 2018.

The guideline for writing a contribution to this book can be found in the newsroom on the IUSS website: http://www.iuss.org/index.php?article_id=26


General News

A grass-roots movement for healthy soil spreads among farmers

In American farm country, a grass-roots movement is spreading, a movement to keep more roots in the soil. (Not just grass roots, of course; roots of all kinds.) Its goal: Promoting healthy soil that’s full of life. For years, talk of “healthy soil” was mostly limited to organic farmers and others on the fringes of mainstream American agriculture. No more. Articles about soil health fill major farm publications. It’s the subject of several recent books. Big food companies are on board, and some of them are discussing a new eco-label for food, alongside “organic” and “fair trade,” that would reward farmers for adopting practices the build healthy soil — what many are calling “regenerative agriculture.”

Read more: https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2018/04/09/597617822/a-grass-roots-movement-for-healthy-soil-spreads-among-farmers?org=1364&lvl=100&ite=1372&lea=140666&ctr=0&par=1&trk

Source: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Science Policy Report. 18 April 2018


Scientists to publish first-ever land health report

Scientists have published the first-ever analysis of the global state of land and its ability to sustain a fast-growing human population that relies on it for 95 percent of all food. The diagnosis is likely to be dire, providing a comprehensive overview of what other reports have already warned: unsustainable farming, mining, factory production, and climate change is pushing Earth to breaking point, leading to human conflict and mass human migration. “Land degradation… affects many parts of the world and it affects many people in the world today,” Robert Watson, chairman of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), told AFP. According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, 95 percent of human food comes directly or indirectly from Earth’s soil.

Read more: https://phys.org/news/2018-03-scientists-publish-first-ever-health.html


Special issue on “Soil Hydrology in Agriculture” – request for contributions

Since IUSS supports the exchange of soil scientists with other disciplines we would like to announce that a special issue on “Soil Hydrology in Agriculture” will be published by Water (ISSN 2073-4441), an open access journal of MDPI (http://www.mdpi.com/journal/water). This special issue is now open to receive contributions from comprehensive research articles and complete peer review documents. The special issue aims to link soil scientists, especially those working on issues related to soil hydrology and agriculture, with the community of Water working on water science and technology, and water resources management.

Read more: http://www.mdpi.com/journal/water/special_issues/soil_hydrology_agriculture


The World Bank is working on an assessment of Human Capital in Africa in the field of soil expertise

We ask all the soil scientists living and working in Africa to participate in the survey to create a roster of experts in order to assess the extent and level of the Human Capital available, as well as encourage the local sourcing of expert services by the development agencies and agribusinesses. We particularly encourage the soil scientists currently not working as soil experts to participate in the survey in order to assess the level of employment within this field of expertise.

Kindly take a few minutes to complete this short questionnaire and invite your colleagues to do so.
Please click here to complete the questionnaire in English
Cliquez ici s’il vous plait a remplir le questionnaire en Français
Por favor, clique aqui para completar o questionário em Português


Conferences, Meetings and Workshops



June 25-29, 2018, Palm Garden Hotel, IOI Resort City, Putrajaya, Malaysia.

In line with the symposium theme “Achieving Sustainable Food Production on Acid Soils, the 10th PSILPH aims to gather researchers, scientists, experts and academicians in the field of soil science, plant physiology and others to share and discuss the latest research findings and thoughts on current status of agriculture production and practices; thus, ensuring food security and environmental sustainability.

Due to demand, we will be extending our abstract submission deadline. Hence, we’re still accepting extended abstracts.

Early registration deadline: 30th April 2018

Normal registration deadline: 31st May 2018

Read more: www.psilph2018.com


LandCare For The Future – The meeting point for educators and students

16-18 July, 2018, Santiago de Compostela, Spain. The overall objective of this conference is to improve educational and training capacities in relation to Ecological Restoration. This is necessary to preserve our environment and also to fulfil the demands of an emerging labour market and create novel job opportunities.

Abstracts must be submitted before May 31, 2018

Read more: http://www.landcareforfuture.com/


WASM 2018 – International Workshop on Archaeological Soil Micromorphology

1 – 3 August 2018, Brussels, Belgium. The workshop will follow the tradition of the previous workshops: an informal meeting where participants are invited to bring their thin sections and where microscopy time and the exchange of ideas and experience prevail. Expression of interest to yadevos@ulb.ac.be by 15 May 2018.

Read more: https://www.iuss.org/media/wasm_2018_circular1.pdf


SER Europe Conference 2018

Restoration in the Era of Climate Change

9 – 13 September 2018, Reykjavik, Iceland. The overall objective of this workshop is to discuss educational and training capacities on land restoration in order to a) contribute to a more resilient environment through sustainable management and meet international commitments on land restoration and b) to fulfil the demands of an emerging labour market with important implication for rural development (multiplicative effect on green economy).

Read more: https://sere2018.org/


Soil Security and Planetary Health Conference – 3rd Global Soil Security Conference

4-6 December 2018, the University of Sydney, Australia. Soil security refers to the maintenance and improvement of the world’s soil resource to produce food, fibre and fresh water, while also contributing to energy and climate stability, maintaining biodiversity and protecting natural systems and human wellbeing more generally. Planetary health is about safeguarding the health and wellbeing of current and future generations through good stewardship of Earth’s natural systems, and by re-thinking the way we feed, move, house, power and care for the world.
Abstract submission deadline: 14 May 2018.

Read more: https://globalsoilsecurity.com/

New publications

Agricultural Drones: A Peaceful Pursuit

By K. R. Krishna. Published March 28, 2018 by Apple Academic Press, 394 pages, 28 B/W illustrations, ISBN 9781771885959, price hardcover GBP 99.20, price e-book GBP 34.99

Agricultural drones are expected to revolutionize the way we conduct agronomic procedures and maintain natural vegetation on earth. This book explores the increasing importance of the role of aerial robots in managing agricultural farms and natural resources. The book discusses the advanced sensors and imaging capabilities of drones that give farmers new ways to increase yields and reduce crop damage. An introductory chapter provides historical data, with details about various models of drones as well as the most recent and popular agricultural drones in usage. The book goes on to look at such topics as the use of drones for soil fertility, production agronomy, irrigation, weed control, pest and disease control, grain yield forecasting, and economic advantages from drone use. This timely and useful volume will be a valuable resource for faculty, agricultural extension officers, and farmers and farm consultancy agencies. This book would also serve as an excellent textbook for students in agriculture, engineering, geography, etc.

Read more: https://www.crcpress.com/Agricultural-Drones-A-Peaceful-Pursuit/Krishna/p/book/9781771885959


Soil Nitrogen Uses and Environmental Impacts

Edited by Rattan Lal, B.A. Stewart. Published in the Series: Advances in Soil Science, March 27, 2018 by CRC Press, 380 Pages – 79 B/W illustrations, ISBN 9781138626362, price hardback GBP 104.00

Nitrogen (N) is potentially one of the most complex elements on the Earth. It is necessary for all biological activity, but creates negative impacts on water and air quality. There is a balancing act between deficiency and surplus and the forms of N available further complicate our understanding of the dynamics. Biological fixation provides some plants with N supply while others are totally dependent upon N being available in the soil profile for the roots to extract. Nevertheless, the demand for N will increase because the human population with its increasing growth requires more protein and thus more N. Understanding the global N cycle is imperative to meeting current and future nitrogen demands while decreasing environmental impacts.
This book discusses availability, production, and recycling of N in air, water, plants, and soils. It features information on N impacts to soil and water quality, management of N in agroecosystems, and techniques to maximize the use efficiency while minimizing the risks of leakage of reactive N into the environment.

Read more: https://www.crcpress.com/Soil-Nitrogen-Uses-and-Environmental-Impacts/Lal-Stewart/p/book/9781138626362


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