IUSS Alert - 16 (August 2006)
Information for and from the global soil science community
New IUSS Division chairs
These are now the four IUSS Division chairs:
Division 1. - Soil in Space and Time
Ahmet Mermut from Canada
Division 2. - Soil Properties and Processes
Ruben Kretzschmar from Switzerland
Division 3. - Soil Use and Management
Wolfgang Burghardt from Germany
Division 4. - The Role of Soils in Sustaining Society and the Environment
Oene Oenema from the Netherlands
The division chairs lead the 4 main soil science themes of the IUSS. Each division has 4 to 6 commissions. All officers are listed on the IUSS website (if not: send us your address details). If you plan a soil science activity fitting one or more of these themes please contact the division or commission officers for further cooperation.
FAO Publications free from www.fao.org
The new edition of the 'World reference base for soil resources 2006 A framework for international classification, correlation and communication' can be freely downloaded from the FAO website: PDF
The PDF from the 4th edition of the 'Guidelines for Soil Description' can also be freely downloaded. These guidelines were prepared to assist in the understanding of the nature, properties, dynamics and functions of the soil as part of the landscape and ecosystem. They contain precise instructions how to describe the site and the morphology of a soil in the field. A section is added on the link between soil descriptions and soil classification.
Smithsonian Soils exhibit
The Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. will open its doors to the story of soil in 2008 with a 450 square metres exhibit. 'SOILS: Worlds Underfoot' is a joint project of the museum and the Soil Science Society of America. This special exhibit will be seen by more than six million visitors a year and occupy a hall of the most visited natural history museum in the world. The exhibit will feature hands-on interactives, media components, and 53 soil profiles. You can view a DVD on the project, find out more, and make a gift at www.soils.org/smithsonian or contact Paul Kamps More than $1 million of the $2.5 million goal has been raised, with the remainder needed by December 2006.
Some upcoming soil science meetings
African Soil Science Society - 4th International conference
7-13 January 2007, Accra, Ghana. This 4th International Conference aims to gather specialists interested in land use and sustainable land management in Africa, in the context of serious emerging issues such as climate change, global trade and biotechnologies including GMO uses. Emphasis will be on strategies and policies for better preparedness to global issues, advise on norms and standards, risks assessment in the domain of land use and sustainable land management for better livelihoods and food security in Africa. More information e-mail Dr R.D. Asiamah at and
Enzymes in the Environment
15-19 July 2007, Viterbo, Italy. The conference will cover a wide range of topics that go beyond the narrow discipline of enzymology, which will include molecular biology and enzyme expression, research and applications in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, environmental remediation, microbial ecology, and other topics. The conference site is just north of Rome next to Tuscany - a great place to visit before or after the meetings! For more information visit the Website
25-29 August 2008, Vienna, Austria in co-operation between the soil science societies of Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia and Switzerland. EUROSOIL 2008 will comprise about 30 Symposia, 4 Workshops and numerous 1 to 3 day excursions in Central, Eastern, Southern and Western Europe. More information can be obtained from the website of the European Confederation of Soil Science Societies (ECSSS) or from . The first circular and call for papers will be sent out in January 2007.
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