IUSS Alert - 18 (October 2006)

Information for and from the global soil science community

Young soil scientists wanted

ICSU is celebrating its 75 years and organizes a conference: 'Global Scientific Challenges: Perspectives from Young Scientists', that will be held in April 2007 in Germany. This conference will bring together approximately two hundred young scientists from across the world, and from different disciplines, to discuss and debate some of the key challenges for science in the 21st century. Participants should ideally be under 35 years old (with an absolute age limit of 40 years). Participants should have a PhD or MSc or have completed at least 2 years of post-graduate research studies. For more information click here

Please contact the Secretary General, Stephen Nortcliff for further information.

Some new publications

The Critical Zone encompasses Earth's outermost surface defined from the vegetation canopy to the zone of groundwater. This zone, the interface between Earth materials and the biotic world, modulates the transfer of nutrients into terrestrial lifeforms. In this photograph, a tree root anchored onto the Key Largo Limestone, an exposed reef with fossilized hermatypic corals, is shown. The limestone is overlain by thin soil in the Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park, forcing plants to anchor themselves directly to the bedrock for stability and nutrients. To understand processes in such settings, scientists from multiple disciplines must unravel similarly complex inter-relationships within the hydro-, litho-, and biosphere. Report can be downloaded here

New Pedometron issue no. 20

The latest issue of Pedometron, the newsletter of the Pedometrics Commission of the IUSS, is now published. It is a Bumper Issue with reports on the 18th World Congress of Soil Science, the second Global Workshop on Digital soil mapping, the Richard Webster Medal, the Working Group on Digital Soil Mapping, Research Notes: Trends in pedotransfer function research, a book review and an article on Sudoku, soils and sampling: compulsory reading!

IUSS Bulletin 109 - now online

The IUSS Bulletin 109 is now published online. You can download the PDF (3.8 Mb) or browse through its content. The Bulletin starts with a brief report on the IUSS council meeting in July by the Secretary General Stephen Nortcliff followed by an introduction of the new IUSS President and Vice President and some notes on the next World Congress of Soil Science. There is a short description of the activities and aims of all divisions and commissions which may be of use for all new officers (who are also listed at the end of the bulletin). There are contributions from Benno Warkentin, Edoardo Costantini and Jaume Bech and please send us more of those! The Bulletin is not so much about soil science as about soil scientists so we continue with the Five Questions section, and there is an extensive overview of all awards and prizes that have been given in the past months. Congratulations to all! Colleagues from Brazil, Syria, China, Tanzania, USA whom attended the World Congress of Soil Science wrote about the congress - their reports are included in this Bulletin. There are also reports of other meetings and a list of Upcoming Meetings. At last, there is the text of the IUSS song (MP3 is on the IUSS website) and a list of all honorary members. Happy reading!

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Eijkelkamp's Penetrologger

The resistance to penetration is a means of determining the ground load-bearing capacity, and the ease with which roots will grow through the ground. The resistance to penetration is a mechanical characteristic that, given a certain texture, depends on changing parameters such as degree of humidity, density and the strength of the connection between mineral particles. Measuring the resistance to penetration of the soil in a great number of measurements is best executed applying the penetrologger: An electronic penetrometer with a built-in datalogger for storage and processing of 1500 measurements. For more information click here

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