IUSS Alert - 31 (November 2007)

Information for and from the global soil science community

New IUSS Bulletin now on-line

A new IUSS bulletin is online - see www.iuss.org In this Bulletin you will find articles from Certini and Scalenge (You are earth), Lowe and Nathan (Soils on the web: Te Ara) and by Lin on hydropedology. The five questions to a soil scientist are answered by Peter Finke, Diana Wall, Barbara Wick and Bob MacMillan. Furthermore, the favourite soil science books of Peter Leinweber, the obituary of Geoff Humphreys and several reports of soil science meetings, a list of upcoming meetings and, as always, Hans van Baren reviews many soil science books.

Global Environmental Outlook 4

The Global Environmental Outlook 4 is now published; earlier outlooks were published in 1997 (GEO1), 2000 (GEO2) and in 2002 (GEO3). The Global Environment Outlook (GEO) project is the implementation of UNEP's mandate to keep the global environment under review. Initiated at the request of the UNEP Governing Council in 1995, GEO is both a process and a series of reports, analyzing environmental change, causes, impacts, and policy responses. It provides information for decision-making, supports early warning and builds capacity at the global and sub-global levels. GEO is also a communication process that aims at raising awareness on environmental issues and providing options for action.

Full report can be downloaded (free) here: www.unep.org/geo/geo4/media/

The GEO Data Portal is the authoritative source for data sets used by UNEP and its partners in the Global Environment Outlook (GEO) report. Its online database holds more than 450 different variables, as national, subregional, regional and global statistics or as geospatial data sets, covering themes like Freshwater, Population, Forests, Emissions, Climate, Disasters, Health and GDP. See http://geodata.grid.unep.ch/

Loess map of Europe

The INQUA Loess Map of Europe has been completed and published. The International Union for Quaternary Research INQUA has long functioned via the activities of Commissions- specialised research groups. The Loess Commission came into being in the 1960s, guided by Julius Fink of the University of Vienna. The major aim of the Loess Commission was to unite loess study across Europe, with some focus on stratigraphy and palaeoclimatic investigations. A major part of the Loess Commission programme was to be the preparation of a Loess Map of Europe. The map operation was largely directed by Gunter Haase of the Academy of Sciences in Leipzig, and he faced some remarkable problems. A large number of investigators contributed to the Map and they are all listed in the Haase et al. paper- it was a remarkable co-operative effort. The final push has come from the UFZ Centre for Environmental Research Leipzig-Halle in Leipzig (contact via ).

See also: Haase,D., et al.  2007.  Loess in Europe- its spatial distribution based on a European Loess Map, scale 1: 2,500,000. Quaternary Science Reviews 26, 1301-1312.  The INQUA Loess Map of Europe will be featured in Loess Letter 59, to be published in April 2008- to order a copy please contact

NEW FOR 2008 - Ecohydrology

An international journal publishing original scientific and review papers that aim to improve understanding of processes at the interface between ecology and hydrology and associated applications related to environmental management. Don't miss out! Be the first to read the exciting new content and sign up for RSS Feeds to receive FREE Table of Content Alerts and EarlyView Articles straight to your desktop as soon as they publish online. Visit the journal homepage to set up your alerts or alternatively to submit a paper to this international publication.

International Year of Planet Earth

The International Year of Planet Earth (IYPE), proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations for 2008, has found significant footing on international and national levels. IUSS and ISRIC are two of the 12 Founding Partners of the IYPE. By today, 50 countries and Regions established a National IYPE Committee. One of the 10 IYPE themes is on Soils for which a dedicated 16-page brochure was compiled, now available in English, French and Portuguese. Soil scientific communities and its related industries are invited to participate in 'The Greatest Geo-Show on Earth'. For more information, please check: www.yearofplanetearth.org

3rd Global Workshop on Digital Soil Mapping

The 3rd Global Workshop on Digital Soil Mapping (DSM 2008 USA) is scheduled for 30th September to 3rd October 3, 2008, at Utah State University, Logan, Utah, USA.  Bookmark the website for the IUSS Working Group on Digital Soil Mapping  (www.digitalsoilmapping.org). The Digital Soil Mapping 2008 USA workshop website will be developed and linked to this site, where information including abstract submission, online secure registration, etc. will be posted                                               


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