IUSS Alert - 32 (December 2007)

Information for and from the global soil science community

New IPCC and UNDP reports

Here is a good read or two. The IPCC has just published a synthesis report. This Synthesis Report is based on the assessment carried out by the three Working Groups of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It provides an integrated view of climate change as the final part of the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) - click here for the website to download the synthesis report.

UNDP published its Human Development Report 2007-2008, with title 'Fighting climate change: Human solidarity in a divided world.' The conclusion: Climate change is the greatest challenge facing humanity at the start of the 21st Century. Failure to meet that challenge raises the spectre of unprecedented reversals in human development. For the full report (and more nuance) click here


Lysimeter Workshop

The 2nd Workshop Lysimeters for Global Change Research: Biological Processes and the Environmental Fate of Pollutants will be held at the GSF- National Research Center for Environment and Health - campus in Neuherberg near Munich from April 23-25, 2008. It will be organized by the Department of Environmental Engineering in co-operation with the Lysimeter Research Group.


Soil Symposia at European Geosciences Union Assembly

The EGU General Assembly will bring together geoscientists from all over Europe and the rest of the world into one meeting covering all disciplines of the Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences. Especially for young scientists the EGU appeals to provide a forum to present their work and discuss their ideas with experts in all fields of geosciences. The next EGU meeting will be held in Vienna, Austria, from 13-18 April, 2008. There are various soil science sessions, see also http://meetings.copernicus.org/egu2008

Digital Soil Mapping

 The Digital Soil Mapping Session deals with the following topics: The development of spatial and non-spatial soil inference systems; The quantitative treatment of the inevitable uncertainty in our prediction; The use of proximal and remote sensing technologies for mapping soil properties, such as geophysical measurements (conductivity measurements, GPR, passive gamma radiometry etc); The identification of DSM priorities for the future in a context of soil sustainability; You can find more information about the venue and abstract submission at www.digitalsoilmapping.org or contact Florence Carre at

Fractal Structures and Processes in Soil and Water Systems

In the natural environment, there is a great need to quantitatively describe complex physico-chemical systems and processes. By their very nature, environmental systems are thus perfect candidates for a quantitative description using fractal dimensions. Indeed, fractal geometry has been successfully employed to describe aggregate structures, flow through porous media; distributions of organisms, and adsorption and reaction kinetics in soil/water systems. The Session will be devoted to providing novel insights into the significance and usefulness of fractal geometry to soil/water systems, with focus on the physico- analytical- and bio-chemistry of structures, properties and processes in these systems, with comparison to more classical approaches. Contact: Nicola Senesi

International Year Soils brochure in French

Year 2008 will be the International Year of Planet Earth, with many outreach projects stressing the importance of the earthsciences for human societies. A brochure on the soils was produced in English in 2006. The brochure is intended to explain to the general public and is now also available in French (Le sol, epiderme vivant de la Terre), both in electronic version (www.iuss.org); for printed copies send your requests to

New Book

Monitoring and Evaluation of Soil Conservation and Watershed Development Projects, edited by: Jan de Graaff, John Cameron, S. Sombatpanit, C. Pieri and J. Woodhill. The focus is on the information systems needed to understand the developmental impact of soil conservation and watershed interventions. Such interventions inevitably start from physical sciences and equally inevitably end up in the social sciences. The book offers accounts of socio-environmental processes in a wide range of contexts. Science Publishers. Hardcover (2007) $38.90. ISBN-13: 9781578083497

Ten simple rules for scientists

Written by PLoS Computational Biology Editor-in-Chief Philip E. Bourne, sometimes with collaborators, the "Ten Simple Rules" provide a quick, concentrated guide for mastering some of the professional challenges research scientists face in their careers. Download the Ten Simple Rules Collection: Screen PDF (400 KB) | Large PDF (1.1 MB)

Ten Simple Rules for Doing Your Best Research, According to Hamming

Ten Simple Rules for a Good Poster Presentation

Ten Simple Rules for Making Good Oral Presentations

Ten Simple Rules for a Successful Collaboration

Ten Simple Rules for Selecting a Postdoctoral Position

Ten Simple Rules for Reviewers

Ten Simple Rules for Getting Grants

Ten Simple Rules for Getting Published


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