IUSS Alert - 37 (May 2008)

Information for and from the global soil science community

New and old - all on the web

A new IUSS Bulletin has been published - number 112. In this Bulletin, there are four short articles on long-term soil research, on arsenic irrigation water, on land degradation, and on the need for soil policies in developing countries. The five questions to a soil scientist are answered by Roland Poss, Hans-Peter Blume, Hossein Khademi, Pandi Zdruli and Tibor Toth. Sergey Goryachkin and Mary Idowu discuss their favourite books. Furthermore, Don Nielsen won the Don and Betty Kirkham medal and there are also three obituaries, reports of meetings and a whole series of new publications reviewed by Hans van Baren.

The Bulletin of the International Society of Soil Science (now IUSS) has been published since 1952 and all ISSS/IUSS Bulletins have been scanned and are available on the IUSS Website as PDF.  Happy reading! We are now starting to digitise all World Congress of Soil Science Proceedings back to 1927, and part of our photo archives - some of them are already on the website under IUSS INFORMATION.

New portrait of the Earth

A new global portrait has been taken from space details Earth's land cover with a very high resolution. ESA, in partnership with the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, recently presented the preliminary version of the map to scientists in Italy. This map, which will be made available to the public upon its completion in July, has a resolution 10 times sharper than any of its predecessors.  The GlobCover product will be the first freely available product at 300m resolution, for further information click here

The Global Earth Observations System of Systems

The Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) is an inter-governmental initiative to achieve comprehensive, coordinated and sustained observations of the Earth system.  It aims to improve monitoring of the changing state of the planet, increase understanding of complex Earth processes and enhance prediction of the Earth system. With a focus on access and sharing of Earth observation data and products, there has been significant advancement in the definition of interoperability standards and mechanisms for the allocation and use of data and information products, and in the synergetic system development resulting in improved data access and data sharing. The GEO Web Portal and Clearinghouse aim to provide a single interface for access to GEOSS data and information; and GEONETCast, a satellite-based dissemination system, allows users to access real-time, global, Earth observation data and derived information.

Guidelines on Nitrogen Management in Agricultural Systems

This publication is the fourth in the IAEA Training Course Series produced by the Soil and Water Management and Crop Nutrition Sub-Programme. It was conceived as a technically oriented document for a target audience comprising soil and environmental scientists and technicians, agronomists, ecologists, extension workers, and upper-level undergraduate and graduate students in these disciplines, staff of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other stakeholders involved in sustainable agricultural development at local, national, regional and international levels. The manual (237 pp) can be freely downloaded, click here

Vacancy: Professor of Biochar and Soil Science Research, New Zealand

Massey University seeks to appoint a world-class Soil Scientist or Agronomist with experience in research on carbon and nutrient management in agricultural systems to co-lead a Government-funded research programme into the potential for Biochar to mitigate and possibly offset greenhouse gas emissions from New Zealand agricultural and forestry systems. You will have experience of research at both laboratory and field-scales and be able to work collaboratively with industry and other research partners. For further information contact Professor Mike Hedley via email at   For further information and to apply online, visit http://jobs.massey.ac.nz

Nicely written

Have you ever wondered why so many scientific articles are difficult to read? How can busy scientists find and learn from well-written papers? The Good Paper Journal Club run by Nature editors and a group of scientists is a collaborative online effort to help promote good scientific writing. Any scientist can join the group, select papers to be posted on the site and then discuss them online, and highlight the parts considered to be nice written. No soil science papers posted yet!


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