IUSS Alert - 43 (November 2008)

Information for and from the global soil science community

New IUSS Bulletin

IUSS Bulletin 113 has been published. It starts with a poem on mother earth inspired by the International Year of Planet Earth celebrations. The Year has sparked activities and resulted in media attention in many countries across the globe. This is followed by an extensive report of the IUSS Council Meeting in Brisbane, Australia by Stephen Nortcliff. Niek de Wit and Rattan Lal discuss about soil legislation in the EU and the USA - important areas of change that show that soils are on the policy agenda. Raphael Viscarra Rossel from CSIRO in Australia reports on proposal to establish a global spectral library - new stuff that will appeal to many soil scientists across the world. I think this uniting call falls under soil science crowdsourcing and it is something that will enhance our efficiency and global impact. The well-known Five Questions to a Soil Scientist are answered by: Yuji Niino (Thailand), Stalin Torres (Venezuela), Eddy de Pauw (Syria) and Selim Kapur (Turkey). Johan Bouma discusses his three favourite soil science books followed by the recent awards and honours to Dan Yaalon (Israel), Noorallah G. Juma (Canada), Amy Brock, Adrienne Ryan, and Donald Sparks (USA).  And much more click www.iuss.org to download a high resolution (24 Mb) or low resolution (3 Mb version of this new IUSS Bulletin.

Couple of new books

Handbook of Agricultural Geophysics. Edited by Barry Allred, Jeffrey J. Daniels, Mohammad Reza Ehsani. ISBN: 9780849337284. Focuses on the use of near-surface geophysics for agricultural applications. Describes three common near-surface geophysical methods that can be employed for agricultural purposes. Provides detailed examples and case histories of agricultural applications for these geophysical methods. Presents theoretical insight on soil electrical conductivity measurement. Includes geophysical methods not typically used for agriculture currently but with possible future applications. Precision farming, site infrastructure assessment, hydrologic monitoring, and environmental investigations - these are just a few current and potential uses of near-surface geophysical methods in agriculture. Responding to the growing demand for this technology, the Handbook of Agricultural Geophysics supplies a clear, concise overview of near-surface geophysical methods that can be used in agriculture and provides detailed descriptions of situations in which these techniques have been employed. Click here for more details.


Guidelines for surveying soil and land resources Edited by  N.J. McKenzie, M.J.Grundy, R. Webster, A.J. Ringrose-Voase. CSIRO Publishing, 2008. ISBN: 9780643090910. Guidelines for Surveying Soil and Land Resources promotes the development and implementation of consistent methods and standards for conducting soil and land resource surveys in   Australia. These surveys are primarily field operations that aim to identify, describe, map and evaluate the various kinds of soil or land resources in specific areas. The advent of geographic information systems, global positioning systems, airborne gamma radiometric remote sensing, digital terrain analysis, simulation modelling, efficient statistical analysis and internet-based delivery of information has dramatically changed the scene in the past two decades. This authoritative guide incorporates these new methods and techniques for supporting natural resource management. Soil and land resource surveyors, engineering and environmental consultants, commissioners of surveys and funding agencies will benefit from the practical information provided on how best to use the new technologies that have been developed, as will professionals in the spatial sciences such as geomorphology, ecology and hydrology. Click here for more details

Geomorphometry. Edited by Tomislav Hengl and Hannes I. Reuter Elsevier Science 2008. ISBN: 978-0-12-374345-9. A title in the Developments in Soil Science series. Geomorphometry is the science of quantitative land-surface analysis. It draws upon mathematical, statistical, and image-processing techniques to quantify the shape of earth's topography at various spatial scales. The focus of geomorphometry is the calculation of surface-form measures (land-surface parameters) and features (objects), which may be used to improve the mapping and modelling of landforms to assist in the evaluation of soils, vegetation, land use, natural hazards, and other information. This book provides a practical guide to preparing Digital Elevation Models (DEM) for analysis and extracting land-surface parameters and objects from DEMs through a variety of software. It further offers detailed instructions on applying parameters and objects in soil, agricultural, environmental and earth sciences. This is a manual of state-of-the-art methods to serve the various researchers who use geomorphometry. Click here for more details


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