IUSS Alert 63 (July 2010)

Information for and from the global soil science community

Newsletter on Soil Morphology & Micromorphology

The most recent Newsletter from Commission 1.1 Soil Morphology & Micromorphology is now available on the IUSS website. This volume of the Newsletter includes a tribute to Dr. Maria Gerasimova, several reports on workshops, spectacular microscopic images, and the winners of the 2010 Young Micromorphologist's Publication Award are announced.  Information is provided about a new intensive training course on soil micromorphology and a new book 'Interpretation of Micromorphological Features of Soils and Regoliths' will be available August 2010. To learn more, see this and all previous newsletters go to www.loess.umcs.lublin.pl/micro.htm

African soil profile data wanted!

Soil profile data are needed for producing digital soil maps of Sub Sahara Africa. The Africa Soil Information Service (AfSIS) project is producing digital soil maps, predicting soil property values, and uncertainty, for 2.2 billion grid cells applying approaches and standards that are compliant with the GlobalSoilMap.net initiative. The principal outcome of the project will be a Globally integrated Africa Soil Information Service, serving soil information that permits underpinning of policy- and decision making, and monitoring, at local, national and global scales.  ISRIC - World Soil Information is collecting and compiling existing soil profile data, from any source, and the global soil science community is invited to contribute with soil data. The data are captured and harmonized under a common standard. If you can contribute data holdings, either digital datasets or paper reports, please contact:

Vacancy: Professor of Soil Geography and Landscape

Vacancy at Wageningen University (Netherlands): The chair in Soil Geography and Landscape studies the dynamic relations between soil genesis, land use and landscape on the larger geographical scales and integrates them with various time scales. The three main research themes are: a) soil development and landscape evolution (geology, geomorphology); b) land inventory and geostatistics and c) scenario studies and land use modeling. The chair holder is expected to initiate, lead and supervise the academic teaching and scientific research in this field, acquire research funding, supervise BSc, MSc and PhD students, and lead the chair group. For more details, please look at: www.academictransfer.com/5410

Hari Eswaran retired

Dr Hari Eswaran retired on 30 June 2010. We will be creating a 'Book of Remembrance' that will include letters and photos.  So please feel free to send in your letters and photos in honor of his friendship and service.  Please send them to Paul Reich via email by 16 July: If you would like to make a donation for a retirement gift please contact Paul Reich. Please pass this along to anyone else that may know Hari.


The Mexican Society of Soil Science and Institute of Agricultural Science of the University of Baja California, Mexico, are pleased to invite you to participate in the XXXV National Congress of Soil Science and XIII International Congress of Agricultural Sciences,which will take place from 25 to 29 October 2010 in Mexicali City, Baja California, Mexico. This event is an excellent opportunityto join the researchers, academics, professionals, students and farmers to share their knowledge, research and experience about Soil Science,and discuss about the 'Soil, as life sustenance and our best ally against weather change'. For more details please visit http://ica.mxl.uabc.mx/icaweb_archivos/xiiicongreso/xiiiCongreso.htm

New Publications

Introduction to Process Geomorphology. Vijay K. Sharma. CRC Press, 2010. 435 pp. ISBN:  9781439803370. Price:  $119.95. Introduction to Process Geomorphology provides an integrative approach to the process dynamics and the origin of landforms by the contemporary processes involved in their evolution. The author highlights the physical and chemical laws governing the activity of the earth-surface processes in specific environmental stress conditions and puts forward competing hypotheses on the evolution of landforms, and discusses the bases of internal geologic processes for the explanation of the tectogenic features of the earth. Landforms also evolve over a long period of cyclic and geologic time, inheriting the imprints of past process rates and/or process domains. The principles and methods of evaluating the signature of environmental change are highlighted in the text by citing suitable studies. The process-form relationships provide the building blocks also for the optimum utilization of the land resources of the earth, and quantitative assessment of the stability of geomorphic systems and the quality of environment. The approach in this part of the text enables readers to gain an in-depth understanding of the application of the principles of geomorphology to the evaluation, planning and management of the earth's resources for sustainable development.

Soil Physics with HYDRUS: Modeling and Applications. David E. Radcliffe and Jiri Simunek. CRC Press, 2010. 388 pp. ISBN:  9781420073805 Price:  $99.95. Numerical models have become much more efficient, making their application to problems increasingly widespread. User-friendly interfaces make the setup of a model much easier and more intuitive while increased computer speed can solve difficult problems in a matter of minutes. Co-authored by the software's creator, Dr. Jirka Simunek, Soil Physics with HYDRUS: Modeling and Applications demonstrates one- and two-dimensional simulations and computer animations of numerical models using the HYDRUS software. Classroom-tested at the University of Georgia by Dr. David Radcliffe, this volume includes numerous examples and homework problems. It provides students with access to the HYDRUS-1D program as well as the Rosetta Module, which contains large volumes of information on the hydraulic properties of soils. The authors use HYDRUS-1D for problems that demonstrate infiltration, evaporation, and percolation of water through soils of different textures and layered soils. They also use it to show heat flow and solute transport in these systems, including the effect of physical and chemical nonequilibrium conditions. The book includes examples of two-dimensional flow in fields, hillslopes, boreholes, and capillary fringes using HYDRUS (2D/3D). It demonstrates the use of two other software packages, RETC and STANMOD, that complement the HYDRUS series.

Notes from the Ground: Science, Soil, and Society in the American Countryside. Benjamin R. Cohen. Yale University Press, 2009 - Technology & Engineering. 272 pages. Notes from the Ground examines the cultural conditions that brought agriculture and science together in nineteenth-century America. Integrating the history of science, environmental history, and science studies, the book shows how and why agrarian Americans/yeoman farmers, gentleman planters, politicians, and policy makers alike/accepted, resisted, and shaped scientific ways of knowing the land. By detailing the changing perceptions of soil treatment, Benjamin Cohen shows that the credibility of new soil practices grew not from the arrival of professional chemists, but out of an existing ideology of work, knowledge, and citizenship.

Soil Atlas of the Northern Circumpolar Region. Catalogue Number: LB-NA-23499-EN-C. ISBN: 978-92-79-09770-6, ISSN: 1018-5593. Euro 25. The atlas describes the origin and major characteristics of the different soil types that can be found in this environment. The atlas discusses the possible impacts of climate change on permafrost-affected soils and explains the critical role that they play in the global climate and global carbon cycles. The distribution of soil types for the entire northern circumpolar region can be visualised in a comprehensible manner by the lay-person. Information on the major soil types is presented in detail on twenty six map plates (the atlas has an A3 page size giving a dramatic A2 spread for maps). In a novel exercise, the World Reference Base for Soil Resources has been used as a framework for correlating knowledge from diverse national soil classification systems into a single, coherent, inter-continental product. The atlas illustrates the diversity of soil in the permafrost and seasonally frozen environments through a series of maps supported by explanatory and easily readable texts, high quality photographs and descriptive graphics. The atlas presents the reader with a series of maps that show the variation of soil properties in a circumpolar context and from a polar perspective, allowing comparisons to be made across international boundaries. In addition, larger scale maps show the distribution of major soil types by regions with descriptions of the major issues.  http://eusoils.jrc.ec.europa.eu/library/maps/Circumpolar/Download.cfm


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