Taking care of soils since 1924

Guy Smith medal

Guy Smith Medal Award Committee


The Guy Smith Medal Award is given by IUSS Commission 1.4. Soil Classification to honor Dr. Guy Smith, a university professor, a soil mapper, an internationally traveled taxonomist, and the principal author of the 7th Approximation of US Soil Taxonomy published in 1975. His body of work in developing a new classification system was exemplary, drawing on experiences of the worldwide community of pedologists and existing systems. The Guy Smith Medal is awarded to the person whose body of work has advanced soil classification.

Criteria for selection of nominees

The nominee should have the following qualifications:

  • Be an active member or formerly active member of a national or international soil science professional society; and
  • Be a published author in the field of soil classification; and
  • Either have made a significant contribution that advanced the field of soil classification, or compiled a body of work that has advanced the science, success, methodology, or use of soil classification for the purpose of identifying the classification of soils and making soil maps.
  • The medal is not invested posthumously.
  • Current officers of the Commission and related Working Groups cannot be nominated.

Periodicity of nomination

Since 2018 the Guy Smith Medal is awarded once every four years at the World Congress of Soil Science.

Nomination procedure

The information about the nomination should be distributed by the Commission officers not later than six months before the suggested date of award of the Medal via the Commission Newsletter and IUSS Alerts.

The nominees may be proposed by institutions, societies, commissions and working groups of the IUSS, spearheads and individuals. Self-nomination is not encouraged.

The proposal for nomination should include a short justification, including the main steps of the scientific career of the nominee, his/her main scientific publications and the major contribution to the development of soil classification.

The receipt of nominations finishes at least three months before the suggested date of award of the Medal.

Award Committee Members

There are three Award Committee members, headed by the Chair. The members are invited by the officers of the IUSS Commission 1.4. Soil Classification. The service of the members of the Committee has no strict time limitation. The members of the Committee should inform the officers of the Commission, if they are planning to resign their service to allow their timely replacement.

The responsibility of the Chair is to receive nominations and, after discussion and voting on the candidatures, to announce the decision to the Commission. The Chair has priority to hand the Medal to the nominee; if he/she cannot do it personally, the responsibility may be passed to other members of the Committee or to the Commission officers.

Guy Smith Award Winners

2022 – Peter Schad

2018 – Dick Arnold

2016 – Juan Comerma

2014 – Otto Spaargaren

2012 – Hari Easwaran

2010 – Rudi Dudal