Update: 27.05.2018

In a handful of fertile soil, there are more individual organisms than the total number of human beings that have ever existed.

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The International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) is the global union of soil scientists. The objectives of the IUSS are to promote all branches of soil science, and to support all soil scientists across the world in the pursuit of their activities. This website provides information for IUSS members and those interested in soil science.

IUSS Alert 86 (August 2012)

Soil Classification Newsletter

The IUSS Commission 1.4 Soil Classification has published their 3rd Newsletter with the following topics: 1) Greetings From the New Chair; 2) Report on the 4th IUSS Conference for Soil Classification, Lincoln, Nebraska, USA; June 12, 2012; 3) Abstracts presented at the Conference, 4) Guy Smith Medal: Hari Eswaran Presented Second Guy Smith Medal, with an introductory slideshow and films by Amy, Chris, and Arthur Smith (granddaughter, grandson, and son of Guy Smith); 5) A review of “On the history of soil classification: Vladimir Fridland and Russian Soil Classification” (by Prof. Maria Gerasimova). The Newsletter is available on www.iuss.org under the tab <IUSS Newsletters>
 

Like us on Facebook

This month the Facebook page for Nature.com has reached 101,000 ‘Likes’. It seems to be a great news that scientists are using Social Media. But how about Soil Science Facebook pages? IUSS so far has 349 likes (created Dec 2011); Soil Science Society of America: 1884 likes (created 2009); British Society of Soil Science: 361 likes (created Dec 2010); New Zealand Society of Soil Science: 116 Likes (created Feb 2010); Soil Science Australia ‘group’ has 229 members; Soil Science Society of South Africa 129 Likes (Created March 2011); Well it doesn’t look that great really, compared it to a musical band called ‘Soilwork’ which has 236,227 likes. So Soil Science Societies need to do more work. Probably few reasons why soil science societies won’t have that many followers in Facebook. Some scientists may not have Facebook account and even if they have it, they would probably never used it much. And for the younger generation, probably they don’t care about the societies’ page. In general social media for science has never been a success (http://www.labspaces.net/blog/481/THE_FaceBook_for_science_is_dead__What_s_next_). The author of that article argued that the culture of scientific fields are different. Scientists don’t like to share their data and can be secretive, one of the reasons maybe they are afraid that their ideas may got ripped off. Anyway, we shouldn’t take Social media seriously, and certainly not a successful way to promote soil science. In the meantime please like us: http://www.facebook.com/unionsoilsciences

 

Conferences

Third Global Workshop on Proximal Soil Sensing The increasing awareness of soil as a limited and degrading resource, the threats on soil and the challenge to increase soil productivity makes it evident that there is a need to better understand soil variability in space and time. Proximal soil sensing provides one answer to this need with the development of new methods to measure and quantify soils. Proximal soil sensing is a quickly evolving new discipline, which has been acknowledged with the establishment of a working group within the International Union of Soil Sciences under the Commission of Pedometrics and Soil Physics. Together with local organisers, the working group on proximal soil sensing (WG-PSS) is preparing for the Third Global Workshop on Proximal Soil Sensing in 2013. As with the previous workshops (held in Sydney and Montreal) this workshop will bring together researchers from various disciplines, including soil science, agricultural engineering, geophysics, spectroscopy, agronomy, spatial statistics, as well as commercial entities involved in the development and use of proximal sensors. The focus of the meeting will be on multi-sensor systems, sensor data fusion and new application of proximal soil sensing data. It will be held on May 26th to 29th 2013 in Potsdam, Germany. For more information see the WG-PSS website www.proximalsoilsensing.org and the specific workshop website www.atb-potsdam.de/gwpss2013. For more information contact Robbing Gebbers rgebbers@atb-potsdam.de or Raphael Viscarra Rossel raphael.viscarra-rossel@csiro.au

 

International Symposium on Properties and Functions of Biogeochemical Interfaces in Soil – Joint Quantitative Reconstruction with Theoretical and Advanced Instrumental Analytical Tools, organized by the Priority Programme SPP 1315 Biogeochemical Interfaces in Soil, will be held on October 8-10, 2012 in Dornburg, Germany. The symposium aims to bring together specialists from the fields of advanced instrumental analysis techniques with experts from the field of theoretical, physically based modelling and computational chemistry to discuss the limits and prospects of the joint application of these two complementary approaches to mech-anistically understand the role of biogeochemical interfaces for the fate of soil organic chemicals. For participation pelase e-mail hydrogeologie@uni-jena.de

 

Rates of soil forming processes – achievements, challenges, research gaps, 5-8 November 2012 in Charlotte (North Carolina, USA). Abstract submission (1 page) and registration by e-mail is open from now until September 30. Regular oral presentations will be 30 min., short oral presentations will be 15 min.; there will be no posters. The workshop blocks will be scheduled in a way that they won’t overlap with soil-related sessions of the GSA meeting taking place in Charlotte at the same time. The workshop is organized by members of the INQUA TERPRO Commission project “RAISIN” and is supported by INQUA and IUSS. No registration fees apply, and young scientists and scientists from low income countries may apply for financial support. Please, provide a CV, publication list and 0.5-1 page motivation letter. You will find more information at: https://ppsg2011.uni-hohenheim.de Contact: Daniela Sauer, daniela.sauer@uni-hohenheim.de

 

Mediterranean palaeosols: evidence of the continuous interplay between climatic and event driven pedogenesis, with a special focus on the role played by dust inputs, 10-12 October 2012 in Florence, Italy. This is the first workshop of the INQUA TERPRO Commission project AEOMED: “Loess occurrences and dust additions to current surface soils and palaeosols in Mediterranean climate”. The workshop venue will be the Natural History Museum, Via La Pira 4, Florence. The workshop aims to prime a research network. During the indoor session, particularly the state of the art and knowledge needs on Mediterranean loess will be addressed. A field trip will demonstrate loess-influenced soils in central Tuscany. The workshop is supported by INQUA and IUSS. No registration fees apply, and students and scientists from low income countries may apply for financial support. You will find more information at: https://ppsg2011.uni-hohenheim.de . Contact: Stefano Carnicelli: stefano.carnicelli@unifi.it, Edoardo Costantini: edoardo.costantini@entecra.it, Rivka Amit: rivka@gsi.gov.il

 

 

New Publications

Water and Agronomic Productivity. Series: Advances in Soil Science. Rattan LalB.A. Stewart (Eds.). June 19th 2012. Published by CRC Press. Taylor and Francis. ISBN: 978-1-43-985079-4. Hardcover, pages 594. Price $139.95. Crop water use can be increased by management of surface runoff, groundwater, irrigation, and soil water. Technological innovations to enhance availability of water for agricultural crops depend on soil and site-specific conditions. Devoted to the principles and practices of enhancing water use efficiency, Soil Water and Agronomic Productivity addresses current problems associated with water supplies required for agricultural purposes and food production. Written for professionals and students in agricultural fields, the book focuses on innovative technologies for improving soil water availability, enhancing water use efficiency, and using productive irrigation systems. It also presents techniques to conserve water in the root zone as well as remote sensing techniques to assess soil water regime and predict drought on a regional scale. Soil water management is crucial to reducing the vulnerability to agronomic drought. There are numerous examples of aquifers that have been severely depleted by misuse and mismanagement. Soil Water and Agronomic Productivity explains the factors and causes of the mismanagement of soil water and proposes options for sustainable and efficient use of scarce water resources. Meeting the global food demand will require careful worldwide management of soil and water resources, and this can only be done by sharing information and knowledge.
 
Soils and Human Health. Eric Charles BrevikLynn C. Burgess (Eds.). CRC Press. Taylor and Francis, 2012. ISBN: 978-1-43-984454-0. Hardcover, 496 pages. Price $119.95. The first reference to focus on human health from a soils perspective, this book discusses human health as a product of soil health. Authors discuss how soils influence human health in a variety of ways, including the supply of nutrients; presence of toxic materials and pathogens; and other factors such as medicines and heavy metals. Chapters cover soil elements and human health; soil chemistry-crop interactions and human health; geophagy; organic pollutants in soil; toxic materials in fertilizers; pathogens in soil; airborne dust; radioactive elements/issues in soil; soil degradation; soil-based public health recommendations; heavy metals in soil; food security; and climate change.
 
Invasive Plant Ecology and ManagementLinking Processes to Practice. CABI Invasives Series. T.A. Monaco, USDA-ARS, Forage and Range Research Laboratory, Utah State University, USA, and R.L. Sheley, USDA-ARS, Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center, USA (Eds.). CABI, 2012. ISBN: 9781845938116. Hardcover, 216 pages. Price £75.00 / $145.00 / €100.00. Bringing together ecology and management of invasive plants within natural and agricultural ecosystems, this book bridges the knowledge gap between the processes operating within ecosystems and the practices used to prevent, contain, control and eradicate invasive plant species. The book targets key processes that can be managed, the impact of invasive plants on these ecosystem processes and illustrates how adopting ecologically based principles can influence the ecosystem and lead to effective land management.
 
Digital Soil Assessments and Beyond: Budiman Minasny, Brendan P. Malone, Alex B. McBratney  (Eds.). CRC Press, Taylor and Francis, 2012. ISBN: 978-0-415-62155-7. Hardcover and CD, 482 pages. Price $169.95. Digital Soil Assessments and Beyond contains papers presented at the 5th Global Workshop on Digital Soil Mapping, held 10-13 April 2012 at the University of Sydney, Australia. The contributions demonstrate the latest developments in digital soil mapping as a discipline with a special focus on the use of map products to drive policy decisions particularly on climate change and food, water and soil security. The workshop and now this resulting publication have better united formerly disparate subdisciplines in soil science: pedology (study of the formation, distribution and potential use of soils) and pedometrics (quantitative and statistical analysis of soil variation in space and time). This book compiles papers covering a range of topics: digital soil assessment, digital soil modelling, operational soil mapping, soil and environmental covariates, soil sampling and monitoring and soil information modelling, artificial intelligence and cyber-infrastructure, and GlobalSoilMap. Digital Soil Assessments and Beyond aims to encourage new mapping incentives and stimulate new ideas to make digital soil mapping practicable from local to national and ultimately global scales.