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.

General Information

The International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) was founded as the International Society of Soil Science (ISSS) on 19th May 1924. The IUSS has been a scientific union member of ICSU (International Council for Science) since 1993. Since the merger of ICSU with the International Social Science Council to form the International Science Council (ISC) in 2018 the IUSS is a member of ISC (

The scientific activities of IUSS are undertaken through 4 Divisions and each Division has 4 to 6 Commissions.
The Divisions and Commissions are headed by a chairperson and two vice chairs.

Below you can find an overview of the IUSS’ divisions, commissions and working groups.

Detailed information on the tasks of each division, commission or working group as well as contact details of the experts is available: >> Organisation

Overview IUSS divisions & commissions

Division 1 – Soils in Space and Time

COMMISSION 1.1 – Soil morphology and micromorphology
COMMISSION 1.2 – Soil geography
COMMISSION 1.3 – Soil genesis
COMMISSION 1.4 – Soil classification
COMMISSION 1.5 – Pedometrics
COMMISSION 1.6 – Paleopedology

Division 2 – Soil properties and processes

COMMISSION 2.1 – Soil physics
COMMISSION 2.2 – Soil chemistry
COMMISSION 2.3 – Soil biology
COMMISSION 2.4 – Soil mineralogy
COMMISSION 2.5 – Soil chemical, physical and biological interfacial reactions

Division 3 – Soil Use and Management

COMMISSION 3.1 – Soil evaluation and land use planning
COMMISSION 3.2 – Soil and water conservation
COMMISSION 3.3 – Soil fertility and plant nutrition
COMMISSION 3.4 – Soil engineering and technology
COMMISSION 3.5 – Soil degradation control, remediation and reclamation
COMMISSION 3.6 – Salt-affected Soils

Division 4 – The Role of Soils in Sustaining Society and the Environment

COMMISSION 4.1 – Soils and the environment
COMMISSION 4.2 – Soils, food security, and human health
COMMISSION 4.3 – Soils and land use change
COMMISSION 4.4 – Soil education and public awareness
COMMISSION 4.5 – History, philosophy, and sociology of soil science

Overview Working Groups

  • Acid Sulfate Soils
  • Critical Zone System
  • Cryosols
  • Cultural Patterns of Soil Understanding
  • Digital Soil Mapping
  • Digital Soil Morphometrics
  • Forest Soils
  • Global Soil Map
  • Heritage Soils
  • Land Degradation
  • Modelling of Soil and Landscape Evolution
  • Paddy Soils
  • Proximal Soil Sensing
  • Soil Information Standards
  • Soil Modeling Consortium
  • Soil Monitoring
  • Soils of Urban, Industrial, Traffic, Mining and Military Areas (SUITMA)
  • Universal Soil Classification
  • World Reference Base

More Information