IUSS present at EGU General Assembly 2023
Dear IUSS Member and colleagues,
All of you who are attending the EGU General Assembly 2023 (https://www.egu23.eu) these days - you are welcome at the IUSS Secretariat!
IUSS shares booth #50 on the ground floor with the Soil Science Society of China, who will host the World Soil Science Congress 2026.
Please come and join us!
On behalf of the IUSS Secretariat,
Filiberto Altobelli and Giuseppe Corti
Welcome note by the new IUSS President
Wishing you all a new year full of professional success and satisfaction, I am sending my regards as I take office as the new IUSS President. My first words can only be those of thanks and appreciation to the IUSS President from whom I take the baton, Prof. Laura Bertha Reyes Sanchez, the former Past President, Prof. Takashi Kosaki and the Vice President Congress Dr. Bruce Lascelles, and all the officers who served the Executive Committee of IUSS during the last term…
Facing the Future Together: Building on the World Congress of Soil Science 2022
The British Society of Soil Science is now approaching the six month mark after hosting the World Congress of Soil Science 2022 and is in the final stages of concluding their direct work with the project. As such they feel the time has come to ‘pass the torch’ to the next generation of hosts for the World Congress series. In an open letter from the Chair of the WCSS22 board they are addressing some of the key outcomes from hosting the Congress, and some of the key learning points obtained through the experience which may help facing the future together.
IUSS Distinguished Service medals bestowed in 2022
In the year 2022 two IUSS Distinguished Service medals were bestowed upon their recipients, because in the year 2021 it was not possible due to the Corona situation.
The medal for the year 2021 was given to Dr. Taolin Zhang, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China, by Laura Bertha Reyes Sánchez, IUSS President during the closing ceremony of the WCSS 2022 on August 4 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. Dr. Taolin Zhang received the medal in recognition of his outstanding and continuous support and activities in favour of the sustainable management of the soil resource; translating knowledge of soil science into policies and governance of the soils and agriculture in the People’s Republic of China.
The medal for the year 2022 was given to the Global Soil Partnership of FAO by Laura Bertha Reyes Sánchez, IUSS President, during the World Soil Day celebrations 2022 on December 5 in Rome, Italy. The Global Soil Partnership received the medal in recognition of its outstanding actions in favour of soil sciences, by supporting the acknowledgement of the World Soil Day by the UN and contributing to its global dissemination, promoting the knowledge and appreciation of the soil resource as an essential element for life, and promoting the sustainability of the soil resource in the global political agenda.
King Bhumibol Award 2022
The Geology Institute of the National Autonomous University of Mexico won the King Bhumibol Award 2022 offered by Thailand and the FAO celebrating World Soil Day.
Dr. Elizabeth Solleiro, Vice Chair of Commission 1.6 Paleopedology of Division 1 of the IUSS, and Mr. C. Axel Cerón, Vice President of the new Young and Early Career Scientists Working Group of IUSS Division 4, travelled to Thailand to receive this important award.
Part of the innovative work presented to obtain this award was supported by the IUSS Stimulus Fund, a project that was carried out in collaboration with the group of young scientists from the Mexican Soil Science Society (SMCS) who work with Dr. Solleiro.
The IUSS attaches great importance to supporting members and especially young scientists with the Stimulus Fund to carry out educational projects, of which this award is a direct result.
Congratulations to UNAM's Institute of Geology of the National Autonomous University of Mexico and to the IUSS Young and Early Career Scientists Working Group.
Outcome of 2022 IUSS Presidential Election
Victor Okechukwu Chude from Nigeria, former President of the Soil Society of Nigeria, received 47 votes in his favour, no votes against and no abstaining votes. All votes cast equal 61% of the Council members.
He will take up the position of President-Elect on 1st January, 2023. He will be the first African IUSS President (2025/26) in the history of IUSS and will celebrate with us the next WCSS in China in 2026. Let us congratulate him on this success!
If you want to know more about Prof. Chude, please click here: https://www.iuss.org/about-the-iuss/iuss-presidential-election/.
Children’s booklet contest on Soils: where food begins
Following the activities from the IUSS GOES TO THE SCHOOL educative project, and in the framework of World Soil Day 2022, FAO, the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) and the Global Soil Partnership (GSP) are launching a scientific children's booklet contest on soils for nutrition with the motto "Soils: Where food begins". By inviting soil scientists, research institutions, colleges/universities, designers, artists, and creative people from all countries to team up, the contest intends to raise awareness and inform future global citizens about soil issues. The purpose of this competition is to engage and encourage children's interest in soil and give them the opportunity to understand the impact of soil nutrient imbalance and loss of soil fertility while stimulating educational activities, engagement and participation of children and schools in soil science.
Submissions should be sent to including the mandatory Registration form by 18 November 2022.
Read more: https://www.fao.org/world-soil-day/contests/children-booklet-contest-2022/en/
Call for Awards and Fellowship by OWSD are open
Currently two calls of the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) for early carrier woman scientists are open:
Call for applications for the OWSD Elsevier Foundation Awards for Early Career Women Scientists in the Developing World.
Deadline: 15 September 2022. Learn more
OWSD Early Career Fellowship of up to USD 50,000 is offered to women who have completed their PhDs in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects.
Deadline: 19 September 2022. Learn more
IUSS at IAEA-Symposium
The IUSS was represented at the International Symposium on Managing Land and Water for Climate-Smart Agriculture, 25–29 July 2022, Vienna, Austria by the former IUSS President Rainer Horn with a keynote speech ‘Soil science research approaches and future needs’ and with a stand, where the IUSS books and the Centennial in Italy in 2024 were promoted by the IUSS Secretariat.
WCSS 2022 Full Scientific Programme available
We are pleased to inform that the full Scientific Programme of the WCSS 2022 is available.
Read more: https://22wcss.org/programme/scientific-programme/
We hope you regard it as interesting and encourage you to take the opportunity to participate in person at the WCSS in Glasgow in order to be able to join also Divisional and Working Group sessions as well as Fringe events. Registration information is available here: https://22wcss.org/registration/
Call for Nominations for the Richard Webster Medal 2022
The Richard Webster Medal is an award by the Pedometrics Commission of the International Union of Soil Sciences. The award is for the best body of work that has advanced the discipline of pedometrics: the application of mathematical and statistical methods to problems in the understanding of soils in space and time, and the provision of information for their better management.
The Richard Webster Medal will be awarded at the 2022 World Congress of Soil Science. The award is judged by the Pedometrics Commission Awards Committee on the basis of nominations received.
Nominations should be sent to the Committee Chair, Professor Murray Lark at . Anyone considering sending a nomination should examine the guidelines for the award carefully at http://pedometrics.org/the-richard-webster-medal/ and make sure that their proposed candidate is eligible, and is willing to be nominated. Note that the requirements for the written evidence will be strictly adhered to, and any nomination which consists only of a curriculum vitae for the candidate, with no covering statement as requested, will be discarded. Nominations must be received by the Committee Chair no later than midday British Summer Time on May 31, 2022.
IUSS Presidential Elections 2022 – Call for nominations
The election of the next President of the IUSS is due this year. The appointment of the President represents a total of six years commitment to the Union by serving two years each as President-Elect (2023/24), President (2025/26) and Past-President (2027/28).
The Standing Committee on Presidential Elections has defined the respective procedure and the guidelines. Nominations should be made by two accomplished, highly-respected senior soil scientists. Full nomination documentation should be submitted electronically to Prof. Dr. Rainer Horn (Email: ) by May 31, 2022. A copy should also be sent to . Procedure and guidelines: https://www.iuss.org/about-the-iuss/iuss-presidential-election/
IUSS Division 2 WCSS Travel Award
This programme will provide fellowships to graduate students or early-career researchers (within 5 years of PhD) presenting papers (oral or poster) on the divisional sessions related to the IUSS Division 2 at the 22nd World Congress of Soil Science (WCSS), July 31-August 5, 2022 in Glasgow, UK.
Travel awards will be provided up to $500 per person for up to 35 individuals.
The money will be transferred to the winner's bank account after the presentation will be completed.
Final Submission by May 30, 2022 – noon UTC
Read more: https://www.iuss.org/media/iuss_division_2_wcss_travel_award_final.pdf
WCSS 2022 Preliminary Scientific Programme available
The WCSS22 organisers are working hard to build an exciting congress programme. The first view is now available online and details the Plenary, Divisional and Interdivisional sessions, initial timings and which sessions will be available online. Over the coming weeks, this programme will be developed to provide information on each session, the speakers and detail the accepted oral presentations. Watch this space for more information!
Read more: https://22wcss.org/programme/scientific-programme/
Results of Election of IUSS officers 2022-2026
Every four years elections of the officers for Divisions and Commissions take place. All officers except the appointed Vice-Chairs of the Divisions can be re-elected for one further term. The election of IUSS officers for 2022-2026 started in September 2021. In total 104 candidates from 26 different countries were nominated, valid votes from 39 national soil science societies (IUSS Full members) were received until January 28, 2022.
Let us congratulate all elected IUSS officers (see list for download below). We are looking forward to a fruitful collaboration.
The term of the elected officers will start at the end of the WCSS 2022, on Aug. 5, 2022.
Recipients of the IUSS Awards 2022
The IUSS is proud to announce the awardees of the prestigious IUSS Awards in 2022 and congratulates them to their great scientific achievements:
Professor Emeritus Nicola Senesi is the recipient of the 2022 IUSS Dokuchaev Award for his outstanding contributions and achievements in basic soil science research. Prof. Senesi’s distinguished career spanned more than half a century (1967-2021) and focused on the instrumental role of soil systems for both agricultural production and environmental protection. He has successfully applied several novel and advanced chemical, physico-chemical and biochemical methods and spectroscopic techniques to investigate the molecular structures and chemical functionalities soil organic matter, especially humic fractions isolated from a wide variety of soils, organic amendments and waters. He used the same approaches to study from a novel perspective the interactions of pesticides with and the complexation of micronutrient/micropollutant trace metals to humic substances.
The intense and wide research activity and the scientific stature of Prof. Senesi is reflected in his impressive scientific publication record and citations including ranking in the top 1% of scientists in the Stanford University World Ranking of Scientists. Prof. Senesi was also a visionary educator.
Prof. Senesi served in multiple roles in national and international scientific organizations and in the organization of several international and national conferences and symposia. He was an active member in ISSS/IUSS, serving as Chair of Commission II-Soil Chemistry of ISSS and then as Chair of Division II-Soil Properties and Processes of IUSS.
Read more: https://www.iuss.org/about-the-iuss/awards-prizes/dokuchaev-award/
Professor Yong-Guan Zhu is the recipient of the 2022 IUSS Von Liebig Award for his achievements in applied soil science research. Dr. Zhu has made outstanding contributions in the field of soil-plant-microbe interactions, particularly in relation to the biogeochemistry of metals (arsenic), emerging chemicals (antibiotics), and nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus).
Dr. Zhu’s research has led to detailed understanding of the effects of arsenic on the global food supply and was the first to characterize the risk of food arsenic to the health of the Chinese population. In addition to arsenic, he has made substantial contributions to the mitigation of risks associated with soil polluted with radionuclides, pioneered the characterization of the environmental antimicrobial resistome (AMR) and developed the field of coupled biogeochemical processes. One of his most enduring contributions is his leadership in promoting multidisciplinary study in applied soil science in China.
Dr. Zhu has also provided leadership to his profession by serving as Vice President of the Chinese Society of Soil Science, Chinese Ecological Society, and the International Society of Trace Element Biogeochemistry; Vice Division Chair of the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) and Vice President of the International Union of Radioecology.
Read more: https://www.iuss.org/about-the-iuss/awards-prizes/von-liebig-award/
Dr. Umakant Mishra of the Sandia National Laboratories is the recipient of the 2022 IUSS Jeju Award for his outstanding accomplishments as an early-career soil scientist. Dr. Mishra's research on terrestrial carbon cycle science has received both national and international recognition. His research has compared the ability of classical spatial statistical analysis with machine learning. He showed that the soil organic carbon prediction accuracy was improved by combining the results from the machine learning analysis approaches. Dr. Mishra has also conducted research on land use change, life cycle analysis, and greenhouse gas emissions in many environments.
In his professional career, Dr. Mishra provided leadership to different committees of various scientific societies/agencies in the U.S. and globally. Scientific contributions of Dr. Mishra received an outstanding associate editor award from the Agronomy Journal in 2014 and the distinguished research award from the Regional and Global Modeling program of U.S. Department of Energy in 2020.
Dr. Mishra’s interdisciplinary research experience, collaborative initiatives with national and international investigators, track record of generating funding, contributions to the scientific literature, and service to scientific societies make him a most deserving recipient of the IUSS Jeju Award. Read more: https://www.iuss.org/about-the-iuss/awards-prizes/the-iuss-jeju-award/
IUSS President at World Soil Day celebration
On December 3 FAO's Global Soil Partnership held the official World Soil Day celebration 2021 which was attended by around 4.000 people from 182 countries. Key highlights were:
- Launch of the Report “Global Soil Laboratory Assessment report”
- Winner’s announcement: Glinka World Soil Prize 2021 and King Bhumibol World Soil Day Award 2021
- Announcement of the winners of the Soil Contest (Children’s Book contest on soil salinization and Kids2Kids Poster contest on soil salinization)
The winners of the Soil Contest were presented by Laura Bertha Reyes Sánchez, IUSS President 2021-2022.
Presentation of IUSS President: IUSS PRESIDENT WSD-2021.pdf
IUSS and FAO invite you to know the winners of our Children's booklet contest at https://www.fao.org/world-soil-day/booklet-contest/en/,
and to participate in voting on Facebook: /globalsoilpartnership by your preferred finalist poster from our children drawing contest to define the winners until Dec. 5.
See the five finalists per each category here: https://www.fao.org/world-soil-day/poster-contest/en/.
IUSS wishes all its members a HAPPY WORLD SOIL DAY 2021!
IUSS expert panel at Global Forum for Food and Agriculture 2022
The IUSS organizes the first expert panel of the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA). The panel is titled "Global perspectives on sustainable soil management towards food security" and will be held on Monday, 24. January 2022, from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. (CET), with a subsequent deep dive from 6:00 to 6:30 p.m.
The Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) is an international conference in a virtual format on central issues of vital importance for global agricultural and food policies.
The GFFA is hosted by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture of Germany. The five-day forum features a large number of events that provide an international audience of experts from the worlds of politics, industry, science, and civil society with an opportunity to address and reach consensus on issues and challenges relating to global agricultural policy and food security. In the past, high-level keynote speakers such as António Guterres, Josefa Sacko, Angela Merkel, Ban Ki-moon, and Prince Charles joined the GFFA line-up. The 2022 GFFA will address the issue “Sustainable Land Use: Food Security Starts with the Soil”.
The IUSS expert panel will deal with the following issues:
- Pressure on available areas for food production leads to high pressure on cultivated soils. We must protect soil better for changed precipitation and runoff conditions to secure land for food production and minimize pollution of surface, drinking water.
- Clear planning for soil management and re-use is critical in retaining the potential value of soils. This requires knowledge of the soils and specialist input to soil handling strategies, and wider understanding of how new developments can be designed to maximise the extent of soil included, the health of that soil and how it can be used to support the community, from green spaces for climate adaptation to local food production.
- In urban environments, quantities of wastes and wastewater are produced, which are assets to increase agricultural productivity and construct soils of gardens, green roofs and green areas. The reuse of treated wastewater in periurban agriculture sets high quality water free for human consumption. It has become mandatory to recognize and preserve urban soil functions to achieve sustainability.
- Based on the concept of regenerative agriculture and agroecology, the Green Revolution of the 21st century must be soil centric, ecosystem based, and aimed at producing more from less, practicing nutrition-sensitive agriculture, and returning some land and water back to nature. It is also important to grow soil C as a farm commodity that can create another income stream for land managers.
Panel Guests will be:
- Dr. Lillian Øygarden, Researcher, NIBIO, Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research
- Dr. Bruce Lascelles, UK Director Sustainable Land Use, Arcadis and President of the British Society of Soil Science.
- Dr. Christina Siebe, Senior Researcher, Department of Environmental Studies and Soil Science, Institute of Geology, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)
- Prof. Rattan Lal, Distinguished University Professor, Director of Center for Carbon Management and Sequestration, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
- Facilitator: Dr. Edoardo A.C. Costantini, Senior Researcher, CNR- Institute of Bioeconomy, Florence, Italy and President Elect of the International Union of Soil Sciences
Read more: https://www.gffa-berlin.de/en/fachpodien_2022/iuss/
WASWAC-IUSS Position Paper on the Interlinkages of Soil and Climate Change sent to the COP26
At the start of the COP 26 on October 31, 2021 the WASWAC-IUSS Position Paper with the logos of 50 Soil Science Societies and Institutions and the list of 805 individual supporters were sent to the President and the Executive Secretary of COP 26.
Call for Abstracts for the World Congress of Soil Science 2022 extended
Due to the high rate of abstract submission, the World Congress of Soil Science has agreed to extend the submission deadline to Tuesday 30 November at 5:00pm GMT.
As there is positive engagement between the soil science community and COP26, the deadline extension will also provide additional time after COP26 for abstracts to be submitted. For further information on submitting an abstract to the World Congress of Soil Science, which will take place in Glasgow, UK from 31 July – 5 August 2022, please visit: https://22wcss.org/conference/abstracts/
IUSS Distinguished Service Medal 2020 to Dr. Fischler
Following its mission, since 2012 the IUSS has recognized world soil leaders who have translated soil science into action, by awarding the Distinguished Service Medal. The IUSS Distinguished Service Medal is a recognition for people who have served the IUSS as a worldwide organization in a way that has been more than committed to its goals, having behaved worthy of this distinction.
Consequently, this is an award to recognize people who throughout their lives have distinguished themselves for actions that contributed significantly to the growth and consolidation of the IUSS, of the soil science as well as the promotion and reinforcement of public policies for soil resource preservation.
We have the privilege and honour to inform that Prof. Laura Bertha Reyes Sánchez, President of the International Union of Soil Sciences, bestowed the Distinguished Service Medal 2020 to Dr. Franz Fischler (Austria) in recognition of his outstanding cooperation and continuous support that helped the IUSS to become what it is today, dedicating at the same time all his professional life both to supporting agriculture and soil science and to promoting the policies necessary for its preservation. The laudation for Dr. Fischler was held by Prof. Winfried E.H. Blum, IUSS Honorary member.
Dr. Franz Fischler, former Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of Austria, former Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Union and former President of the European Forum Alpbach enabled with his support the statutory change from a personal membership based International Society of Soil Science (ISSS) to a nationally based International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS), which could be concluded in 1998, and the establishment of a new scientific structure, which since 2002 has been fostering the cooperation between different soil scientific disciplines within the Union and with the worldwide scientific community as a member of the International Science Council (ISC).
The ceremony took place during the Symposium ‘Soils for our future’ held on Oct. 15, 2021 at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, Austria. The participants were welcomed by Prof. Hubert Hasenauer, Rector of the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, and Dr. Andreas Baumgarten, President of the Austrian Soil Science Society. At the symposium, which was organized in cooperation with the Austrian Soil Science Society, Dr. Fischler stated that soils were again seen as very important, one of the fundamentals for living on earth, with the almost biggest pool of carbon. The biome is important for life, also that in the soil for our resilience. In contact with farmers and politicians it is important to underline the benefits of managing soils properly and how this can contribute to global decarbonisation.
Prof. Rainer Horn, former President of IUSS, concluded that in order to sustain soil properties and functions a more site related land use and soil management strategy is needed. We shall use current knowledge on chemical, physical and biological processes as a basis for values for a sustainable land use planning. Continuous development of new insights into processes in soil and how soils react under various land uses, climatic and anthropogenic inputs are key. IUSS has the potential to deliver essential information for a more sustainable future land management.
In order to disseminate this information cooperation is important. Dr. Fischler offered to convey the message of this symposium to the organisers of the European Forum Alpbach (founded 1945) which may result in a seminar on soils during the next European Forum Alpbach. Furthermore a cooperation regarding a conference with the European Parliament was envisaged for 2022. Finally a cooperation with the European Landowners’ Organisation (ELO) could be of interest, e.g. in relation to soil biodiversity.
- soils_for_our_future_programme_20211015.pdf (455 kB)
- iuss_medal-2021.pdf (4 MB)
- hornfischler.pdf (6 MB)
Soils for our future - Programme
Presentation Laura Bertha Reyes Sánchez
Presentation Rainer Horn
Hubert Hasenauer, Winfried E.H. Blum, Laura Bertha Reyes Sánchez, Franz Fischler, Rainer Horn, Andreas Baumgarten
Laura Bertha Reyes Sánchez, Franz Fischler
International Science Council Award 2021 for IUSS Honorary member
The International Union of Soil Sciences proudly announces that Prof. Winfried E.H. Blum has obtained the International Science Council “Science for Policy” Award 2021 and applauds its Honorary member and former General Secretary for receiving this well-deserved honor of this globally recognized award.
The International Science Council Awards Programme was established in 2020 by the ISC Governing Board to recognize individuals, groups, and initiatives launched by the ISC and its members who serve to advance science as a global public good, by, for example, promoting international, interdisciplinary scientific research cooperation, striving to bring scientific knowledge into the public domain, innovating in science education and outreach, or promoting the free and responsible practice of science.
The ISC Awards are conferred every three years during the ISC General Assembly in five categories. One is the Science-for-Policy Award for outstanding contribution to, stimulation of, support for or communication of the findings of international scientific research and scholarship relevant to international policy challenges.
Prof. Winfried Blum received this award for his enormous achievements in the field of knowledge transfer to policy and society. He made a major contribution to raising awareness of soil at national, European and international level as a natural asset worthy of protection and as the basis of human life. The development of the concept of soil functions and the establishment of the International Soil Day on 5 December each year are two outstanding examples of his contribution. Winfried Blum developed the scientific-technical basis for improving sustainable soil and land management and environmental protection from a global perspective.
Blum speech ISC Award 2021 blum_speech_isc_award_2021.pdf
Read more: ISC homepage
World Soil Day 2021 - poster and children's booklet contest
In the framework of World Soil Day (WSD) 2021, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) and the Global Soil Partnership (GSP) launched a scientific children's booklet contest and a poster contest on salt-affected soils with the motto "Halt soil salinization, boost soil productivity".
Read more: The IUSS goes to the school
IUSS contributes to ISC GeoUnions Standing Committee on Disaster and Risk Reduction
The International Science Council (ISC) GeoUnions Standing Committee on Disaster Risk Reduction was established in July 2020 to strengthen the long-standing ISC leadership in advancing Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR). The Committee identifies and encourages activities of global scientific communities for the implementation of the Sendai Framework, as further defined by the ISC.
Prof. Takashi Kosaki, IUSS Past President, and Dr. Edoardo Costantini, IUSS President Elect, were appointed as IUSS representatives to this new committee. The presence of the IUSS in the Committee is aimed at highlighting the role played by soil as an anthropogenic factor that regulates natural disasters and to advise multiple stakeholders through the ISC. One of the activities of the Committee is the publication and broad distribution of policy briefs related to events of global relevance connected to DRR. The website of the committee is: http://www.iscgdrr.com/
The current policy brief no. 5 talks about how to communicate anthropogenic factors that contribute to natural disasters.
Call for Abstract Submission for the World Congress of Soil Science 2022
The organisers of The World Congress of Soil Science 2022 (WCSS), the British Society of Soil Science (BSSS) on behalf of the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS), are delighted to announce the opening of the abstract submission process for oral presentations and posters. The congress seeks to represent all those with an interest in soil science and is keen to receive abstract submissions from international colleagues whose research or practice links to soil.
The WCSS is inviting abstract submissions for the Interdivisional sessions, the Divisional scientific sessions, and the Working Group sessions and a full list of sessions, chosen to reflect the Congress theme, Crossing Boundaries, Changing Society, can be found on the WCSS website: www.22wcss.org/conference/abstracts.
The abstract submission deadline is 24:00 GMT on the 31 October 2021, and acceptance notifications can be expected in January 2022. Only the text of the abstracts will be reviewed; author names, affiliations, and biographies will not be considered during the selection process. For further information and to apply, visit www.22wcss.org/conference/abstracts or email us at .
Read more: https://www.iuss.org/media/wcss22-call-for-abstracts-final.pdf
Soil Judging Competition at the WCSS 22
As part of the World Congress of Soil Science 2022 (WCSS 22) we are pleased to announce the launch of the quadrennial, hotly contested, Soil Judging Competition! This is an opportunity to demonstrate your skills, whilst enjoying some time away in Stirling, the historic “Gateway to the Highlands”. In teams of four you will spend time in training with some of the foremost experts in the field of soil science, before representing your country or region in competition at sites across scenic Scotland. With prizes presented on the opening night of the World Congress, during the prestigious opening ceremony, this is an accolade worth working for.
The British Society of Soil Science (BSSS) is hosting the 22nd WCSS on behalf of the International Union of Soil Science (IUSS), and the competition will include the high-level training including guest speakers, which is associated with this event. Offering education, skills, support, and professional development across all stages of a soil professionals’ career is the core BSSS’ aims and we are keen to share local knowledge with researchers at the early stages of their career to enhance their knowledge and learning.
Can you take the challenge? Want to see how your team measures up against your international competitors? Are you an Early Career scientist? You can find more information, including eligibility criteria and registration, on the WCSS 22 website at www.22wcss.orgor by contacting us on .
IUSS Bulletin 138 published
IUSS invites our entire community to celebrate our 97th Anniversary. Watch the video!
Fighting for a better world implies striving for deeper knowledge. Soil scientists are fully aware of this, and their knowledge will be the key for preventing the loss of fertile soil, which will be one of the hardest human challenges in the coming years.
IUSS invites our entire community to celebrate our 97th anniversary by fighting TO STOP SOIL DEGRADATION and by EDUCATING CHILDREN TO ACHIEVE IT.
BSSS and IUSS share a virtual exhibitor portal at the vEGU21
The British Society of Soil Science and the International Union of Soil Sciences share a virtual exhibitor portal at the vEGU21. About 16,000 attendees are registered for the General Assembly of the European Geoscience Union in 2021. This gives us the opportunity to promote the World Congress 2022 in Glasgow as well as the newest book of the IUSS book series under the International Decade of Soils 2015- 2024 titled Soil Sciences Education: Global Concepts and Teaching. In addition the calendar called ‘Soilutions’, the brochure of the Centennial in 2024 and “THE IUSS GOES TO THE SCHOOL” project will be made visible on the portal during this week.
If you are a registered participant at vEGU21, you can see our portal here.
Read more about EGU21: https://egu21.eu/
IUSS and FAO launched Children’s book “The magical world of soil biodiversity”
During the Opening Day of the Global Symposium on Soil Biodiversity (GSOBI21), ‘Keep soil alive, protect soil biodiversity’, a science-policy meeting that takes place from 19-22 April 2021, IUSS and FAO launched their children’s book “The magical world of soil biodiversity”. This collection of 10 stories includes the best entries received from a total of 97 books spanning over 75 countries.
In the framework of World Soil Day 2020, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS), the educative project “THE IUSS GOES TO THE SCHOOL”, and the Global Soil Partnership (GSP) launched a children's book contest on Soil Biodiversity with the motto "Keep soil alive, protect soil biodiversity". The book contest on soil biodiversity has given visibility to the importance of soil organisms and raised awareness on the urgency of protecting soil biodiversity. The soil biodiversity book competition highlights the importance of soil organisms and raises awareness of the urgent need to protect soil biodiversity among a young audience (children aged 6-11 years).
Presentation given by Laura Bertha Reyes Sánchez, IUSS President 2021-2022: laura_book_presentation.pdf
Discover and download the book: https://doi.org/10.4060/cb4185en
Read more about "The IUSS goes to school"
Call for applications for the Dan H. Yaalon Young Scientist Medal
This is an award by the IUSS Division 1: Soils in Space and Time and Commission 4.5: History, Philosophy and Sociology of Soil Science.
The Dan H. Yaalon Young Scientist Medal is awarded once every four years at the World Congress of Soil Science. Next time will be at the 22ndWorld Congress at Glasgow in 2022.
Applications Please send applications to the nomination committee c/o Karl Stahr or mail to: Prof. Dr. Karl Stahr Universität Hohenheim (310a) D 70593 Stuttgart Germany.
Criteria for the selection of nominees for the Dan Yaalon Young Scientist Medal A nominee should have the following qualifications:
• be a researcher in her/his early scientific career, i.e., PhD student or postdoc researcher within the first 5 years after PhD graduation and,
• be an active member of a national soil science society and/or the International Union of Soil Science and,
• have published in at least one of the following fields: Soil morphology, Soil micromorphology, Soil geography, Soil genesis, Soil classification, Pedometrics, Palaeopedology, History of soil science, Philosophy of soil science, Sociology of soil science, and
• either have made a significant contribution that advanced any field of soil science as presented above, or compiled a body of work that has advanced the science, success, methodology, or use of the above fields. The medal is not awarded posthumously. Current officers of IUSS Divisions, Commissions and Working Groups cannot be nominated.
Nomination procedure The nominees may be proposed by institutions, societies, commissions and working groups of the IUSS, and by 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(s) to the development of one or more of the following fields: Soil morphology, Soil micromorphology, Soil geography, Soil genesis, Soil classification, Pedometrics, Palaeopedology, History of soil science, Philosophy of soil science, Sociology of soil science. The deadline for nominations is November 1, 2021. The nominees will be notified on February 1, 2022. The medalist name will be announced in the following IUSS alert. The presentation of this medal will be take place at the 22nd World Congress in Glasgow, Scotland on August 1, 2022.
For further information please visit: http://www.iuss.org/index.php?article_id=631
[By the Dan Yaalon Young Scientist Medal Award Committee]
Call for nominations of IUSS Division and Commission Officers 2022-2026
This is your chance to become involved in the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) and shape its future in the years 2022 to 2026. The IUSS is the global union of soil scientists, and has participation from some 130 countries involving some 50,000 soil scientists. The IUSS Mission is to promote the scientific and life-sustaining importance of soil to humankind, and to support and enhance the discipline of soil science globally. The scientific activities of the IUSS are organized by the Divisions, Commissions and Working Groups.
We are seeking nominations for all Division and Commission positions except Division vice-chairs, and a description of the Divisions is given here, of the Commissions here. The description of the specific duties and functions of Divisions and Commission officers is here.
IUSS Full Members (national soil science societies who paid the membership fees) are encouraged to participate in this call making strong efforts to seek and nominate candidates to the Divisional Nominating Committees. Nominees can be nominated for only one position. Candidates to be nominated cannot be members of the Divisional Nominating Committees.
Please send in your nominations before 30 April 2021. Each nomination should include the position, a 100 words biography and homepage URL, if available. It should be sent to:
Positions in Division 1: Erika Micheli at
Positions in Division 2: Ryusuke Hatano at
Positions in Division 3: Bal Ram Singh at
Positions in Division 4: Damien Field at
The timeline is as follows:
30 April 2021 - call for nominations ends
2 June 2021 - list of candidates and their biographies available
1 September 2021 - voting system will open
31 December 2021 - voting system will close
28 February 2022 - announcement of new IUSS officers We look forward to receiving your nomination!
Memorandum of understanding between IUSS and WASWAC signed
WASWAC and IUSS decided to sign a memorandum of understanding to develop new knowledge, share experiences, and distribute knowledge and skills for the benefit of the whole world, based on comprehensive communication. This will mark a new future for tackling soil resources use and management issues.
Both parties agree to use their best effort to promote the formal cooperation by obtaining the necessary support for envisaged activities, including organizing technical symposiums/workshops/seminars/meetings, holding training courses, defining and implementing research/studies/applied projects, sending experts and managers on exchange programmes, developing electronic communications, preparing technical and scientific reports, promoting and supporting the development of educational projects.
It is very important that WASWAC and IUSS stand together and mutually reinforce each other. This will be very helpful and useful for the development of both associations, for the proposing of effective solutions, and for the raising of public awareness on soil protection. There will be a very bright future for the cooperation.
The World Association of Soil and Water Conservation (WASWAC) is as a worldwide academic society. The aim of WASWAC is to promote the wise use of management practices that will improve and safeguard the quality of land and water resources so that they continue to meet the needs of agriculture, society and nature.
Call for Nature Research Award for Driving Global Impact
Nature Award for Driving Global Impact was launched in 2019 with the aim of championing researchers who are striving towards the achievement of one or more of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In 2021 applications from early career researchers are invited working in areas
- Food security, water security and/or energy security – ensuring a long term, sustainable supply of either food, water or energy
- Healthcare interventions – the assessment, improvement or promotion of human health
- Environmental protection – protection of the natural environment on land and water including the repair of damage
- Climate change – slowing climate change and adapting to what’s unavoidable
- Sustainable cities – building green, liveable cities that last
Deadline for applications: March 21, 2021 Read more: https://www.nature.com/collections/ccjnyjxvmp
IUSS Calendar ‘Soilutions’ available
IUSS considers stopping soil degradation as one of its most important tasks, and invited to propose ‘Soilutions’ in the form of a poster in order to preserve this unique resource and life itself.
The ideas and proposals should represent the role of the soil as an essential natural resource to preserve the environment. This is very relevant for reaching many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The contest was an initiative under the umbrella of the International Decade of Soils 2015-2024 which shall contribute to increase the awareness about the importance of soil.
Based on the best 12 posters a permanent calendar was produced, which can be downloaded here
In beginning of 2021 IUSS will make printed copies available for purchase.
Winners of the IUSS-FAO-GSP Children’s Book Contest on Soil Biodiversity
IUSS, FAO and GSP received over 100 books from 60 countries for the contest. Launched in the run-up to WSD2020, the book contest on soil biodiversity gave visibility to the importance of soil organisms and raised awareness on the urgency of protecting soil biodiversity.
In the framework of World Soil Day 2020 IUSS, FAO and GSP are pleased to announce the winners of the Children’s Book Contest on Soil Biodiversity.
Congratulations to the winners and finalists and a big thank you to all participants! Read more: https://www.iuss.org/international-decade-of-soils/iuss-goes-to-school/
Outcome of 2020 IUSS Presidential Election
Edoardo Antonio Costantino Costantini from Italy, current Secretary of the European Society for Soil Conservation, received a clear majority of the votes and was the successful candidate in this election. He will take up the position of President-Elect on 1st January, 2021. He will be the first Italian President in the history of IUSS and will celebrate with us the Centennial in Italy in 2024.
Let us congratulate him on this success!
IUSS was very pleased to have two strong candidates running for the position.
If you want to know more about both candidates, please click here https://www.iuss.org/about-the-iuss/iuss-presidential-election/.
IUBS Centenary Webinar Series
"Forgetting How to Tend the Soil” - Inaugural Lecture by Prof. Rattan Lal, IUSS Past President
2 Oct, 2020 | 1:00 PM GMT
We hope you are as excited as we are to learn how Prof. Lal and all sustainability experts continue to be inspired by Mahatma Gandhi and his thoughts about the importance of tending the soil.
This series commemorates the completion of 100 years of activities of the International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS) in promoting excellence in biological sciences. The lectures in this series will cover evolution, taxonomy, ecology, biodiversity, and other topics that represent unified biology and the topics of prime importance to address contemporary problems such as climate change, endangered species, food & nutrition, health etc.
Read more: http://www.iubs.org/events/conferences-supported/iubs-centenary-webinar-series.html
America’s Geoheritage II: Distinguished Speaker Webinar Series
The U.S. National Committee for the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) is presenting the America’s Geoheritage II: Identifying, Developing, and Preserving America's Natural Legacy Distinguished Speaker Webinar Series throughout fall 2020, many Tuesdays at 11:00 am EDT. These presentations will introduce the underlying rationale and concepts of the Geoheritage initiative, and the contributions that are being made by numerous stakeholders in the geoscience community. These presentations are free and open to everyone interested in using Geoheritage sites to promote research, education, public outreach, community planning, and geotourism. These presentations will set the stage for the virtual writing part of the workshop that will be convened the week of January 10, 2021 to further explore opportunities to develop and promote Geoheritage sites across the United States.
The inaugural September 8, 2020 webinar with Tim Badman (IUCN) and Patty Limerick (University of Colorado, Boulder) as our keynote speakers. For more details about this see flyer, and to register please visit: https://www.nationalacademies.org/event/09-08-2020/celebrating-americas-geoheritage.
For a complete list of webinar dates, topics, and speakers in the series and to register for each individual webinar, please see the flyer or visit https://www.nationalacademies.org/our-work/americas-geoheritage-ii-a-workshop.
Flyer September 8, 2020 webinar: September 8 Webinar Fall 2020 FINAL.pdf
Flyer webinar series: Webinar Series Flyer Fall 2020 - UPDATED.pdf
IUSS – FAO – GSP children’s book contest on Soil Biodiversity
In the framework of World Soil Day (WSD) 2020, FAO, IUSS and GSP launched a scientific children's book contest on Soil Biodiversity with the motto "Keep soil alive, protect soil biodiversity". FAO, IUSS and GSP invite all those interested in soil and biodiversity - soil scientists, researchers, professors, teachers, classrooms, individual students, soil practitioners, designers, photographers or experts from any professional background - to submit their freestyle book proposal by 10 November 2020. In the submission email, author(s) must fill out and submit the mandatory Registration form.
The winner will receive a cash prize of 1 000 USD, second and third prize will receive a cash prize of 500 USD and 250 USD respectively from IUSS and FAO’s GSP. The winners will be announced on World Soil Day, 5 December 2020.
Read more: https://www.iuss.org/media/iuss_gsp_contest..docx
Tenets of Regenerative Agriculture in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic
Quarterly Viewpoint from the desk of Rattan Lal, Past President, International Union of Soil Sciences
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the traditional food production and supply chains and aggravated the global problem of food and nutritional insecurity. The disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is an important cause for a paradigm shift and reemphasizes the need to focus on strengthening of local food production systems and enhancing their resilience against any future disruptions caused by political or natural perturbations. The global disruption in all aspects of the food supply chain has also enhanced the importance of using the practices of regenerative agriculture (RA), or the soil-centric approach to innovative farming. Therefore, basic tenets must be adhered to for enhancing the adoption and adaptation of RA under site-specific conditions to mitigate the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Read more: 2020_july_quarterly_viewpoint_iuss.pdf
IUSS Past President Rattan Lal will receive the 2020 World Food Prize
The IUSS is very proud that its current Past President Prof. Dr. Rattan Lal will receive the 2020 World Food Prize for developing and mainstreaming a soil-centric approach to increasing food production that restores and conserves natural resources and mitigates climate change. This prize is not only a global recognition for an extraordinary soil scientist, but also an important acknowledgement of the critical role that soil science plays in global food security.
Over his career spanning more than five decades and four continents, Prof. Dr. Lal has promoted innovative soil-saving techniques benefiting the livelihoods of more than 500 million smallholder farmers, improving the food and nutritional security of more than two billion people and saving hundreds of millions of hectares of natural tropical ecosystems. He serves as Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science and founding Director of the Carbon Management and Sequestration Center at The Ohio State University (OSU).
Read more: https://www.worldfoodprize.org/en/laureates/2020_lal/¸and https://phys.org/news/2020-06-ohio-state-university-soil-professor.html?fbclid=IwAR298RgD1cB_EObxORjEsGMrH4G5JiONi5jdNWQs80grtu6ILQWROr7G0CM
IUSS celebrates the 96th anniversary
On May 19th, 1924 was the official establishment of the International Society of Soil Science in Rome. Fighting for a better world implies striving for deeper knowledge.
Soil scientists are fully aware of this and their knowledge will be key for preventing the loss of fertile soil. This will be one of the hardest human challenges in the coming years.
IUSS invites our entire community to celebrate our 96th anniversary by fighting TO STOP SOIL DEGRADATION and by EDUCATEING CHILDREN TO ACHIEVE IT.
COVID-19: The World is One Family
Quarterly Viewpoint from the desk of Rattan Lal, Past President, International Union of Soil Sciences
The global tragedy of COVID-19 necessitates a paradigm shift in the thinking of the scientific community towards addressing future research and education priorities. The general education curricula, at all levels (from primary school to the college and graduate level), must be revisited to enhance focus on the “One Health” concept.
Read more: 2020_april_quarterly_viewpoint_iuss.pdf
IUSS Presidential Elections 2020 – call for nominations
The election of the next President of the IUSS is due this year. The appointment of the President represents a total of six years commitment to the Union by serving two years each as President-Elect (2021/22), President (2023/24) and Past-President (2025/26). The Standing Committee on Presidential Elections has defined the respective procedure and the guidelines. Nominations should be made by two accomplished, highly-respected senior soil scientists.
Full nomination documentation should be submitted electronically to Prof. Dr. Rainer Horn (Email: ) by June 1, 2020. A copy should also be sent to . Procedure and guidelines: http://www.iuss.org/media/president_election_full_info_2020.pdf
Call for Awards of IUSS WG International Soil Modeling Consortium
Rien van Genuchten Award
The biennial Rien van Genuchten Award is issued for outstanding contributions to the understanding of flow and transport processes in soils. It is dedicated to recognizing outstanding scientific achievements made by well-established researchers in the field of soil and vadose zone sciences. Granting merit to the scientific findings and breakthroughs in the soil and hydrological sciences by Rien van Genuchten, the award honors a senior/mid-career scientist with a certificate and a cash award of $2,000.
ISMC Early Career Award
Along with the Rien van Genuchten Award, the ISMC Early Career Award is issued. The ISMC Early Career Award is dedicated to recognizing outstanding scientific achievements made by early career researchers in the field of soil and vadose zone sciences. Both awards will be conferred during the 3rd ISMC Conference.
Further details can be found here: https://soil-modeling.org/ismc-conference/rien-van-genuchten-award/
Deadline for nomination is 15th May.
IUSS Distinguished Service Award for HE Mr. Aziz Akhannouch
The IUSS Distinguished Service Medal for 2018 was finally given to HE Mr. Aziz Akhannouch (Morocco) in the course of the second annual ministerial conference of the Initiative for the Adaptation of African Agriculture to climate change (AAA initiative) organized under the banner «Food Security Facing Climate Change» and hosted by the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (Morocco) on 4-5 November 2019. The African Ministers of Agriculture met there and took note of the prestigious award from IUSS. An article was published in French and Arabic language in a national newspaper. The AAA Initiative aims to contribute to food security in Africa, to improve the living conditions of vulnerable farmers and to promote the employment in rural areas by promoting adaptation practices to climate change, building the capacity of actors and channeling financial flows to the most vulnerable farmers. In recognition of the importance of the sustainable management of soils and increased sequestration of carbon to the soil, Morocco launched the AAA initiative. With this award IUSS recognizes that HE Mr. Aziz Akhannouch, one of the founders of the AAA initiative, translated knowledge of Soil Science into Policy and Governance as Minister for Agriculture, Maritime Fisheries, Rural Development and Water and Forests of the Kingdom of Morocco (2007– ); Chief Executive Officer and Chairman at Akwa Group SA; Chairman National Rally for Independents (2016– ); President of Souss-Massa-Draa Regional Council (2003-2007); Chairman Political Compass of RNI and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the AAA Foundation.
Thus far the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) has presented the Distinguished Service Medal to three prominent world citizens and policy makers. In 2012 the first medal was awarded to HRH the late King of Thailand Bhumibol Adulyadej in order to recognize His outstanding achievements in soil care and sustainable soil and land management. The second medal for 2016 was presented to HE Hon’ble Stéphan Le Foll for promoting soil science on the global agenda through COP21, and for pointing out that soil and agriculture present integral solutions to climate change and advancing food security by implementing the “4 per Thousand” programme. The third medal for 2017 was awarded to Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Klaus Töpfer who translated knowledge of soil science into policy and governance in his various functions at national and international level finally founding the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies which organised the Global Soil Week, a platform bringing together a diverse range of actors to initiate and strengthen policies and actions on sustainable soil management and responsible land governance since 2012.
Photo of award ceremony: HE Mr. Aziz Akhannouch (Minister for Agriculture, Maritime Fisheries, Rural Development and Water and Forests of the Kingdom of Morocco) and Prof. Dr. Rattan Lal (IUSS Past President), © Prof. Mohamed Ait Kadi, AAA Initiative.
AACS won King Bhumibol World Soil Day Award 2019
We are proud to inform you that the winner of the King Bhumibol World Soil Day Award 2019 is a member of the IUSS, the Costa Rican Soil Science Society (AACS, https://www.sueloscr.com/).
For more information about their activities please see:
This Prize is an annual award that honours individuals, communities, organizations and countries that organized remarkable and engaging World Soil Day activities or campaigns in the previous year. For more information see here:
The IUSS congratulates the AACS and the Latin American Soil Science Society!
1000 days until the World Congress of Soil Science in 2022 (WCSS22)
What is it?
The WCSS is a leading international soil science conference, held every 4 years in different countries and attended by over 3000 soil scientists from around the globe. The next Congress is being organised by the British Society of Soil Science on behalf of the International Union of Soil Sciences. The Congress theme, ‘Soil Science – crossing boundaries, changing society’ will focus on the link between soil and society, with sessions covering soil systems, soil processes, soil management and how we interact with and use soils around the world. There will be opportunities for specialist workshops and discussion sessions across a wide range of soil disciplines. The core programme is supported by tours and a cultural and arts programme for delegates and the wider public to explore our diverse environment and culture.
Where and when is it?
The Congress will take place at the award winning and world-class Scottish Event Campus, a riverside venue minutes from central Glasgow in Scotland, UK. The Congress is between 31st July - 5th August 2022.
Who should attend?
Research scientists, policy makers, regulators, NGOs and anyone who has an interest in the sustainable use of soils.
Why should I attend? At a time of global concern for our planet and its growing population, managing our soils sustainably has never been as important. 90% of our food comes from soil, as does all of our timber and other fibre. Soil, and the ecosystems it supports, have a huge role in mitigating against climate change, is a vast reservoir of biodiversity, plays a significant role in flood management and contains key evidence of past civilisations. Our understanding of the importance of these functions is developing rapidly and the Congress provides the ideal setting to discover the international state of the art in these critical global issues and an opportunity to connect across all who work with and rely on soils.
Results of IUSS Poster Contest ‘Soilutions’ to solve soil degradation problems
IUSS considers stopping soil degradation as one of its most important tasks, and invited to propose ‘Soilutions’ in the form of a poster in order to preserve this unique resource and life itself.
The ideas and proposals should represent the role of the soil as an essential natural resource to preserve the environment. This is very relevant for reaching many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The contest was an initiative under the umbrella of the International Decade of Soils 2015-2024 which shall contribute to increase the awareness about the importance of soil.
IUSS received 42 posters which were evaluated by a Committee. After the evaluation results were approved by the Executive Committee, the IUSS awarded Hernández Huerta Aldo Alfredo (Mexico) with 1,000 USD for the best ‘Soilutions’ poster and Richard Gantlett (United Kingdom) and the group of M.A. Samarasekara, A.G.S.D. De Silva and R. Thusyanthini (all Sri Lanka) with 500 USD each for the second and third best posters. The best 12 posters plus a cover poster shall be used to produce a ‘Soilutions’ calendar.
IUSS thanks all contestants and congratulates the winners!
- winner_soilutions_poster_contest_2019_min.pdf (915 kB)
Winning posters: Results of IUSS Poster Contest Soilutions to solve soil degradation problems
Presentation of the 35th Japan Prize to Rattan Lal
The prestigeous 35th Japan Prize in the category Biological Production, Ecology was presented to Rattan Lal, IUSS Past President 2019-2020on April 8 in the presence of the Emperor and the Empress of Japan.
The Japan Prize is awarded annually to scientists and engineers from around the world, who have made significant contributions to the advancement of science and technology, thereby furthering the cause of peace and prosperity of mankind. Each year two fields of scientific endeavor are honored. The Japan Prize laureates receive a certificate of merit and a prize medal. A cash prize of 50 million yen is also awarded for each prize field.
A video of the Presentation Ceremony and Banquet is available here:
Photos of the Presentation Ceremony at the National Theatre of Japan and the Banquet in Tokyo as well as following celebration events at the Japan Academy, the Ito International Research Center, the University of Tokyo, the U.S. Embassy and the Foundation Office of the Japan Prize can be looked at here:
Information about the Laureates of the Japan Prize can be found here:
Read more about the Japan Prize Foundation here: https://www.japanprize.jp/en/index.html
© The Japan Prize Foundation
Fellows from the Ohio State University and the Japanese Society of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition as well as IUSS officials, i.e. Rattan Lal, Kazuyuki Inubushi, Junata Yanai and Takashi Kosaki, Past President, past Chair of Division 2, current Vice-Chair of Commission 3.5 and President, respectively.
International Poster Contest ‘Soilutions’ to solve soil degradation problems
IUSS considers stopping soil degradation as one of its most important tasks, and invites you to propose in a poster your ‘Soilutions’ to address soil problems in order to preserve this unique resource and life. The ideas and proposals should represent the role of the soil as an essential natural resource to preserve the environment. IUSS will award 1,000 USD from the Stimulus Fund for the best ‘Soilutions’ poster and 500 USD each for the second and third best poster. The posters shall be submitted until June 15, 2019. The best 12 posters will be displayed on the IUSS website and a calendar shall be made using these posters.
Read more soilutions_poster_contest_2019.pdf
2019 Japan Prize Winner is Pioneer in No-Till Agriculture and Soil Carbon Sequestration
The Japan Prize is awarded annually to scientists and engineers from around the world who have made significant contributions to the advancement of science and technology, thereby furthering the cause of peace and prosperity of mankind.
Rattan Lal, IUSS Past President and Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, U.S.A. is being honoured for his work in identifying technological options adapted to various ecosystems through his intensive basic and applied research on processes and factors of soil degradation caused by inappropriate biological production, as well as in evaluating recommended agricultural practices which reduce risks of soil degradation and of anthropogenic climate change while improving the environmental quality and addressing the critical issues of feeding the earth's population, which is expected to reach 9.8 billion by 2050.
The Japan Prize recognizes original and outstanding achievements in science and technology and the winners receive cash award of 50 million Japanese yen (approximately $450,000 USD), a medal and certificate to recognize their achievements.
Read more: http://www.japanprize.jp/en/
Funding opportunities in the framework of COST Action SAGA
The Soil Science & Archaeo-Geophysics Alliance: going beyond prospection
This is a new international network project supported by COST Association that brings together archaeologists, geophysicists, soil scientists and other experts. SAGA will focus efforts to keep moving forward on developing field survey procedures, data interpretation and training opportunities. Please find more information about SAGA’s goals in the proposal that was published in RIO journal (doi: 10.3897/rio.4.e31648). Information about current SAGA participants and organisation can be found here.
- 1st Call for Short Term Scientific Missions (STSM): STSM facilitates researchers from COST Countries participating in COST Action SAGA to go to an institution, organisation or research centre in another participating COST Country to foster collaboration and to perform empirical research. Participation of “Early Career Investigators” (ECI) in STSM is particularly encouraged. An applicant can be considered as being an ECI when the time that has elapsed between the award date of the applicant’s PhD and the date of the applicant’s first involvement in COST Action SAGA does not exceed 8 years. PhD students are also eligible to partake in STSM. The deadline for applications is January 28, 2019. Click here to find out which countries are signatory of COST Action SAGA.
Read more https://www.iuss.org/media/1_first_stsm_call_gp1_cost_action_saga.pdf
- 1st Call for Applications for ITC Conference Grants: these grants are to support PhD students and Early Career Investigators (ECI) with a primary affiliation in an institution located in Inclusiveness Target Countries (ITC, see below) that want to attend a conference to present research related to SAGA’s topic. For this first call, the conference dates must take place before April 20, 2019. The deadline for applications is February 1, 2019. The following countries are considered ITC (in bold, ITC currently signatory of SAGA): Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Croatia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Republic of Serbia and Turkey.
Read more https://www.iuss.org/media/2_first_itc_conference_grant_gp1.pdf
Margaret Oliver Award for Early-Career Pedometricians Call for Nominations, 2019 award
The Pedometrics Commission of the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) makes a biennial award, which is intended to recognize up-and-coming talent in pedometrics. The award is named for Margaret Oliver, in recognition of her outstanding commitment to the promotion and encouragement of pedometricians in the early stages of their careers as well as her overall service to pedometrics. The award will be given at each biennial meeting of the Pedometrics Commission; the next award will be at Pedometrics 2019, Guelph, Ontario, Canada, 2–6 June 2019
Requirements and eligibility for the award of the Margaret Oliver award:
Nominees must have:
(1) received a PhD degree or equivalent no more than six years before the nomination deadline of 1st-February-2019; that is, the degree must have been awarded after 01-February-2013
(2) made high-quality contributions to pedometrics, as evidenced by published work, conference presentations, workshops, field guides, etc.
(3) at the time of the award be active in pedometrics and with a prospect of so continuing “Pedometrics” is broadly defined as the application of mathematics or statistics in soil science.
1) Nominations for the Margaret Oliver Award should be made by a colleague or colleagues who know the person’s work well — these do not have to be IUSS members or active in pedometrics. The proposer(s) should submit the following on behalf of their nominee:
(a) a supporting letter signed by the proposer(s) explaining why this nominee should be awarded the Margaret Oliver Award, with respect to the conditions outlined in the section “requirements and eligibility” above. The date of award of the nominee’s degree of PhD or equivalent should be clearly stated.
(b) a curriculum vitae of no more than six pages that gives one or more the following, always showing clear relevance to pedometrics:
i. publications (journal, book, popular…)
ii. positions held
iii. research undertaken
iv. education of others
v. teaching courses developed
vi. leadership and management of research projects
vii. service (broadly defined) to the pedometrics community.
2) Nominations should be sent before 01-February-2019 to the Chairman of the Pedometrics award committee: RM Lark at with the subject line “Oliver Award 2019”
3) The nominations will be evaluated by the award committee:
Murray Lark, University of Nottingham, U.K.
Sabine Grunwald, University of Florida, U.S.A.
Gerard Heuvelink, ISRIC World Soil Information and Wageningen University, The Netherlands
Yang Lin, Nanjing Normal University, Peoples’ Republic of China
Alessandro Samuel-Rosa, Federal University of Technology, Paraná, Brazil.
Uta Stockmann, CSIRO, Australia.
Best Paper in Pedometrics, 2018.
Nominations are invited for the best paper in pedometrics, 2018. The Pedometrics Commission awards committee will assess all nominations, along with their own, and prepare a shortlist for a public vote in advance of the Pedometrics 2019 meeting next June.
Papers must be:
i. Concerned with pedometrics, the application of statistical and mathematical methods to the study of the soil.
ii . Published in a peer-reviewed international journal.
iii. Published in 2018. This is the date that appears on the issue of the journal in which the paper is published, not the date on which it might be made available online.
Please send nominations before 1st February 2019 to the committee chair, R.M. Lark
Outcome of 2018 IUSS Presidential Election
Laura Bertha Reyes Sánchez from Mexico, current Secretary General of the Latin American Soil Science Society, received a clear majority of the votes and was the successful candidate in this election. She will take up the position of President-Elect on 1st January, 2019. She will be the first female President in the history of IUSS. IUSS was very pleased to have two strong candidates running for the position. If you want to know more about the candidates, please click here https://www.iuss.org/index.php?article_id=34
Maps of soil research institutions and universities offering soil science in Africa
Dr. Andrei Rozanov, Stellenbosch University, South Africa, provided maps of soil research institutions and universities offering soil science in Africa to IUSS. We are glad to share them with the soil science community.
There are two options to view the map files:
1. Install Google Earth Pro desktop on your PC form https://www.google.com/earth/
2. Use https://www.google.com/earth/ directly in Google Chrome browser. To read the KML file from Chrome: https://support.google.com/earth/answer/7365595?co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop&hl=en
You can download the two map files from the IUSS website here:
This map was compiled from the information available on-line. If you find that some of the information is incorrect (e.g. the exact location of the soil science department is incorrect, the department does not exist, the department exists, but does not appear on the map, the department is a research unit and does not offer a soil science degree programme, the link to the department website requires an update) please contact Dr. Andrei Rozanov, Stellenbosch University, South Africa by email: to make the necessary corrections.
Dear readers of the IUSS Alert,
Some of you may have noticed that you did not receive the IUSS Alert in June. The reason for this is that in line with the European General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 which came into force on May 25, 2018, the Alert could only be sent to people who had renewed their subscription.
Should you wish to continue receiving our monthly Alert, we invite you to subscribe now by clicking on this link: https://www.iuss.org/toolbox/iuss-alert-registration/
Alternatively, you can send an email to continue your subscription, confirming your name and email address, to .
We will never use your data for any other purpose than providing you with our monthly Alert. Nor will we give these data to third parties or countries.
Please note that you may revoke your consent at any time by sending an email to .
We would be very glad to keep counting you among our readers!
IUSS Global Soil Icon Contest - results
Soil is the essence of all terrestrial life, and critical to the delivery of major ecosystem services for human wellbeing and nature conservancy. Thus, IUSS launched a contest looking for an iconic symbol that represents major ecosystem services of soil, while being simple and easy to be comprehended by the general public.
The deadline for submissions was 15 March 2018, and a total of 22 interesting soil icons were received. Here, the IUSS Secretariat would like to thank all contestants for their stimulating submissions. The selection committee, comprised of members of the IUSS Executive Committee, decided to award 2,500 USD of the IUSS Stimulus fund to the winning soil icon created by Monique Lima de Oliveira and Alessandro Samuel-Rosa (Brazil).
The winning icon will be used during the International Decade of Soils (2015-2024), an initiative launched by the International Union of Soil Sciences to raise awareness of the key roles played by soils.
The best 12 icons out of all submitted icons will be displayed on the IUSS website (one per month).
Read more: https://www.iuss.org/media/samuel-rosa_alessandro_soil-icon_description.pdf
Richard Webster Medal 2018 — Call for nominations
You are encouraged — individually or as a group — to nominate candidates for the Richard Webster Medal of the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS), to be awarded at the 21st World Congress of Soil Science (WCSS) in Rio de Janeiro (Brasil) in August 2018 (https://www.21wcss.org/). This medal recognizes the person who has most advanced pedometrics in the period between the IUSS WCSS of 2014 and 2018, while also considering achievements prior to that period.
According to the IUSS, “Pedometrics” is defined as “the application of mathematical and statistical methods for the study of the distribution and genesis of soils”; see however an extended discussion of “what is pedometrics?” at http://pedometrics.org/?page_id=26.
Nominations should be sent before June 12, 2018 to the Chairman of the Pedometrics award committee.
Read more: http://www.iuss.org/media/webstercall2018.pdf
Election of Officers for IUSS Divisions and Commissions – results
Every four years the officers for the IUSS Divisions and Commissions are newly elected. Voting by IUSS Members was conducted electronically on a one vote per individual in each National Member Society basis. In line with the IUSS Bye-laws (version Oct. 2014) the national Soil Science Societies shall have organized the national voting of officers for Divisions and Commissions. The voting system for society members was closed 31 December 2017. The Presidents of the National Member Society were requested to send the results of elections to IUSS not later than 28 January 2018. Voting results from 35 societies with 127,148 individual votes were received. Elections were decided by a simple majority of votes cast.
The officers elected are listed in the attached document.
The term for these officers will start with the 21st WCSS in Rio.
List of officers elected:
IUSS Presidential Elections 2018 – call for nominations
The election of the next President of the IUSS is due this year.
The appointment of the President represents a total of six years commitment to the Union by serving two years each as President-Elect (2019/20), President (2021/22) and Past-President (2023/24).
The Standing Committee on Presidential Elections has defined the respective procedure and the guidelines.
Nominations should be made by two accomplished, highly-respected senior soil scientists.
Full Nomination documentation should be submitted electronically to Roger Swift (Email: ) by June 30, 2018.
A copy should also be sent to .
Procedure and guidelines
Invitation to contribute to IUSS book on Global Soil Proverbs
Every year on World Soil Day (5th Dec.) the IUSS publishes a book under the umbrella of the International Decade of Soils 2015 – 2024. So far three books have been published: http://www.iuss.org/index.php?article_id=667 . IUSS members may order the books at a reduced rate.
In 2018 IUSS intends to publish a book on Global Soil Proverbs. Therefore, the editors would like to invite you to contribute to this book. This would be a great opportunity to work together under the umbrella of the International Decade of Soils 2015 – 2024 and to reflect the variety of soil-related proverbs on the globe. It shall show that the term soil is very commonly used in everyday language and shall help to give this precious resource more visibility and attention.
The guideline for writing a contribution to this book can be downloaded here: http://www.iuss.org/media/global_soil_proverbs_book_chapter_writing_guideline_final.pdf
If you wish to contribute a chapter, please let us know by sending a Letter of Intent until March 31, 2018 to and in Cc to .
IUSS Stimulus Fund - Global Soil Icon Contest
Soil is the essence of all terrestrial life, and critical to the delivery of major ecosystem services for human well-being and nature conservation. Yet, the term “soil” does not arouse the much deserved excitement or the “wow” moment among the general public, civil societies, policy makers, and others. Thus, there is a strong need for a global icon that symbolizes the importance of soil as the elixir of terrestrial life, provider of food, moderator of climate, filter and reservoir of renewable water, habitat for germplasm, inspiration for aesthetical and spiritual activities, source of pharmaceuticals and other materials, archive of planetary and human history, among others. As an example of an icon, the WWF has been extremely successful in using the panda as an iconic symbol for species conservation. What iconic symbol can represent major ecosystem services of soil, while being simple and easy to be comprehended by the general public? Identifying and promoting such a symbol would be a great leap forward.
Thus, IUSS will award 2,500 USD from its Stimulus Fund for the best Soil Icon. The award winner shall transfer all copyrights as well as usage and exploitation rights to the IUSS. IUSS would like to invite all soil lovers, be they school children, students, designers, soil scientists or experts of any other profession, to submit their ideas for a Soil Icon. The winning icon will be used during the International Decade of Soils (2015-2024), an initiative launched by the International Union of Soil Sciences to raise awareness of the key roles played by soils in addressing the major resource, environmental, health and social problems humanity is currently facing.
Submissions should comprise a vector-based file with the icon and a short explanation of the idea and the author(s) behind (max. 2 pages). Please send your submissions to .
Deadline for submissions: 15 March 2018
The IUSS Stimulus Fund Committee shall evaluate all soil icon submissions and make recommendations to the Executive Committee. The final decision will be announced by the IUSS President or delegate within one month after the submission date given above. The results will be announced on the IUSS website. The winner will be informed in writing.
Please note: The best 12 icons out of all submitted icons will be displayed on the IUSS website (one per month).
2018 Guy Smith Medal Award – Call for Nominations
The call for the 2018 Guy Smith Medal Award is open now. The next award will be handed over during the 21st IUSS World Congress, to be held from 12-17 August, 2018 near Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
More info on the award: http://www.iuss.org/index.php?article_id=182
Download Call invitation
Deadline for submissions: March 31, 2018
CV’s of the nominees and a motivation letter should be sent to:
With copy to Maria Gerasimova:
And to Lucia Anjos:
21st World Congress of Soil Science – reminder on abstract submission
The 21st World Congress of Soil Science will take place in Rio de Janeiro, August 12 – 17, 2018.
Dedicated to the theme “Soil Science: Beyond food and fuel”, it will review the key role of soil science in answering some of the topical key questions regarding future food and water security, environmental protection and climate change mitigation.
You are kindly invited to submit an abstract of your scientific work very soon.
Abstract submission until January 31, 2018
Abstract acceptance after March 15, 2018
Early registration ends March 31, 2018
Regular registration until May 12, 2018
Read more: https://www.21wcss.org/
Download the congress information: http://www.iuss.org/media/21wcss_-_meeting_information.pdf
New book of IUSS published
As third book of the IUSS book series of the International Decade of Soils (2015-2024) the new book “The Nexus of Soils, Plants, Animals and Human Health” was presented at the World Soil Day Conference on Dec. 5 in Brussels. It is edited by Bal Ram Singh, Michael J. McLaughlin and Eric Brevik on behalf of the IUSS; Published as GeoEcology essay by Schweizerbart in November 2017. The 21 contributions in this book describe the role soils play for plant, animal and human health. They show that soil- and human health are intricately connected, because healthy soils produce healthy crops, which in turn nourish humans and animals, allowing for their health and productivity. The book summarizes the current state of research of these important issues and provides a comprehensive treatise of the global importance of soils for humankind.
Read more: http://www.iuss.org/index.php?article_id=677
New WRB homepage
The World Reference Base for Soil Resources (WRB) Working Group belongs to IUSS Division 1 (Soils in Space and Time), Commission 1.4. (Soil Classification). The WRB is an international soil classification system for naming soils and creating legends for soil maps. The task of the Working Group is to test and further develop the WRB.
The WRB Working Group has a strong relationship to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), where the WRB documents are published. The third edition, update 2015, is the currently valid WRB. At present, it is available in four languages (English, Spanish, Georgian and Polish) and can be downloaded from the new homepage. In addition, the new homepage has information about the WRB system, features a picture gallery and a history section.
Read more: http://www.soil-science.com/?id=wrb
Website for IUSS World Congress 2018 now online
The website for the 21st World Congress of Soil Science has gone online. The congress, which is arguably the most acclaimed meeting in the area of soil science, will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 12-17, 2018.
Registration and call for abstracts is open.