Soil is one of the most complicated biological materials on our planet.

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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.

Golden Jubilee Congress of Soil Science Society of South Africa

The 24th Congress of the SSSSA was held from 20th-24th January 2003 in Stellenbosch, near Cape Town, South Africa. The Congress was in celebration of the 50th year of existence of the Soil Science Society of South Africa, and was marked by an introductory session on the opening day, looking at advances in various aspects of soil science in South Africa over the previous 25 years, as well as the challenges that lie ahead. This session was honoured by an opening address by past IUSS Secretary-General, Prof Winfried Blum. The next day saw the start of the Congress proper, with keynote speakers including Dr Berman Hudson and Prof Keith Whigham, both from USA. The Congress was held in conjunction with the South African Crop Production and Horticulture Societies, meaning that there were over 400 delegates, as well as six parallel sessions from which to choose, covering all aspects of soil and environmental science. The fact that these sessions were spread over three buildings on the campus of Stellenbosch University meant that some of the delegates who wanted to attend specific presentations left the Congress somewhat fitter than when they arrived! The Congress culminated in a gala dinner on the last evening, when the SSSSA Gold Medal was presented to the ARC-Institute for Soil, Climate and Water for the completion of the South African Land Type Survey, meaning that for the first time, South Africa has 1:250 000 digital coverage of the soil, terrain and macroclimate resources of this diverse, fascinating country. On the day following the Congress, a few intrepid pedologists from the WRB Working Group, along with some South African colleagues, gathered for a week-long field trip up the west coast of South Africa and into Namibia to look at some of the arid soils of this area. Despite the heat, and distances involved (Cape Town to Windhoek is 1500 km), the trip was fascinating and a great success.

Also at the Congress, the SSSSA elected its new Council for the next two years. They are:

President: Dr J F Eloff
Vice-President: Mr D G Paterson
Past-President: Prof L van Huyssteen
Secretary/Treasurer: Mr T E Dohse
Council Members: Prof R O Barnard, Dr J E Hoffmann, Dr L D van Rensburg,

Mrs H G Janse van Rensburg
The address of the SSSSA is :
SSSSA, P O Box 65217, Erasmusrand 0165, SOUTH AFRICA, Tel: ()27 12 310 2504 (Secretary); ()27 12 310 2502 (President)

Garry Paterson
Institute for Soil, Climate & Water
Private Bag X79, Pretoria 0001, SOUTH AFRICA