Soil stores 10% of the world's carbon dioxide emissions.

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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.

Annual Meeting of the AOAC INTERNATIONAL PNW, Tacoma, USA

The 27th Annual Meeting of the AOAC INTERNATIONAL Pacific Northwest Section was held at the University of Puget Sound (UPS) in Tacoma, Washington, USA on June 20-21, 2007 under the leadership of Carlos Abeyta, Jr. of the Food and Drug Administration, Bothell, Washington. Founded in 1888, UPS is a national liberal arts and sciences college. It is located in the charming residential area in historic North Tacoma. Its beautiful campus, ivy-wrapped brick buildings, spacious lawns, and elegant fountains provide an ideal setting for such events. We have held our Annual Meetings here since 1998. In the past, the meetings were held on Thursday and Friday. This year the new feature was that the meeting was held on Wednesday and Thursday. The diverse program was of interest to analytical communities, regulators, researchers, and industry members. The theme of the meeting was The Use of Biotechnology/Diagnostic Kits in the Laboratory and Epidemiological Investigations. In addition to the keynote addresses, papers were presented in the following seminars: Soil and Environmental Chemistry, Pesticide Residues, QA issues for the Chemistry Laboratory, Diagnostic Kits, Microbiology, and Amino Acid Analysis. The Soil and Environmental Chemistry seminars, that I coordinated, included following presentations: Pipetting, Ergonomics, and You (Richard Altomare, Rainin Instrument, Woburn, MA), Useful QC Tools for the Soil Lab (Ed Paski, Analytical Innovations, North Vancouver, BC), Novel Focused Semi-Open Microwave Instrument for Organic Solvent Extraction Studies (Bob Lockerman and Michael Howe, CEM Corporation, Matthews, NC), Arsenic Speciation: Made Simple and Easy for the Common Laboratory (Marshall Pattee, Elemental Consulting, North Plains, OR), and Challenges and Opportunities in Soil and Plant Analysis (Yash P. Kalra, Canadian Forest Service, Edmonton, AB).

The following companies participated in the Vendor Expo (an exhibition of scientific equipment, supplies and services) on June 20: Agilent Technologies, Applied Biosystems, Cetac Technologies, Dionex, Extech, Fisher Scientific, Hitachi High Tech, J2 Scientific, Perkin Elmer, Stategic Diagnostics, TRS Scientific Glass and Varian.

The next Annual Meeting will be held on June 18-19, 2008. Further information will be available on our website ( The 2007-2008 Executive Committee consists of Yash P. Kalra (Chair), Jim Hungerford (Chair Elect), Carlos Abeyta, Jr. (Past Chair), Mike Grant and Fred Krick (Treasures), and Nancy Hill (Secretary). The Pacific Northwest Section is committed to serve as a primary resource for timely knowledge exchange, networking, and high-quality laboratory information for the Northwest scientists.

The AOAC INTERNATIONAL is a worldwide facilitator in the validation of analytical methods. It also serves as a primary resource for knowledge exchange among its members. It provides publications (such as the Official Methods of Analysis of AOAC INTERNATIONAL, OMA), hosts technical meetings and conferences, and offers training courses in areas such as laboratory management, quality assurance, accreditation, statistics, and measurement uncertainty. It was founded in Philadelphia in1884 as the Association of Official Agricultural Chemists. In 1965, to recognize the expansion of its scope of interest beyond agricultural topics, the name was changed to the Association of Official Analytical Chemists. In 1991, it became the AOAC INTERNATIONAL, reflecting the expanding international membership and its focus as the “Association of Analytical Communities”. AOAC’s first Sections were established in North America, beginning with the Pacific Northwest Section in 1981. The Sections program expanded internationally with the founding of the Europe Section in 1989. The Pacific Northwest Section includes four states in USA (Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington) and two provinces in Canada (Alberta and British Columbia). Worldwide confidence in analytical results is AOAC’s vision. Further information on the Association is available from: AOAC INTERNATIONAL, 481 North Frederick Avenue, Suite 500, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877-2417, USA; Telephone: (301) 924-7077 or (800) 379-2622 (toll-free from North America); Fax: (301) 924-7089; Email: .

Yash P. Kalra
Canadian Forest Service
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada