Reinhold Jahn (Germany)
Name: Reinhold Jahn
Position: Professor of Soil Science (since 1997)
Address: University of Halle, Institute of agricultural and nutritional sciences,D-06120 Halle (Saale), Germany
1. When did you decide to study soil science?
About 1980 by doing my diploma work about soil erosion in Nepal. There at first I realized the de-pendency of people from soil and how endangered soils are.
2. Who has been your most influential teacher?
My first teacher was Hans-Peter Blume. I learned to look if something is behind the obvious things. My second teacher was Karl Stahr. I could accompany him often times for field work and excursions. He taught me soil genesis, soil mineralogy, field work, soil classification and some others and I enjoyed his enthusiasm for soil science.
3. What do you find most exciting about soil science?
I am happy for having the chance to see soils in many different environments and there various occurrence and behavior. The complexity of soils and there linkages to so many needs of our life makes it challenging to work and to teach about.
4. How would you stimulate teenagers and young graduates to study soil science?
To go from the simple things to the more complex ones and to show how many things of our life are connected to soils. We should more work in schools and the public to show the practical impact of soil science.
5. How do you see the future of soil science?
I am a bit pessimistic. On the one side I am sure that the demand of knowledge about soils will increase. On the other side I see that the importance and increasing environmental problems (and avail-able money) have attracted other disciplines to deal with soils without understanding the soil itself. This is probably one reason why we are stumbling from one problem to the other. I hope I am not right and we are able to come more in the focus of the society.