Yona Chen (Israel)
Address:Dept. of Soil and Water Sciences
Faculty of Agricultural,
Food Environmental Quality Sciences
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
P.O. Box 12
Position:1987 Full Professor, researcher and University teacher
1993 - 1997, Dean, Faculty of Agriculture
1. When did you decide to study soil science?
The second year of my studies in 1966
2. Who has been your most influential teacher?
Prof. Noam Lahav
3. What do you find most exciting about soil science?
Soil and water are the essence of life and health. The management of these two main resources is essential for the existence of mankind and any living organism on earth. Yet, soil and water are highly complex systems and therefore their management poses a multi-dimensional and multi-disciplinary challenge to soil and water scientists. This challenge attracted me to the profession.
4. How would you stimulate teenagers and young graduates to study soil science?
I would expose them to the essential functions of soil and water, the complexity of the system and to outstanding research on relevant topics. This exposure requires sophisticated lectures embedded with actual demonstrations.
5. How do you see the future of soil science?
Soil Science has to fully incorporate water sciences and deal with the following: (i) improved understanding of this complex porous medium; (ii) develop policies to protect soils against degradation; (iii) improve soil to ensure sustainable food production; (iv) develop remediation procedures for a wide array of presently common and future pollutants; (v) enhance carbon sequestration in soils; and (vi) develop procedures to reduce nitrogen loss to groundwater and the air.