Update: 19.01.2018

Five tonnes of animal life can live in one hectare of soil.

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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.

IUSS Alert - 11 (March 2006)

Information for and from the global soil science community

18th World Congress of Soil Science

The 18th World Congress of Soil Science (WCSS), July 9-15, 2006, in Philadelphia, USA, is rapidly approaching. Over 2,800 abstracts have been submitted for the Congress. I hope to see all of you in Philadelphia for what promises to be not only a stimulating scientific meeting, but also socially and culturally enjoyable. This will be the first World Congress held in the USA since 1960.  I urge you to take advantage of early preregistration which ends May 1, 2006. After May 1 the registration fee will increase $100. More details will appear later on the various scientific and social activities at the Congress, but I wanted to alert you now about the excellent Opening Session at the 18th WCSS.

The opening session will be kicked off by one of America's most illustrious historical figures, Benjamin Franklin, the great inventor, publisher, politician, and diplomat, who is celebrating his 300th birthday. Other opening speakers will include Dr. Michael Clegg, the Foreign Secretary of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, who will recognize the 2006 World Food Prize Laureate who is a soil scientist, and Dr. Ed de Mulder, Past President of the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS), who will discuss the Year of Planet Earth (YPE) Initiative, which the UN recently approved for 2008. The IUSS is a founding partner of the YPE. Other invited speakers are U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Michael Johanns and Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Bruce Knight. The plenary address will be given by Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs, the noted economist at Columbia University and author of the acclaimed book, The End of Poverty. Professor Sachs is the Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia and serves as Special Advisor to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the Millennium Development Goals.

Don Sparks

President IUSS

Global soil science exposed

- Philippines

Soil scientists are active around the world. Some work in the lab, some in the field, some behind the computer screen and some in the lecture room;  some do all of that, some do more, some do more or less. In each IUSS Alert, we'll highlight the activities of a soil scientist somewhere on this globe - this month Dr Roland Buresh who is at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines who just launched a new website.

Rice is the staple food for billions, and rice receives one third of all fertilizer used in Asia. The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and partners across Asia developed site-specific nutrient management (SSNM) as a low-tech, plant-based approach for increasing yield, profit, and nutrient use efficiency in rice farming. SSNM enables rice farmers to optimally supply their crop with essential nutrients while sustaining soil fertility. A new SSNM website features the principles of improved N, P, and K management; tools such as the leaf color chart and nutrient omission plot technique; guidelines for major rice-growing areas; and training materials.

If you a have news that should be featured here, describe it in maximum 200 words (make it readable please), and include your affiliation, a picture of your work and the address of your webpage; send it to alfred.hartemink@wur.nl  Good for you, good for soil science!

New Newsletters of IUSSers

LOGO HP LOGO PEDOMETRIC Several of the IUSS Commissions and Working Groups produce regular Newsletters. Newsletters of the Pedometrics Commission and the Working Group on Hydropedology are now available on www.iuss.org section Newsletters. The Pedometrics Commission is also revamping its website www.pedometrics.org

The IUSS Bureau encourages website development and Newsletters of its commissions and Working Groups. In the future, we shall open up the IUSS website and make it more interactive allowing contributors to log in and to add and modify content.

Request from the Secretary General

1. Would all National Members return their election results within the next 7 days so that the final result may be compiled.

 2. Would National Members who have not already done so inform me ( iuss@rdg.ac.uk) of their representative at the Council Meetings in Philadelphia.

Deadlines and more deadlines

Contributions for IUSS bulletin 108 need to be send in before 31st March. Click here

for announcements, book reviews, meeting reports, soil science poetry, or articles of interest to the global soil science community. Nice drawings and comics are also welcome (provided they haven't been published elsewhere).

Several of you have been asked to write your ideas on the Future of Soil Science. Please submit it before the 31st March (here). All contributions will be published in a book published by the IUSS.

IUSS Alerts are e-mailed to more than 12,000 people in over 100 countries. If you have information to share please send it to alfred.hartemink@wur.nl

Please forward the IUSS Alerts to your friends and colleagues.