Update: 12.02.2018

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.

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IUSS Alert 151 (January 2018)


21st World Congress of Soil Science – extension of submission deadline

The 21st World Congress of Soil Science (21WCSS) will take place in Rio de Janeiro, August 12 – 17, 2018. Dedicated to the theme “Soil Science: Beyond food and fuel”, it will review the key role of soil science in answering some of the topical key questions regarding future food and water security, environmental protection and climate change mitigation. So far, there are around 2,800 registered participants.

Abstract submission was extended until January 31, 2018. The rule is that each participant can submit only one abstract. There is no limit for the number of co-authors. Abstracts from invited speakers (Conferences, Interdivisional symposia) do not need approval and will be requested in time. The invited speakers can submit one regular abstract to one of the divisional symposia.

Other important dates:

Abstract acceptance after March 15, 2018
Early registration ends March 31, 2018
Regular registration until May 12, 2018

Read more: https://www.21wcss.org/

Download the congress information: http://iuss.boku.ac.at/files/21wcss_-_meeting_information.pdf

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National voting of Officers for IUSS Divisions and Commissions 2017 – very last reminder

Every four years the officers for the IUSS Divisions and Commissions are newly elected. Voting by IUSS Members is conducted electronically on a one vote per individual in each National Member Society basis. Elections will be decided by a simple majority of votes cast.

In line with the IUSS Bye-laws (version Oct. 2014) the national Soil Science Societies shall have organized the national voting of officers for Divisions and Commissions. The voting system for society members was closed 31 December 2017 at the latest. The Presidents of the National Member Society are kindly requested to send the results of elections to iuss@umweltbundesamt.at (Cc to rhorn@soils.uni-kiel.de) no later than 28 January 2018.

Read more: http://iuss.boku.ac.at/index.php?article_id=649

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EGU 2018 – Session under History, Education and Society of Soil Science

As already announced, the EGU General Assembly 2018 (EGU2018) will take place 08–13 Apr 2018 in Vienna, Austria.

IUSS is involved in the organisation of session SSS1.3/EOS5 Soil Science education, outreach and your favourite soil maps (co-organized). This session welcomes all perspectives on teaching soil science from school level to continuing professional development in non-academic settings. Contributions are welcomed that move away from concepts and methods for teaching soil science within traditional disciplines (chemistry, biology, physics) to those that use soil systems approaches. Innovative methods from the field, classroom and laboratory are welcome from anyone working with soil science education across varied settings. The conveners also welcome demonstrations of novel approaches for soil science outreach and public engagement that involve scientists and non-scientists. Examples that also measure the effectiveness of educational and outreach activities are especially welcome. This session is one of the IUSS activities under the umbrella of the International Decade of Soils 2015 – 2024.

Deadline for abstract submission was 10 January 2018. Finally 27 abstracts have been received including those from two other proposed sessions and IUSS would like to thank all authors for their contributions. Currently, this is the only confirmed session under SSS1 – History, Education and Society of Soil Science, taxonomy.

Read more: https://egu2018.eu/

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2018 Guy Smith Medal Award – Call for Nominations until March 31st 2018

The call for the 2018 Guy Smith Medal Award is open now. The next award will be handed over during the 21st IUSS World Congress, to be held from 12-17 August, 2018 near Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.

More info on the award: http://www.iuss.org/index.php?article_id=182

Deadline for submissions: March 31st 2018

CV’s of the nominees and a motivation letter should be sent to: seppe.deckers@kuleuven.be
With copy to Maria Gerasimova: maria.i.gerasimova@gmail.com
And to Lucia Anjos: lanjos@ufrrj.br

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Pedometron Issue #41

This latest newsletter from the Pedometrics Commission has an abundance of fabulous articles from world-class researchers, covering exciting conferences, the 25th Anniversary, a blast from the past, map validation, making the finest map of the world, and we show how soil is always number 1.

Read more: http://www.iuss.org/index.php?article_id=421

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ICSU Grant Project “TROP-ICSU”: Progress Report 2017 and outlook 2018

TROP-ICSU stands for Trans-disciplinary Research Oriented Pedagogy for Improving Climate Studies and Understanding. This project aims to use pedagogical interventions to acquaint students and the general public with climate science.

In 2017 the main task was to find the right simulator tool. The TROP ICSU consortium and in particular France Caron have collected and curated more than 100 simulators and sifted them through for the purpose of turning them into pedagogical tools. Examples can be found on the project website.
IUSS attended the kick-off meeting and has contributed to the search for the right pedagogical tools by calling on all IUSS members to report on pedagogical tools they know of and submitting these to the TROP-ICSU consortium.

In 2018 3-4 well-developed education tools with associated how-to-use text/video manuals will be selected. Next task is to get relevant information from schools and undergraduate teachers. A questionnaire has been prepared and will be translated into several languages.
IUSS will help TROP-ICSU with translating and distributing the online questionnaire among its members, proposing schools for pilot teaching courses and raising awareness on national and international level. IUSS will also propose relevant soil indicators for the simulator.

Read more: https://tropicsu.org/

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Ewart A. FitzPatrick (1926 -2018)

Dr. Ewart A. FitzPatrick has been internationally recognised for his great contributions to soil science, especially genesis, classification and micropedology. Throughout over 50 years of his scientific activity he published a large number of original papers and widely known textbooks on soil science, from which several were re-edited in English and translated in Spanish. His creative textbooks have greatly contributed to the possibilities that soil micromorphology can offer. Also his case studies, dealing with rock weathering, glacial and periglacial features in soils, soil morphology, as well as soil classification and genesis, brought important original contributions. Very recently he prepared brilliant tutorial CD-ROMS: “Interactive Soils” (1999), “Horizon Identification” (2003), “Soil Microscopy and Micromorphology” (2005).

Dr. FitzPatrick made great effort to provide with better understanding of phenomena occurring in the soil. He organised several international courses on soil micromorphology (Scotland, Argentina, UK, Italy) and he widely disseminated thorough knowledge on soil micromorphology by numerous seminars and lectures organised in 19 countries. The impact of Dr. E.A. FitzPatrick on soil research, teaching and service was based on his cordial and decent personality, always provoked enthusiasm for soil science in many students and colleagues. His achievements were awarded by the Silver Medal of the British Society of Soil Science, in 1996 by the Kubiëna Medal of the International Soil Science Society, and in 2006 the Philippe Duchaufour Medal (EGU), for his new and original insights in soil genesis, classification and micromorphology, which have had a great impact on the development of soil science.

By Prof. Rosa M. Poch

Herman Mücher (1935-2017)

We regret to inform you that Dr. Herman Mücher passed away on Saturday December 30th, in Valkenburg (The Netherlands). Herman Mücher was born on March 13th, 1935 in Heerlen (The Netherlands). From 1957 till 1967 he studied Physical Geography and Soil Science at the University of Amsterdam, where he also got his PhD degree in 1986. From 1964 till his retirement in 1997, he was respectively research assistant and senior lecturer at the same university. In addition to many short stays abroad, such as at the CSIRO in Australia, he worked at the Gadjah Mada University in Yogjakarta (Indonesia) (1976-1977) and at the National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land Use Planning in Nagpur (India) (1982-1984).

His main study topics were process micromorphology, palaeopedology and experimental geomorphology, all based on micromorphological research. He was author of more than 60 papers mainly in international journals and books, and participated in many international congresses, often as invited speaker. For his important contributions the micromorphology he was awarded in 2006 the Kubiëna Award of the IUSS. Herman Mücher was not only an excellent scientist, but moreover in the first place a warm and social person.

By Prof. Georges Stoops

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General News

International Science Council

The new merged organization – the International Science Council – will be launched at a founding General Assembly in Paris, France from 3 to 5 July 2018. Science magazine published the editorial “Blurring disciplinary boundaries” by Gordon McBean, and Alberto Martinelli on the new International Science Council website. Following the decision to merge in October 2017 at the Joint Meetings in Taipei, members of ISSC and ICSU will be asked to vote in an electronic General Assembly to finalize the legal implementation of the ICSU-ISSC Merger Agreement. This electronic General Assembly will be held 11-16 May 2018.

Read more: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/358/6366/975.full

[Source: IUGG Electronic Journal Volume 18 Number 1 (1 January 2018)]

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LUCAS Soil, the largest expandable soil dataset for Europe

LUCAS Soil represents the largest harmonized open-access dataset of topsoil properties available for the European Union. It was developed as an expandable resource, with the possibility to add new properties and sampling locations during successive sampling campaigns. Approximately 45,000 soil samples have been collected from two time-periods, 2009–2012 and 2015.

Data are available to the scientific community and decision makers, thus contributing to both research and the development of the land-focused policy agenda. A recent review describes the past LUCAS assessment, the current ongoing one (LUCAS 2015) and the proposed modules for the 2018 LUCAS topsoil survey. Finally, you can find information and statistics on how the LUCAS has been used to develop additional pan-European datasets and which are the main users:

Read more: https://esdac.jrc.ec.europa.eu/projects/lucas

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The Global Soil Organic Carbon Map (GSOCmap)

The Global Soil Partnership (GSP) and the Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils (ITPS) launched a global endeavor to develop the Global Soil Organic Carbon map (GSOCmap) using a country-driven approach as part of the Global Soil Information System (GLOSIS). GSP provided technical support and on-the-job training to most countries to produce national SOC maps according to standardized specifications. The Global Soil Organic Carbon map V1.0 is an important stepping stone to better know the current Soil Organic Carbon stock stored beneath our feet and soils’ potential for further sequestration. The data are also available as Geotiff.

Read more: http://www.fao.org/world-soil-day/global-soil-organic-carbon-map/en/

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Aapresid is distinguished as Soil Conservation Champion by FAO

This award is to acknowledge institutions’ trajectory and achievements in its role as “soil guardians”. The GLINKA World Soil Prize is granted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations- FAO whose slogan is “The care of the planet begins with the ground”. The President of the Argentine No till Farmers Association (Aapresid), Mr. Pedro Vigneau, participated in the World Soil Day ceremony held on December 5th in Rome.

“This recognition is to the Argentine farmers whose agriculture is 91% based on No Till”, said the President of Aapresid in his speech. “This positions the No Till system agriculture as a referent in soil conservation, so this sustainability diploma turns us into natural resources protectors who provide more opportunities for interaction, dialogue and joint work”, said Santiago Nocelli Pac, Manager of Aapresid Prospective Program, and added: “They do not reward us only for producing more, but for producing and conserving”.

Aapresid was born thirty years ago due to the interest of a group of farmers who worried about the soil erosion. They decided to build collaborative solutions by adopting the technology of conservation agriculture (No till or Zero Tillage) adapting their local machinery for that purpose, sharing experiences and researching with a strong spirit of disruption and innovation to carry out its mission of sustainability.

The Glinka World Soil Prize aims to maintain the momentum generated by the International Year of Soils in 2015. The name of the award is derived from Konstantin Glinka (1867-1927) who was a prominent Russian soil scientist. He was credited for contributing to understand the principles of the geographic distribution of the soil resources and for his extensive exploration activities, mapping and evaluation of vast areas of Siberia, the Far East and Central Asia, as well as for his important studies in mineralogy, chemistry and paleopedology.

[Source: Note from Aapresid by January 10, 2018]

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The Surprising Life Inside Frozen Soil

In many places across the U.S., winter soil is blanketed with frost and snow—a seemingly lifeless environment. Although the warmth of spring is still months away, beneath the surface is a different story. Matthew Wallenstein, associate professor of ecosystems science and sustainability at Colorado State University, says there is a wealth of activity as microbes exchange nutrients with soil and root systems even in frozen soils. He’s joined by Colleen Iversen, ecosystem ecologist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, to discuss the life that’s teeming in some of the world’s frostiest soils in the Arctic tundra.

Read more: https://www.sciencefriday.com/segments/the-surprising-life-inside-frozen-soil/

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First global atlas of the bacteria living in your dirt

What lives in your dirt? University of Colorado Boulder researchers are one step closer to finding out after compiling the first global atlas of soil bacterial communities and identifying a group of around 500 key species that are both common and abundant worldwide. The new study, which appears today in the journal Science, narrows down the immense diversity of soil-dwelling bacteria to a “most wanted” list that will guide future research into the study and manipulation of microorganisms that affect nutrient cycling, soil fertility and other important ecological functions.

Read more: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180118142728.htm

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13 Soil Scientists to Watch

Soil performs a variety of vital functions, including supporting plant and animal life and filtering contaminants from water and the air. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) asserts that “soils need to be recognized and valued not only for their productive capacities but also for their contribution to the maintenance of key ecosystem services.” Soil not only serves as the basis for food, feed, fuel, and fiber production, but is also central for the provision of clean water, nutrient cycling, and storing carbon.

Read more: https://foodtank.com/news/2017/12/sustainable-soil-scientists/

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Soils — New Open Access Journal

Soils (ISSN 2411-5126) is an international scientific open access journal on Soils published quarterly online by MDPI. The first issue has been released in December 2017.

  • Open Access – free for readers, free publication for well-prepared manuscripts submitted in 2018.
  • Rapid publication: manuscripts are peer-reviewed and a first decision provided to authors approximately 20 days after submission; acceptance to publication is undertaken in 4.8 days (median values for papers published in this journal in 2017).

Read more: http://www.mdpi.com/journal/soils

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Conferences, Meetings and Workshops

2018

Ag Biotech Summit 2018: Soil Health

20-21 February 2018, North Carolina Biotechnology Center, North Carolina, USA. The 2018 Ag Biotech Summit will focus on the importance of Soil Health, highlighting challenges being faced and the responsibility needed to provide a sustainable future. This event will showcase today’s emerging trends and innovative technologies that are fostering and promoting soil health. Session topics will include soil health and its impacts on plant production, animal and human health, sustainability and land management as well as sustainable economic impacts from physical and biological combinations.

Read more: https://www.ncbiotech.org/events/nc-ag-biotech-summit-2018

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GSOP18 – Global Symposium on Soil Pollution

2 – 4 May 2018. FAO headquarters, Rome, Italy
Deadline for abstract submission: February 15, 2018

Read more: http://fao.msgfocus.com/q/1m5FOwn5rICaX043ZqWo/wv

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10th International symposium on plant-soil interactions at low pH 2018 (10th PSILPH2018)

June 25-29, 2018, Palm Garden Hotel, IOI Resort City, Putrajaya, Malaysia

The Faculty of Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia in association with Malaysia Society of Soil Science (MSSS), Department of Agriculture of Malaysia and Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI), will be organizing the 10th International Symposium on Plant-Soil Interactions at Low pH (10th PSILPH). In line with the symposium theme “Achieving Sustainable Food Production on Acid Soils, the 10th PSILPH aims to gather researchers, scientists, experts and academicians in the field of soil science, plant physiology and others to share and discuss the latest research findings and thoughts on current status of agriculture production and practices; thus, ensuring food security and environmental sustainability.

Extended abstract submission deadline: 28 February 2018

Read more: http://www.psilph2018.com/

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SGEM 2018 – 18th International Multidisciplinary Scientific Conference on EARTH & GEOSCIENCES

30 June – 8 July, 2018, Albena Resort & Spa, Bulgaria.
Deadlines: 10 March – Abstract Submission, 10 April – Workshop Submission.

Read more: https://www.sgem.org/

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2019

5th international Rhizosphere conference – Rhizosphere 5

7 – 11 July 2019, Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada. The Department of Soil Science at the University of Saskatchewan – in conjunction with the Global Institute for Food Security – will be hosting the 5th international Rhizosphere conference. Registration will open later this year.

Read more: https://www.rhizo5.org/

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New publications

Landscape transformations in the context of soil development, land use, and climate

A comparison of marginal areas in Jordan, Mexico, and Germany

By Bernhard Lucke. Published in December 2017 by Borntraeger Science Publishers, Volume 26 in the series Relief Boden Palaeoklima, 199 pages, 70 figures, 14 tables, 17×24cm, ISBN 978-3-443-09026-5, price paperback 49.90 €.

The author compares soil development and sediments (soilscapes) in marginally productive areas of Jordan, Syria, Mexico, and Germany with the aim to conduct systematic comparisons of patterns at different scales. The idea of comparing research areas on three continents partly followed earlier investigations considering long-range teleconnections of past environmental changes in Jordan and Mexico. Soils in these countries were often considered degraded, but land use histories in the Americas differ significantly from the Fertile Crescent. In this context, climate variations can have identical detrimental impacts as intense land use. Volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, or cosmic impacts could play a role in climatic extremes and thus the deposition or erosion of sediments, and might represent a link of environmental changes on a global scale. The publication addresses researchers in geoarchaeology, soil science, soil geography, geomorphology, and environmental history. As it discusses the potential impact of climate change, it is also relevant to geologists, farmers and their research institutes, students and scholarly libraries.

Read more: http://schweizerbart.com/9783443090265

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Improving Crop Estimates by Integrating Multiple Data Sources

Edited by Mary Ellen Bock and Nancy J. Kirkendall. Published in 2017 by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, the National Academies Press, Washington, DC. 148 pages, ISBN: 978-0-309-46529-8, price paperback USD 65.00.

Improving Crop Estimates by Integrating Multiple Data Sources assesses county-level crop and cash rents estimates, and offers recommendations on methods for integrating data sources to provide more precise county-level estimates of acreage and yield for major crops and of cash rents by land use. This report considers technical issues involved in using the available data sources, such as methods for integrating the data, the assumptions underpinning the use of each source, the robustness of the resulting estimates, and the properties of desirable estimates of uncertainty.

Read more: https://www.nap.edu/catalog/24892/improving-crop-estimates-by-integrating-multiple-data-sources

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