Update: 20.04.2018

There are over 100,000 different types of soil in the world.

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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.


Richard Webster Medal 2018 — Call for nominations

You are encouraged — individually or as a group — to nominate candidates for the Richard Webster Medal of the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS), to be awarded at the 21st World Congress of Soil Science (WCSS) in Rio de Janeiro (Brasil) in August 2018 (https://www.21wcss.org/). This medal recognizes the person who has most advanced pedometrics in the period between the IUSS WCSS of 2014 and 2018, while also considering achievements prior to that period.

According to the IUSS, “Pedometrics” is defined as “the application of mathematical and statistical methods for the study of the distribution and genesis of soils”; see however an extended discussion of “what is pedometrics?” at http://pedometrics.org/?page_id=26.

Nominations should be sent before June 12, 2018 to the Chairman of the Pedometrics award committee.

Read more: http://iuss.boku.ac.at/files/webstercall2018.pdf


Election of Officers for IUSS Divisions and Commissions – results

Every four years the officers for the IUSS Divisions and Commissions are newly elected. Voting by IUSS Members was conducted electronically on a one vote per individual in each National Member Society basis. 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. The Presidents of the National Member Society were requested to send the results of elections to IUSS not later than 28 January 2018. Voting results from 35 societies with 127,148 individual votes were received. Elections were decided by a simple majority of votes cast.

The officers elected are listed in the attached document.

The term for these officers will start with the 21st WCSS in Rio.

List of officers elected:


IUSS Divisions and Commissions results

Download   iuss_div_comm_officers_2018_final.pdf - 245 kB
Elected officers


IUSS Presidential Elections 2018 – call for nominations

The election of the next President of the IUSS is due this year.
The appointment of the President represents a total of six years commitment to the Union by serving two years each as President-Elect (2019/20), President (2021/22) and Past-President (2023/24).

The Standing Committee on Presidential Elections has defined the respective procedure and the guidelines.
Nominations should be made by two accomplished, highly-respected senior soil scientists.

Full Nomination documentation should be submitted electronically to Roger Swift (Email: r.swift@uq.edu.au) by June 30, 2018.
A copy should also be sent to iuss@umweltbundesamt.at.

Procedure and guidelines


Invitation to contribute to IUSS book on Global Soil Proverbs

Every year on World Soil Day (5th Dec.) the IUSS publishes a book under the umbrella of the International Decade of Soils 2015 – 2024. So far three books have been published: http://iuss.org/index.php?article_id=667 . IUSS members may order the books at a reduced rate.
In 2018 IUSS intends to publish a book on Global Soil Proverbs. Therefore, the editors would like to invite you to contribute to this book. This would be a great opportunity to work together under the umbrella of the International Decade of Soils 2015 – 2024 and to reflect the variety of soil-related proverbs on the globe. It shall show that the term soil is very commonly used in everyday language and shall help to give this precious resource more visibility and attention.

The guideline for writing a contribution to this book can be downloaded here: http://iuss.boku.ac.at/files/global_soil_proverbs_book_chapter_writing_guideline_final.pdf

If you wish to contribute a chapter, please let us know by sending a Letter of Intent until March 31, 2018 to yangjay@kangwon.ac.kr and in Cc to iuss@umweltbundesamt.at.


IUSS Stimulus Fund - Global Soil Icon Contest

Soil is the essence of all terrestrial life, and critical to the delivery of major ecosystem services for human well-being and nature conservation. Yet, the term “soil” does not arouse the much deserved excitement or the “wow” moment among the general public, civil societies, policy makers, and others. Thus, there is a strong need for a global icon that symbolizes the importance of soil as the elixir of terrestrial life, provider of food, moderator of climate, filter and reservoir of renewable water, habitat for germplasm, inspiration for aesthetical and spiritual activities, source of pharmaceuticals and other materials, archive of planetary and human history, among others. As an example of an icon, the WWF has been extremely successful in using the panda as an iconic symbol for species conservation. What iconic symbol can represent major ecosystem services of soil, while being simple and easy to be comprehended by the general public? Identifying and promoting such a symbol would be a great leap forward.

Thus, IUSS will award 2,500 USD from its Stimulus Fund for the best Soil Icon. The award winner shall transfer all copyrights as well as usage and exploitation rights to the IUSS. IUSS would like to invite all soil lovers, be they school children, students, designers, soil scientists or experts of any other profession, to submit their ideas for a Soil Icon. The winning icon will be used during the International Decade of Soils (2015-2024), an initiative launched by the International Union of Soil Sciences to raise awareness of the key roles played by soils in addressing the major resource, environmental, health and social problems humanity is currently facing.

Submissions should comprise a vector-based file with the icon and a short explanation of the idea and the author(s) behind (max. 2 pages). Please send your submissions to iuss@umweltbundesamt.at.

Deadline for submissions: 15 March 2018

The IUSS Stimulus Fund Committee shall evaluate all soil icon submissions and make recommendations to the Executive Committee. The final decision will be announced by the IUSS President or delegate within one month after the submission date given above. The results will be announced on the IUSS website. The winner will be informed in writing.

Please note: The best 12 icons out of all submitted icons will be displayed on the IUSS website (one per month).


2018 Guy Smith Medal Award – Call for Nominations

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
Download Call invitation

Deadline for submissions: March 31, 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


21st World Congress of Soil Science – reminder on abstract submission

The 21st World Congress of Soil Science 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.
You are kindly invited to submit an abstract of your scientific work very soon.
Important dates:
Abstract submission until January 31, 2018
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


New book of IUSS published

The 21 contributions in this book describe the role soils play for plant, animal and human health. They show that soil- and human health are intricately connected, because healthy soils produce healthy crops, which in turn nourish humans and animals, allowing for their health and productivity.

As third book of the IUSS book series of the International Decade of Soils (2015-2024) the new book “The Nexus of Soils, Plants, Animals and Human Health” was presented at the World Soil Day Conference on Dec. 5 in Brussels. It is edited by Bal Ram Singh, Michael J. McLaughlin and Eric Brevik on behalf of the IUSS; Published as GeoEcology essay by Schweizerbart in November 2017. The 21 contributions in this book describe the role soils play for plant, animal and human health. They show that soil- and human health are intricately connected, because healthy soils produce healthy crops, which in turn nourish humans and animals, allowing for their health and productivity. The book summarizes the current state of research of these important issues and provides a comprehensive treatise of the global importance of soils for humankind.

Read more: http://iuss.boku.ac.at/index.php?article_id=677


New WRB homepage

Chernozem Russia

The World Reference Base for Soil Resources (WRB) Working Group belongs to IUSS Division 1 (Soils in Space and Time), Commission 1.4. (Soil Classification). The WRB is an international soil classification system for naming soils and creating legends for soil maps. The task of the Working Group is to test and further develop the WRB.

The WRB Working Group has a strong relationship to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), where the WRB documents are published. The third edition, update 2015, is the currently valid WRB. At present, it is available in four languages (English, Spanish, Georgian and Polish) and can be downloaded from the new homepage. In addition, the new homepage has information about the WRB system, features a picture gallery and a history section.

Read more: http://www.soil-science.com/?id=wrb


Website for IUSS World Congress 2018 now online

The website for the 21st World Congress of Soil Science has gone online. The congress, which is arguably the most acclaimed meeting in the area of soil science, will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 12-17, 2018.
Registration and call for abstracts is open.
Read more

Announcement for the 21st World Congress of Soil Science Rio 2018

21st World Congress of Soil Science Rio 2018