International Union of Soil Sciences
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The International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) founded in 1924, is a Scientific Union member of the International Council for Science (ICSU), which it recognizes as the coordinating body for the international organization of science.
The purpose of the IUSS is to "foster all branches of soil science and its applications, to promote contacts among scientists and other persons engaged in the study and the application of soil science; to stimulate scientific research and to further the application of such research, for the benefit of mankind."
The IUSS has as members about 86 National and Regional Societies, with about 55,000 scientists all over the world, and individual members in about 57 further countries. Every four years, the IUSS holds the World Congress of Soil Science at various locations around the world.
The Secretary General is Prof. Stephen Nortcliff of the University of Reading in the UK; Dr Alfred Hartemink is the Deputy Secretary General and maintains the IUSS Website.
The IUSS organizes the World Congress of Soil Science on four-year cycle. The IUSS has divisions and commissions in the following areas:
1. Division 1 - Soils in space and time. C1.1 Soil morphology and micromorphology. C1.2 Soil geography. C1.3 Soil genesis. C1.4 Soil classification. C1.5 Pedometrics. C1.6 Paleopedology.
2.Division 2 - Soil properties and processes. C2.1 Soil physics. C2.2 Soil chemistry. C2.3 Soil biology. C2.4 Soil mineralogy. C2.5 Soil interfacial reactions.
3. Division 3 - Soil use and management. C3.1 Soil evaluation and land use planning. C3.2 Soil and water conservation. C3.3 Soil fertility and plant nutrition. C3.4 Soil engineering and technology. C3.5 Soil degradation control, remediation, and reclamation.
4. Division 4 - The role of soil in sustaining society and the environment. C4.1 Soil and the environment. C4.2 Soil, food security, and human health. C4.3 Soil and land use change. C4.4 Soil education and public awareness. C4.5 History, philosophy, and sociology of soil science.
This structure and the commissions serve to illustrate the changes and expansion of the subject matter of soil science from the original six commissions established in 1924. The subject matter of soil science has grown increasingly multidisciplinary and many soil scientists have strong links with scientists in other scientific unions.
The IUSS is founding partner of the International Year of Planet Earth and strongly supports all of its activities. The IUSS has contributed to the brochure International Year of Planet Earth’s brochure “Soil – earth’s living skin”, that has been translated in several languages and is widely distributed. Through the activities of the International Year of Planet Earth activities the IUSS will promote soil science in the wider arena of the earth sciences.