International Union of Soil Sciences

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International Union of Soil Sciences
Abbreviation IUSS
Formation 1924
Region served
Official language
Rainer Horn
Parent organization
International Council for Science
Website IUSS Official website

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 group has 86 member National and Regional Societies, with about 55,000 scientists in several countries, and individual members in 57 further countries.[citation needed] Every four years, the IUSS holds the World Congress of Soil Science in various countries.

The Secretary General is Prof. Stephen Nortcliff of the University of Reading in the UK; Dr Alfred Hartemink is the Deputy Secretary General.


The purpose of the IUSS is to promote 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.


The IUSS organizes the World Congress of Soil Science on a four-year cycle. The IUSS has divisions and commissions in the following areas:

1. Division 1 - Soils in space and time[edit]

  • 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[edit]

  • 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[edit]

  • 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[edit]

  • 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 have grown from the original six commissions established in 1924. The IUSS is a founding partner of the International Year of Planet Earth and supports all of its activities. The IUSS has contributed to the International Year of Planet Earth’s brochure “Soil – earth’s living skin”, which has been translated into several languages.


World Congress of Soil Science and IUSS presidents [1]

Nr Congress Location President
21. 2018  Brazil
20. 2014 Jeju-do Island  South Korea 2014-2018 Rainer Horn  Germany
19. 2010 Brisbane, Queensland  Australia 2010-2014 J.E. Yang  South Korea
18. 2006 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania  United States 2006-2010 R.S. Swift  Australia
17. 2002 Bangkok  Thailand 2002-2006 D.L. Sparks  United States
16. 1998 Montpellier  France 1998-2002 S. Theerawong  Thailand
15. 1994 Acapulco  Mexico 1994-1998 A. Ruellan  France
14. 1990 Kyoto  Japan 1990-1994 A.A. Santelises  Mexico
13. 1986 Hamburg  West Germany 1986-1990 A. Tanaka  Japan
12. 1982 New Delhi  India 1982-1986 K.H. Hartge  West Germany
11. 1978 Alberta  Canada 1978-1982 J.S. Kanwar  India
10. 1974 Moscow  Soviet Union 1974-1978 C.F. Bentley  Canada
9. 1968 Adelaide  Australia 1968-1974 V.A. Kovda  Soviet Union
8. 1964 Bucharest  Romania 1964-1968 E.G. Hallsworth  Australia
7. 1960 Madison, Wisconsin  United States 1960-1964 N.C. Cernescu  Romania
6. 1956 Paris  France 1956-1960 R. Bradfield  United States
5. 1954 Kinshasa (Leopoldville) Democratic Republic of the Congo DR Congo 1954-1956 A. Oudin  France
4. 1950 Amsterdam  Netherlands 1950-1954 R. Tavernier  Belgium
x 1950 C.H. Edelman  Netherlands
3. 1935 Oxford  England
2. 1930 Leningrad  Soviet Union 1930-1935 J. Russell  United Kingdom
1. 1927 Washington DC  United States 1927-1930 K. Gedroiz  Soviet Union
x 1924-1927 J.G. Lipman  United States


  1. ^ IUSS Past Presidents. Retrieved 02/06/2015.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]