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BISO Events Calendar

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Committees and
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Activities and Events 

Soils Workshop Report in Brief CoverSoils: The Foundation of Life Workshop Proceedings Now Available
On December 5, 2016--World Soils Day--the Soils: The Foundation of Life Workshop was held at the Keck Center of the National Academies. This 12-page workshop-in-brief highlights presentations and discussions on areas such as soil and national security, biodiversity, and the communication of soil science. The PDF is available for download free of charge on the National Academies Press page.

Additionally, organizers Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, Ronald Amundson, and Ester Sztein composed a July 2017 article about the workshop entitled "Healthy Soils for Healthy Societies" for EoS. It is available here.

Soil Science Society of America Receives ASAE Award for International Year of Soils
American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) presented the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) with a 2016 Gold Circle Award for its promotion of the International Year of Soils. The Gold Circle awards program highlights excellence in communication among associations and non-profit groups, and recognizes talent in several categories. The SSSA was recognized for achievement in Media/Public Relations/Advocacy.

Several past and present USNC/SS members and staff were involved with the planning and execution of the U.S. activities for the International Year of Soils coordinated by the SSSA. The IYS 2015 website serves as a repository for classroom resources, colorful infographics, social media tips, and an interactive blog.

USNC/IUSS Chair Donald Sparks Receives Coveted Clay Minerals Science Award
Donald Sparks, current chair of the U.S. National Committee for Soil Science and past president of the Soil Science Society of America and the International Union of Soil Sciences, is the 2016 winner of the Pioneer in Clay Science Award. Presented by the Clay Minerals Society (CMS) annually since 1987, this award recognizes achievements in clay mineral research. For more information on Dr. Sparks' career highlights and recent plenary lecture at the 2016 CMS meeting in Atlanta, read the full article in UDaily, the University of Delaware newspaper.

"Soil and human security" Author Featured on Radio Program
University of California Merced professor Asmeret Asefaw Berhe appeared on a July 22 radio program to discuss "Soil and human security in the 21st century." Berhe, who collaborated with five other soil scientists on the Science review paper, was a guest on Tom Willey's "Down on the Farm" on Fresno, CA station KFCF 88.1 FM. Listen to the complete interview here.

USNC/IUSS Members Publish Paper in Science Journal
Four members of the USNC on Soil Sciences have published “Soil and human security in the 21st century” in the May 8, 2015 edition of Science. Ronald Amundson (UC Berkeley), Asmeret Asefaw Berhe (UC Merced), Ester Sztein (BISO), and Donald Sparks (University of Delaware), in collaboration with Jan Hopmans (UC Davis) and Carolyn Olson (USDA), contend that human activity is responsible for soil erosion at an unprecedented rate. Understanding these challenges, they argue, is imperative for human survival and stability. Read the University of Delaware and University of California, Merced press releases, or read the full paper here.

Since its release, "Soil and human security in the 21st century" has been cited and reviewed by several publications of note, including:

A list of American and international press on the Science paper can be found here. The paper has also been cited in the October 2015 edition of the Journal of Applied Ecology, and on the Wikipedia page for "Peak Phosphorus."  As of January 29, 2017, the paper has been downloaded a total of 12,165 times from various platforms and the abstract read 41,994 times. In the 1.5 years that the review has been out, it has been cited 96 times (according to Google Scholar). 

2015 Declared the International Year of Soils 
In December 2013, the United Nations General Assembly designated December 5 as World Soil Day and declared 2015 as the International Year of Soils (IYS). The designations were made in recognition of sustainable soil management’s essential role in food security, hunger eradication, climate change adaptation, poverty reduction, and sustainable development. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations has been nominated to implement the IYS 2015, within the framework of the Global Soil Partnership and in collaboration with Governments and the secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification. More information can be found on the 2015 IYS website, and a comprehensive calendar for IYS events is available on the 2015 IYS events website.




Activities and Events
Resource Links
IUSS Webpage

February 15, 2014 AAAS Session: “Santa’s Revenge: The Impacts of Arctic Warming on the Mid-Latitudes”

December 12, 2013 AGU Session (PDF): “Science Diplomacy in the Geosciences”

February 15, 2013 AAAS Session: “U.S. Climate and Weather Extremes: Past, Present, and Future"

December 7, 2012 AGU Town Hall (PDF): “International Geoscience”

February 19, 2012 AAAS Session: “Causes and Effects of Relative Sea-Level Changes in the Northeast Pacific"

February 17, 2012 AAAS Session: “Toward Stabilization of Net Global Carbon Dioxide Levels"

February 20, 2011 AAAS Session: “The Practice of Science Diplomacy in the Earth Sciences”

February 19, 2010 AAAS Session: "Dust in the Earth System"

December 17, 2009 AGU Poster Sessions: “Extreme Natural Hazards: Risk Assessment, Forecasting, and Decision Support”

February 16, 2009 AAAS Session: "Global Sea Level Rise: Observation, Causes, and Prediction"

September 25, 2008 BISO Symposium (PDF): “Global Connections among Earth Sciences, Health, and Policy"

February 15, 2008 AAAS Session (PDF): "Planet Earth: Lessons Ignored, Lessons Learned”


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number ICER-1312037. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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