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Book: Future Developments in Soil Science Research
Published by: Soil Science Society of America

 

 

This chapter in FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS IN SOIL SCIENCE RESEARCH

  1.  p. i-xvi
     
    Future Developments in Soil Science Research

    Larry Boersma (ed.)

    ISBN: 978-0-89118-872-8

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doi:10.2136/1987.futuredevelopmentssoil.frontmatter

Front Matter

Foreword

At their annual meetings in Washington, DC, Nov. 17–20, 1936, the Soils Section of the American Society of Agronomy and the American Soil Survey Association decided to merge and form the Soil Science Society of America. Upon the union of these two organizations, SSSA Proceedings began t o be published. The Preface to Volume I notes that “it is hoped that this new publication will present each year a fairly complete picture of current American thought on all phases on soil science.”

Fifty volumes of the Proceedings have now been published. During these 50 years many changes have taken place in soil science, all recorded in those volumes. Many of the problems that were important 50 years ago remain today. It is instructive to read the papers in Volume I of the Proceedings with the knowledge and understanding of today. S. F. Thornton wrote the paper “Root Solubility of the Essential Elements i n the Soil as an Indication of Availability.” Today, the study of the rhizosphere is of great interest. Admittedly, 50 years after this paper was published, we still know little about the details of the physical and chemical processes at the interface between root surface and soil particles. Several papers deal with mechanical and mineralogical analysis of soils. It is only recently that methods of particle size analysis are being improved with new instrumentation. L. A. Richards and O. R. Neal wrote “Some Field Observations with Tensiometers,” and we must admit that we still have not developed the “ideal” device for the measurement of soil water potential or soil water content in the field. L. B. Baver wrote about “Soil characteristics influencing the movement and balance of soil moisture.”

During the past 50 years, we have obtained a better understanding of the complexity of the physics, chemistry, and microbiology of soil systems. Now, during this time of rapid changes in science, standing a t the threshold of the next 50 years in the life of our Society, we consider the important research needs for the future. Meeting speakers were asked t o address future developments in soil science research a t the Golden Anniversary meeting in December at New Orleans, LA. This publication is a record of these presentations.

It is clear that the future is forcing itself upon us with dramatic impact. The business of soil science is changing at a rapid rate. Experimental developments and equipment provide much of the impetus of renewed study of old problems. New insights are gained. The use of mathematical models, in particular, is forcing many changes.

Soil Science is now less discipline oriented that in the past. Fifty years ago, divisional groupings were clear and soil science was clearly the domain of soil scientists. Now divisional separations are more diffused, but at the same time, scientists from other disciplines enter the arena where soil scientists have functioned in the past. We must ask ourselves the following questions, “Will the study of solute transport through soils be implemented by engineers or by soil scientists?”, “Will it be the plant physiologist with training in mathematics who models the behavior of roots in soils and studies the interactions between the soil, the plant, and the atmosphere, or will it be the soil scientist?” , and “Will it be microbiologists who evaluate the application of genetically engineered organisms in soils, or will the scientists who lead these efforts come from our own ranks?” These questions are important for all of us to consider. The expectation is that the thoughts expressed in these papers may alert us to the future.

We thank the invited speakers for their efforts in focusing attention on future developments. Readers should carefully evaluate what they say in the limited time and space available to them. Much more could have been said. It is up to each individual member of the society to pick up the guantlet laid before them by these speakers and march with it.

Larry Boersma, President, 1987

Soil Science Society of America

Contributors

J. F. Adams, Soil Chemist, Department o f Agronomy and Soils, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama

Richard W. Arnold, Director, USDA-SCS, Soi 1 Survey Division, P.O. Box 2890, Washington, DC

Dale E. Baker, Professor of Soil Chemistry, The Pennsylvania State University, Department of Agronomy, University Park, Pennsylvania

Dale G. Blevins, Professor, University of Missouri - Columbia, Department of Agronomy, Columbia, Missouri

R. B. Brown, Associate Professor, Soil Science Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida

G. Brown, Department of Soil and Plant Nutrition, Rothamsted Experiment Station, Harpenden, Heretfordsh, England

R. B. Bryant, Assistant Professor, Cornell University, Department of Agronomy, Ithaca, New York

H.H. Cheng, Professor and Interim Chair, Department of Agronomy and Soils, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington

Neil W. Christensen, Associate Professor of Soil Science, Department of Soil Science, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon

D. W. Cole, Professor, College Forest Resources, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington

M. E. Collins, Associate Professor, Soil Science Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida

Richard B. Corey, Professor, Soil Science Department, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin

R. B. Daniels, Visiting Professor, University of North Carolina, Raleigh, North Carolina

J. B. Dixon, Professor of Soil Mineralogy, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas

T. A. Doerge, Extension Soils Specialist, Department of Soil and Water Science, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona

L. F. Elliott, Microbiologist, USDA-ARS, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington

D. E. Elrick, Professor, Department of Land Research Science, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Dennis D. Focht, Professor of Soil Microbiology, Department of Soil and Environmental Science, University of California, Riverside, California

R. F. Follett, Research Leader, USDA-ARS, Fort Collins, Colorado

J. E. Foss, Professor/Head, Department of Plant and Soil Science, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee

G. R. Foster, Hydraulic Engineer, USDA-ARS and Professor, Purdue University, West Latayexre, Indiana

J. K. Fredrickson, Microbiologist, Battelle Northwest Labs, Rich1 and, Washington

John C. Gordon, Dean and Professor, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut

D. R. Griffith, Research Agronomist, Agronomy Department, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana

D. L. Grunes, Soil Scientist, USDA-ARS, U.S. Plant, Soil and Nutrition Laboratory, Ithaca, New York

A. D. Halvorson, Soil Scientist, USDA-ARS, Akron, Colorado

R. Haverkamp, Senior Research Scientist, CNRS, Institut de Mecanique, St Nartin d' Heres Cedex, France

Daniel Hillel, Professor of Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts

Don Holt, Director, Illinois Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois

P. S. Homann, Professor of Forest Soils, Associate Dean, College of Forest Resources, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington

Pa Ho Hsu, Professor, Department of Soils and Crops, Rutgers University, New Grunswick, New Jersey

P. M. Huang, Professor of Soil Science, Department of Soil Science, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada

M. L. Jackson, The Franklin Hiram King Professor Emeritus, Department of Soil Science, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin

Clifford T. Johnston, Assistant Professor, Soil Science Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida

Sam Kincheloe, Director, Agronomy and Training Service, International Minerals and Chemical Corporation, Mundelein, Illinois

Betty Klepper, Supervisory Plant Physiologist, USDA-ARS, Columbia Plateau Conservation Research Center, Pendleton, Oregon

L. J. Lane, Hydrologist, USDA-ARS, Arid Land, Watershed Management, Research Unit, Tucson, Arizona

J. Letey, Professor of Soil Physics, Department of Soil and Environmental Sciences, University of California, Riverside, California

Philip F. Low, Professor of Soil Chemistry, Agronomy Department, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana

J. V. Mannering, Professor of Agronomy, Agronomy Department, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana

John G. McColl, Professor, Forest Soils, Department of Plant and Soil Biology, University of California, Berkeley, California

E. L. McCoy, Assistant Professor, Department of Agronomy, The Ohio State University, Wooster, Ohio

F. P. Miller, Chairman and Professor, Department of Agronomy, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio

Hugh G. Miller, Professor and Head of Department of Forestry, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, United Kingdom

M. M. Mortland, Professor, Department of Crop and Soil Science, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan

Ishwar P. Murarka, Program Manager, Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, California

L. S. Murphy, Great Plains Director, Potash & Phosphate Institute, Manhattan, Kansas

Gary D. Myers, President, The Fertilizer Institute, Washington, DC

L. A. Nelson, Professor, Institute of Statistics, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina

C. G. Olson, Research Geologist, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia

J.-Y. Parlange, Professor, Agricultural Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

S. D. Parsons, Professor, Agricultural Engineering Department, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana

J. F. Power, Research Leader, USDA-ARS, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska

Robert F. Powers, Principal Silviculturist, USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station, Redding, California

Dhanpat Rai, Staff Scientist, Geochemistry Section, Environmental Sciences Department, Battelle, Pacific Northwest Laboratories, Rich1 and, Washington

R. H. Rand, Professor, Cornell University, Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, Ithaca, New York

G. W. Rehm, Extension Specialist -- Soil Fertility, Soil Science Department, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota

L. Rendon, Professor, Cornell University, Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, Ithaca, New York

R. W. Rickman, Soil Scientist, USDA-ARS, Columbia Plateau Conservation Research Center, Pendleton, Oregon

J. T. Ritchie, Professor, Homer Nowlin Chair, Crop and Soil Science Department, Michigan Stat. University, East Lansing, Michigan

Andrew S. Rogowsk, Soil Scientist, USDA-ARS, University Park, Pennsylvania

E.M. Rutledge, Professor, Agronomy Department, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas

E. L. Schmidt, Professor, Department of Soil Science, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota

G. H. Schmitz, Research Associate, Technische Universitat, Munchen, West Germany

J. T. Sims, Assistant Professor, Department of Plant Science, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware

William H. Smith, Clifton R. Musser Professor of Forest Biology, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, New Haven, Connecticut

Donald L. Sparks, Associate Professor, Department of Plant Science, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware

Garrison Sposito, Professor, Department of Soil and Environmental Science, University of California, Riverside, California

F. J. Stevenson, Professor of Soil Biochemistry, Department of Agronomy, University of Illibnois, Urbana, Illinois

B. A. Stewart, Laboratory Director, USDA-ARS, Conservation and Production Research Laboratory, Bushland, Texas

Gerald G. Still, Director , USDA-ARS, PBA, Plant Gene Expression Center, Albany, California

E. L. Stone, Adjunct Professor, Department of Soil Science, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida

J. T. Touchton, Associate Professor, Agronomy and Soil Department, Auburn University, Auburn, A1abama

T. C. Tucker, Professor, Soil and Water Science Department, Tucson, Arizona

G. Uehara, Professor of Soil Science, Department of Agronomy and Soil Science, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii

Paul W. Unger, Soil Scientist , Conservation and Production Research Lab, Bushland, Texas

Robert L. Westerman, Professor of Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition, Agronomy Department, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma

P. J. Wierenga, Professor, Department o f Agronomy and Horticultue, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico

R. S. Yost, Associate Professor, Department of Agronomy and Soil Science, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii

 

Footnotes


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