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Book: Future Prospects for Soil Chemistry
Published by: Soil Science Society of America

 

 

This chapter in FUTURE PROSPECTS FOR SOIL CHEMISTRY

  1.  p. i-xix
    sssa special publication 55.
    Future Prospects for Soil Chemistry

    P.M. Huang, D.L. Sparks and S.A. Boyd (ed.)

    ISBN: 978-0-89118-950-3

    OPEN ACCESS
     
    Published: 1998


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doi:10.2136/sssaspecpub55.frontmatter

Front Matter

Foreword

Soil chemistry, as a subdiscipline of soil science, dates back to the classic ion exchange studies of H.S. Thompson and J. Thomas Way, in the 1850s. Thompson and Way's studies initiated more than 120 years of important research on macroscopic, equilibrium aspects of soil chemical reactions and processes including ion exchange, soil acidity and salinity, sorption, redox and precipitation-dissolution phenomena. These studies primarily focused on the chemistry of plant nutrients and involved the past giants of soil chemistry: Bradfield, Kelley, Mattson, Jenny, Coleman, Low, Rich, Babcock, Marshall, and Peech, to name a few.

In the 1970s the environmental quality of soils and waters became a major leitmotif in soil chemistry. Studies ensued on the chemical interactions of trace elements, radionuclides, plant nutrients, and organic chemicals in soils, sludges, and soil components. It soon became evident that in addition to understanding equilibrium processes, one must determine the kinetics and mechanisms of soil chemical reactions.

In the past two decades, major advances have occurred in soil chemistry by employing: state-of-the-art molecular scale spectroscopic-microscopic techniques that often enable one to study soil chemical processes in situ; kinetic techniques that provide information on reaction rates over time scales of milliseconds to years; and, advances in computational chemistry. Many unanswered questions remain, and arguably, the above techniques, and yet to be discovered advances, will be employed in the next millennium to help unlock the remaining mysteries of soil chemical phenomena. Such research, which is discussed in this book, is imperative to preserving our planet, feeding the world's rapidly rising population, and enhancing the quality of life for humankind.

This excellent treatise, which contains contributions from leading soil chemists, discusses past and present research achievements, but focuses on future research needs and innovations. Other important topics that are discussed include trends in graduate education and training, interdisciplinary research and funding opportunities in environmental soil chemistry, and interactions of soil chemists with colleagues in the physical and life sciences. This special publication will wisely serve scientists, students, policy makers, and funding agency personnel for years to come.

Gary W. Petersen

SSSA President

Preface

An impressive amount of progress has been made in soil chemistry research and education over the years. It is time to look back, to review current progress, and to identify future directions in this increasingly important area of Soil Science.

The U.S. National Academy of Sciences has recently created a new section named Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences under Division 6 titled Applied Biology and Agricultural Science. This is the first time that Soil Science has been recognized by the Academy by listing in a name of a Section. The U.S. National Science Foundation is working on several research initiatives that will provide more opportunity to soil chemists. Dr. M.A. Cavanaugh, Program Director of the Chemistry Division, and Dr. M. Cameron, then of the Division of Earth Sciences of the National Science Foundation, accepted the invitation from SSSA Division S-2 to jointly present a paper entitled “Environmental Research at the National Science Foundation: New Opportunities for Soil Chemists” in the Symposium “Whither Soil Chemistry” at the 1995 ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meetings in St. Louis, MO. Funding is indeed the key to the development of innovations in soil chemistry research, education, and placement and the impacts on the wellbeing of humankind. The International Society of Soil Science has recently become a member of the International Council of Scientific Unions. This is a very significant recognition of Soil Science in the international scientific community. Dr. W.E.H. Blum, Secretary-General, International Society of Soil Science is the senior author of a key paper entitled “Role of Soil Science in the International Council of Scientific Unions: Soil Chemistry” in the above-noted Symposium. The structure of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) was changed in 1995. The “Division of Chemistry and the Environment,” which is subdivided into six Commissions, was newly founded in IUPAC; the “Commission of Fundamental Environmental Chemistry” and the “Commission of Soil and Water Chemistry” are of special interest for Soil Chemists. In view of the past achievements and current developments of Soil Science, it is indeed timely to address the issue of the future prospects of soil chemistry development.

The symposium “Whither Soil Chemistry” was sponsored by Division S-2 Soil Chemistry of SSSA and cosponsored by Working Group MO Interactions of Soil Minerals with Organic Components and Microorganisms of the International Society of Soil Science, and Division S-3 Soil Biology and Biochemistry, Division S-4 Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition, Division S-9 Soil Mineralogy, and Division S-11 Soil and Environmental Quality of SSSA. The SSSA Executive Committee approved the proposed special publication and appointed the Editorial Committee on 16 June 1995. The objective of this special publication is to address the issue of future prospects of soil chemistry development in terms of (i) fundamentals, (ii) innovations in organization, funding, education, and placement, and (iii) impacts on global scientific community and humankind. It is hoped that this publication will: (i) provide new information on the prospects of soil chemistry development pertaining to research funding, education, placement, and the impacts on humankind, (ii) foster communications on scientific developments of soil chemists to potential users of soil science information in other scientific disciplines, and (iii) promote the soil science profession on a global scale.

P.M. Huang, Editor

D.L. Sparks, Co-editor

S.A. Boyd, Co-editor

Affiliation of Editor and Co-Editors

P.M. Huang Editor, Department of Soil Science, University of Saskatchewan, 51 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, SK Canada S7N 5A8 D.L. Sparks Co-editor, Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware 19717-1303 S.A. Boyd Co-editor, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824

Affiliation of Members of the Organizing Committee

P.M. Huang Chair, Department of Soil Science, University of Saskatchewan, 51 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, SK Canada S7N 5A8 A.L. Page Department of Environmental Sciences, University of California, 2208 Geology Building, Riverside, CA 92521-0424 P.S.c. Rao Soil and Water Science Department, University of Florida, 2169 McCarty Hall, P.O. Box 110290, Gainesville, FL 32611-0290 M. Schnitzer Eastern Cereal and Oilseed Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Central Experimental Farm, Ottawa, ON Canada K1A OC6\ L.M. Shuman Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, University of Georgia, Georgia Station, Griffin, GA 30223-1797

Contributors

Stanley A. Barber, John B. Peterson Distinguished Professor of Agronomy Emeritus, Department of Agronomy, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-1150

Paul M. Bertsch, Director, Advanced Analytical Center for Environmental Sciences, and Professor, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, University of Georgia, Drawer E, Aiken, SC 29802

Paul R. Bloom, Professor of Soil Science, Department of Soil, Water and Climate, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108

Winfried E.H. Blum, Professor of Soil Science, Institut für Bodenforschung, Universität für Bodenkultur, Vienna, Austria

Maryellen Cameron, Executive Officer, Office of Polar Programs, National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA 22230

K.M. Catlett, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523

Margaret A. Cavanaugh, Program Director, Division of Chemistry, National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA 22230

S.B. Feldman, American Colloid Co., 1500 W. Shore Dr., Arlington Heights, IL 60004

P.M. Huang, Professor of Soil Science, Department of Soil Science, University of Saskatchewan, 51 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, SK, Canada S7N 5A8

Douglas B. Hunter, Chemical Spectroscopist, Advanced Analytical Center for Environmental Sciences, Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, University of Georgia, Drawer E, Aiken, SC 29802

W.L. Lindsay, Emeritus University Distinguished Professor, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523

Terry J. Logan, Professor of Soil Science, School of Natural Resources, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210

P.F. Low, Professor Emeritus of Soil Chemistry, Department of Agronomy, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-1150 (deceased)

Wayne P. Robarge, Senior Researcher, Department of Soil Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695

Morris Schnitzer, Emeritus Distinguished Research Scientist, Eastern Cereal and Oilseed Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1A OC6

H.-R. Schulten, Professor, Institute for Soil Science, University of Rostock, Rostock, Germany

Donald L. Sparks, Distinguished Professor of Soil Chemistry, Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19717-1303

M.E. Sumner, Regents' Professor of Environmental Soil Science, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602-7272

Brian J. Teppen, Assistant Professor, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1325

L.W. Zelazny, Thomas B. Hutcheson Jr. Eminent Scholar, Department of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061

 

Footnotes


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