Through the pioneering leadership of Dr. Guy D. Smith, a comprehensive system of soil classification now known as the U.S. system of soil taxonomy, exists and continues to develop throughout the world. He recognized that the task of developing such a classification system required the cooperation of soil scientists everywhere, and through his unstinted effort, often challenged harsh and undeserved criticism, an intellectual framework and foundation for a greater understanding of the tenets of soil formation, classification, and management are a reality.
Although this volume stems from a symposium of the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) convened at an annual meeting held in Anaheim, Calif. in 1982 in honor of the accomplishments of Dr. Smith, its primary thrust is to look into the future. The authors of each of the seven chapters, cognizant of Dr. Smith's monumental achievements of the past, focus on unchartered opportunities in soil science.
On behalf of the SSSA our thanks are extended to the authors, editorial committee, and organizing committee.
D. R. Nielsen, President
Soil Science Society of America
Soil Taxonomy—Achievements and Challenges is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Guy D. Smith.
Just over 30 years ago, Dr. Smith distributed an “Outline of Proposed Scheme of Soil Classification” which, retrospectively, became the 1st Approximation of Soil Taxonomy. The outline contained five orders that in concept, name, and rudimentary definition do not resemble any of the 10 orders we know now. Reviewing the early approximation demonstrates how drastically our ideas on soil classification have changed and matured during the last 30 years, how Dr. Smith's concepts evolved, and how much we owe him for his patient leadership.
At the time the outline was distributed Dr. Smith was 44 years old and had already made a name for himself with his contribution to soil science research. He probably did not realize that the task on which he had embarked would dominate the rest of his life and he was certainly too modest to anticipate that this work would establish his name as one of the greats in soil science.
Dr. Smith continued his work with undiminished vigor for 9 years after his official retirement. He died on 22 Aug. 1981, not long after he had returned from a major conference on Soil Taxonomy.
This special publication contains the papers presented at a symposium of the Soil Science Society of America in Anaheim, Calif., on 29 and 30 Nov. 1982. In this symposium we wanted to honor Dr. Smith by looking at him as a scientist, assessing the impact of his work on soil classification and soil science, and charting a course for continuing what he had started. We were fortunate to have as participants both scientists who knew Dr. Smith in the early days of his career and who had worked with him from the beginning of the development of Soil Taxonomy and some young scientists who barely knew Dr. Smith personally but who are building on the foundation he laid.
The organizing and editorial committees thanks these authors for their enthusiasm and dedication.
The Organizing Committee
Klaus W. Flach, Chm.
Edward C. A. Runge
Maxwell E. Springer
The Editorial Committee
Robert B. Grossman, Chm.
Richard H. Rust