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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 74 No. 2, p. 453-460
     
    Received: May 4, 2009


    * Corresponding author(s): ferris.69@osu.edu
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doi:10.2136/sssaj2009.0172

Growing the Soil Science Profession through Investment, Vestment, and Validation

  1. Dawn R. Ferris *a,
  2. Jeffory A. Hatteyb and
  3. Michael D. Mullenc
  1. a School of Environment and Natural Resources, 387 Ovalwood Hall, Ohio State Univ., Mansfield, OH 44906
    b Dep. of Plant and Soil Sciences, 368 Agricultural Hall, Oklahoma State Univ., Stillwater, OK 74078-6028
    c Office of Undergraduate Education, 217 Funkhouser Building, Univ. of Kentucky, 1100 Nicholasville Road, Lexington, KY 40506-0054

Abstract

Soil scientists have invested in their profession through the development of performance objectives, national exams, and recognized state licensing and certification processes. These activities have defined the practice of soil science, thus providing society, other professionals, and the scientific community with a more comprehensive understanding of what types of work soil scientists perform as well as assurances of the competency of practitioners. Along with defining the practice, efforts must be strengthened to educate the next generation of soil scientists and provide them with opportunities to become vested in the profession. Higher education must also validate student learning through an assessment process to evaluate the preparation of students to perform at standards set by the profession. The mechanisms are in place to promote the soil science profession using established professional standards and ethics, education and experience criteria, examination for licensing or certification, and continuing education requirements. Soil scientists must continue to emphasize the importance of soils to society, to colleagues in other professions, and to students of all ages to further expand opportunities for investment, vestment, and validation of the soil science profession.

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