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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract - Soil Science Issues

Human–Soil Relations are Changing Rapidly: Proposals from SSSA's Cross-Divisional Soil Change Working Group


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 75 No. 6, p. 2079-2084
    Received: Apr 4, 2011

    * Corresponding author(s): drichter@duke.edu
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  1. Daniel deB. Richter *a,
  2. Allan R. Bacona,
  3. L.Mobley Megana,
  4. Curtis J. Richardsona,
  5. Susan S. Andrewsb,
  6. Larry Westb,
  7. Skye Willsb,
  8. Sharon Billingsc,
  9. Cynthia A. Cambardellad,
  10. Nancy Cavallaroe,
  11. Julie E. DeMeesterf,
  12. Alan J. Franzluebbersg,
  13. A. Stuart Grandyh,
  14. Sabine Grunwaldi,
  15. Joel Gruverj,
  16. Anthony S. Hartshornk,
  17. Henry Janzenl,
  18. Marc G. Kramerm,
  19. Jagdish K. Ladhan,
  20. Kate Lajthao,
  21. Garrett C. Lilesp,
  22. Daniel Markewitzq,
  23. Patrick J. Megonigalr,
  24. Ahmet R. Mermuts,
  25. Craig Rasmussent,
  26. David A. Robinsonu,
  27. Pete Smithv,
  28. Cynthia A. Stilesw,
  29. Robert L. Tate IIIx,
  30. Aaron Thompsony,
  31. Arlene J. Tugelz,
  32. Harold van Esaa,
  33. Dan Yaalonbb and
  34. Ted M. Zobeckcc
  1. a Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke Univ. Durham, NC 27708
    b USDA-NRCS, National Soil Survey Center, Lincoln, NE 68508
    c Dep. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Kansas Biological Survey, Univ. of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66047
    d USDA-ARS, National Lab. for Agriculture and Environment, Ames, IA 50011
    e USDA, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Washington, DC 20024
    f Arlington, VA 22209
    g USDA-ARS, J. Phil Campbell Sr. Natural Resource Conservation Center, Watkinsville, GA 30677
    h Dep. of Natural Resources and Environment, Univ. of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824
    i Soil and Water Science Dep. Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611
    j School of Agriculture, Western Illinois Univ. Macomb, IL 61455
    k Dep. of Geology and Environmental Science, James Madison Univ. Harrisonburg, VA 22807
    l Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lethbridge Research Centre, Lethbridge, AB, T1J 4B1 Canada
    m USDA Forest Service Portland, OR 97204
    n IRRI, New Delhi 110012, India
    o Dep. of Crop and Soil Science, Oregon State Univ. Corvallis, OR 97331
    p Dep. of Land, Air, and Water Resources, Univ. of California, Davis, CA 95616
    q Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, Univ. of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602
    r Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20013
    s Dep. of Soil Science, Univ. of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, S7N 5A2 Canada
    t Dep. of Soil, Water, and Environmental Science, Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721
    u Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Environmental Centre Wales, Bangor, Gwynedd, LL57 2UW UK
    v School of Biological Sciences, Univ. of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB24 3UU UK
    w USDA-NRCS, Pacific Islands Area State Office, Honolulu, HI 96850
    x Dep. of Environmental Sciences, Rutgers Univ. New Brunswick, NJ 08901
    y Dep. of Crop and Soil Sciences, Univ. of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602
    z USDA-NRCS, Las Cruces, NM 88003
    a aDep. of Crop and Soil Sciences, Cornell Univ. Ithaca, NY 14853
    b bInst. of Earth Sciences, Hebrew Univ. Jerusalem, Israel 91904
    c cUSDA-ARS, Cropping Systems Research Lab. Lubbock, TX 79415


A number of scientists have named our age the Anthropocene because humanity is globally affecting Earth systems, including the soil. Global soil change raises important questions about the future of soil, the environment, and human society. Although many soil scientists strive to understand human forcings as integral to soil genesis, there remains an explicit need for a science of anthropedology to detail how humanity is a fully fledged soil-forming factor and to understand how soil change affects human well being. The development and maturation of anthropedology is critical to achieving land-use sustainability and needs to be nurtured by all soil disciplines, with inputs from allied sciences and the humanities,. The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) has recently approved a cross-divisional Working Group on Soil Change, which aims to advance the basic and applied science of anthropedology, to facilitate networks of scientists, long-term soil field studies, and regional databases and modeling, and to engage in new modes of communications about human–soil relations. We challenge all interested parties, especially young scientists and students, to contribute to these activities and help grow soil science in the Anthropocene.

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Copyright © 2011. Copyright © by the Soil Science Society of America, Inc.