World congress explores research, multi-disciplinary science of soils

Philadelphia to host the 18th World Congress of Soil Science, July 9-15, First Time in US Since 1960

The scientific program for the World Congress of Soil Science (WCSS), July 9-15, 2006 in Philadelphia, PA at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, will focus on multi-disciplinary soil science advances under the theme, "Frontiers of Soil Science: Technology and the Information Age." The event is being hailed by organizers as being a "unique convergence of the world's leading professionals in soil science." Many years of planning have gone into preparations for the 18th World Congress of Soil Science (WCSS). This will be the first World Congress of Soil Science held in the U.S. since 1960.

Presentations organized into topical symposia will be given by thousands of soil scientists from around the world on such topics as GIS technologies, land-use analysis, environmental soil biology, plant/soil interaction, hazardous waste remediation, precision agriculture, and more.

Two key symposia include, "Global Priorities of Soil Science Research," features leading soil scientists from North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and New Zealand who will discuss soil science research needs; "Innovation, Speculation, and 'Disneyfication' in Soil Science Education," keynote speakers will discuss soil science education with examples from the U.S. and Australia. For more on the symposia being presented, go to: http://www.colostate.edu/programs/IUSS/18wcss/program.html

Several distinguished scientists will be participating in the opening ceremony on Monday, July 10, including Dr. Michael Clegg, the Foreign Secretary of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences; Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, who will recognize the 2006 World Food Prize Laureate; and Dr. Ed De Mulder, Past President of the International Union of Geological Sciences, who will discuss the Year of Planet Earth initiative, which the United Nations recently approved for 2008. The plenary address will be given by Dr. Jeffrey D. Sachs, the noted economist at Columbia University and author of "The End of Poverty." Dr. Sachs is the Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia and serves as Special Advisor to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the Millennium Development Goals.

In addition, several noted soil scientists will be recognized at the Gala Banquet on Thursday, July 13, where the Dokuchaev Basic Soil Science Award, the Liebig Applied Soil Science Award, Kubiena Medals, and new Honorary Members of the International Union of Soil Sciences will be presented.

Early registration before May 1 is $550, after this date it increases to $650 for conference participants. Special rates are available for students and companions. WCSS activities include cultural tours, educational workshops, and scientific exhibits. Additional information and registration can be found at: www.18wcss.org.

If you have questions, contact WCSS organizing committee co-chairs, Larry Wilding, wilding@tamu.edu and Lee Sommers, lee.sommers@colostate.edu

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A Press Room will be located in the Pennsylvania Convention Center for members of the media and Public Information Officers. For complimentary registration, interviews with presenters, and press releases, contact Sara Uttech, 608-268-4948, suttech@soils.org


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