Soil Science Society of America Celebrating 2015 International Year of Soils

The Global Soil Partnership (GSP) at the Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations has declared 2015 the International Year of Soils. In celebration, the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is coordinating a series of activities throughout 2015 to educate the public about the importance of this precious natural resource.

“When GSP recognized the urgent need to raise awareness and promote sustainability of our limited soil resources by designating 2015 International Year of Soils, we knew this was our opportunity to make an impact with the public,” says David Lindbo, past president of SSSA, and a professor of soil science at NC State University. “Soil—like air, water and sunlight—is one of the natural resources necessary for life,” says Lindbo. “By telling the story of what soil does for us as humans, we hope to increase the respect humans give back to soil, to protect it for future generations.”

SSSA’s 6,000+ members are being encouraged to interact with the public with a series of 12 monthly messages throughout the year. If you would like an SSSA member to speak to your audience (schools, community groups, gardening groups, etc.) please fill out the Ask a Scientist form at . In addition, SSSA members have created materials for educators to teach to the K-12 audience. All materials can be found at starting on January 1st and will be updated throughout 2015.

The twelve monthly themes developed by SSSA are:

January – Soils sustain life

February – Soils support urban life

March – Soils support agriculture

April – Soils clean and capture water

May – Soils support buildings/infrastructure

June – Soils support recreation

July – Soils are living

August – Soils support health

September – Soils protect the natural environment

October – Soils and products we use

November – Soil and climate

December – Soils, Culture, and People

As part of their celebration of IYS, SSSA is developing a series of 12 two-minute educational videos. They are working in conjunction with Jim Toomey, who has worked with the UN in the past. He also authors the environmental cartoon, Sherman’s Lagoon. January’s Soils Sustain Life video will be shown during the UN’s International Year of Soils celebration on Dec. 5th in New York City, and can be seen here .

The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is a progressive international scientific society that fosters the transfer of knowledge and practices to sustain global soils. Based in Madison, WI, and founded in 1936, SSSA is the professional home for 6,000+ members and 1,000+ certified professionals dedicated to advancing the field of soil science. The Society provides information about soils in relation to crop production, environmental quality, ecosystem sustainability, bioremediation, waste management, recycling, and wise land use.

Follow SSSA on Facebook at, Twitter at SSSA_Soils. SSSA also has a blog, Soils Matter, at Additional soils information is on, for teachers at, and for students through 12th grade,