An ecosystem service is a benefit to society derived from a healthy ecosystem property or process. Soil is priceless, yet calculated values of some ecosystem services are > $17 trillion per year. Biological nitrogen fixation by soil microorganisms contributes ~ $50 billion per year. Read more about soil ecosystem services in this position statement.
Recent acts of terrorism have caused each of us to reevaluate the way we do nearly everything. This is of itself a good thing. New researchable needs, changes in personal and professional priorities, and a heightened awareness of certain values, can all lead to renewed creativity and energy. It is vital to channel these challenges into productivity and progress while protecting against the threat of bioterrorism. In late November, several officers of our societies attended the Council of Scientific Society Presidents meeting in Washington DC. As you might guess, terrorism and specifically bio-terrorism was high on the agenda. Along with other current officers of scientific societies from across the country, we were asked to brainstorm what our societies could do to help combat and defend against terrorism. Much discussion and many ideas surfaced.
Nominate deserving colleagues for Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) Awards and Fellow in soil science research, education, industry, consulting, and extension. Initiate nominations by March 29 with reference letters and final submission by April 5. Students: Apply for SSSA scholarships, including Golden Opportunity Scholars, by April 5 with reference letters and final submission by April 12.
The Soil Science Society of America blog "Soils Matter" profiled the state soil of New Jersey, the Downer Soil. This soil plays a major role in the Garden State, generally supporting woodlands but at least 40% supports high-value vegetable and fruit crops. Learn more about Downer Soil properties, limitations and distribution here.