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.
Richter, DD; Bacon, AR; Mobley, LM; Richardson, CJ; Andrews, SS; West, L; Wills, S; Billings, S; Cambardella, CA; Cavallaro, N; DeMeester, JE; Franzluebbers, AJ; Grandy, AS; Grunwald, S; Gruver, J; Hartshorn, AS; Janzen, H; Kramer, MG; Ladha, JK; Lajtha, K; Liles, GC; Markewitz, D; Megonigal, PJ; Mermut, AR; Rasmussen, C; Robinson, DA; Smith, P; Stiles, CA; Tate, RL; Thompson, A; Tugel, AJ; Es, HV; Yaalon, D; Zobeck, TM (2011): Human-soil relations are changing rapidly: Proposals from SSSA's cross-divisional soil change working group. Soil Science Society of America Journal 75(6): 2079-2084. DOI: 10.2136/sssaj2011.0124