International Year of Soils Celebration to Discuss Soil on Mars

Media Invitation. Please RSVP by November 1, 2015

Newswise — October 5, 2015—Jim Bell will address the Soil Science Society of America’s membership with a lecture titled “Soils of Mars: Keys to Understanding the Habitability of the Red Planet.”

“Just like on Earth, the study of soils on other planets, like Mars, provides key insights into the nature of important planetary-scale surface processes, like weathering, erosion, and even the potential for biologic activity,” says Bell, a professor at Arizona State University.

The lecture will be part of a special International Year of Soils (IYS) celebration planned at the Synergy in Science ASA, CSSA, SSSA International Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, MN. The Soil Science Society of America has been celebrating IYS in 2015, along with the UN-FAO and other worldwide groups. The IYS symposium, and Bell’s lecture, will be held Wednesday, November 18, 2015. The Synergy in Science meeting is sponsored jointly by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and the Soil Science Society of America.

According to symposium leader Harold Van Es, a professor at Cornell University, “the soil science community knows very little about soils on other planets. In fact, soil scientists have defined soils to only exist on Earth. So, in a prospective outlook, we need to consider whether other planets also have soils, or otherwise what do we call them? That’s why Jim’s knowledge and expertise is important to share.”

For more information about the Synergy in Science 2015 meeting, visit https://www.acsmeetings.org/. Media are invited to attend the conference. Pre-registration by Nov. 1, 2015, is required. Visit https://www.acsmeetings.org/newsroom for registration information. For information about the IYS symposium, visit https://scisoc.confex.com/scisoc/2015am/webprogram/Session14838.html. To speak with one of the scientists, contact Susan V. Fisk, 608-273-8091, sfisk@sciencesocieties.org to arrange an interview.