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 natural resource.

“Soil—like air, water and sunlight—is one of the natural resources necessary for life,” says David Lindbo, past president of SSSA and a professor of soil science at North Carolina State University. “By telling the story of what soil does for us as humans, we hope to increase the respect humans give back to the soil to protect it for future generations.”

SSSA’s 6,000-plus members are being encouraged to interact with the public with a series of monthly messages throughout the year. The themes for the second half of the year are:

  • 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

For educational materials on soils and soil science, visit www.soils.org/iys and www.soils.org/discover-soils