This book provides guidelines to key soil taxa in the deserts of Kuwait and guidance to associated procedures for laboratory analyses of soils, leading to land use planning on informed decisions. Soils are essential to provide food, feed, and fiber in addition to multiple ecosystem services that sustain life on earth. To achieve the above services sustainably, it is essential to use soils rationally based on their potential for specific uses. This requires establishing national soil classification systems to assess soils locally and to provide guidance to other countries where similar soils may be occurring. Once soil classification is established, it becomes easier to adopt technologies established on similar soils and environmental conditions without conducting long-term and expensive experimental trials. The taxa are established based on soil's morphological, physical, chemical, and mineralogical properties and climatic factors. It offers opportunities to maintain future soil surveys and their correlation to the soils of Kuwait. The book is useful in other arid region countries where similar soil and environmental conditions are existing, such as Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. The book also has international relevance, as it was prepared by extracting definitions from USDA-NRCS keys to soil taxonomy, and sections related to the soils of Kuwait are added in the book. The book is a unique and excellent addition to the international soil literature.
Shabbir A. Shahid was awarded the prestigious Sir William Roberts award to pursue PhD degree in Soil Science specialization in Soil Micromorphology of Salt-affected Soils at the University of Bangor, Wales, UK, completed in 1989. He has over 40 years of experience as a Soil Scientist in Pakistan, the UK, Australia, the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait. Currently, he is a research scientist at the Desert Agriculture and Ecosystems Program, ELSRC-KISR. He was a Technical Coordinator in multi-million national soil surveys of the State of Kuwait and Abu Dhabi Emirate and developed a soil survey action plan for the Northern Emirates of UAE and the Republic of Mauritania. He, with his co-associates, discovered anhydrite soil which is formally added in the twelfth edition of US Keys to Soil Taxonomy as a diagnostic horizon, mineralogy class and subgroups in the Salids suborder of the order Aridisols. He is also the principal author of United Arab Emirates Keys to Soil Taxonomy published by Springer. In addition, he is the creator and co-founder of the Emirates Soil Museum launched in 2016 at the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He is a prolific author of over 200 scientific papers published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, book chapters, conference proceedings, and newsletters. As editor/co-editor/principal author, he published 7 books with Springer. He is the recipient of the Dr David A Jenkins Award due to his pioneer research and findings of thenardite (Na2SO4) dominance in the salt-affected soils of Punjab, Pakistan in contrast to the older hypothesis of halite (NaCl) dominance. He has proved himself as the first practising soil micromorphologist and established the very first soil micromorphology laboratory at the University of Agriculture Faisalabad Pakistan.
Dr Samira A.S. Omar was appointed by the Kuwait Council of Ministers as the Director General of KISR from 2016-2021. She was responsible for science, technology, and innovation (STI) development and promotion in the country. Currently, Dr Omar is Principal Research Scientist conducting full-time research & development (R&D) at KISR. She has led and contributed to 27 research projects to conserve biodiversity, restore ecosystems, and promote sustainable agricultural development in Kuwait. Dr Samira also led the Soil Survey for the State of Kuwait Project from 1995-1999 and the Kuwait Environmental Remediation Program (KERP) for the United Nations Compensation Commission (UNCC) from 2011-2014. Dr Omar is affiliated with many international organizations including the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Organization for Women in Science in Developing Countries (OWSD) and the Society for Ecological Restoration (SER). Dr Omar is a Research Fellow at The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) and has received 21 awards for her scientific achievements. Recently she received the Decoration of OSI (Order of the Star of Italy) at the very high rank of Grand Officer for her collaboration with the Government of Italy in R&D in 2021. She was also honoured with the Theodore M. Sperry Award 2019 by SER in September 2019. Dr Omar holds a PhD degree in wildland resource science from the University of California, Berkeley. She is a prolific author of 33 refereed journal papers, 83 conference proceedings and 34 books and chapters. She has been a member of the editor boards of IUCN since 2016.