This book narrates how the study of the soil became a science and institutionalized in the USA between 1860 and 1960. The story meanders through the activities, ideas, publications, and correspondence of people who influenced the progressions, that led to the budding and early blossoming of American and international soil science. Interwoven is a tale of two farm boys who grew up 900 km apart in the Midwest USA in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Emil Truog and Charles Kellogg met in the late 1920s and shared a natural connection to the soil. Both were practical pioneers and believed that understanding soils was crucial to helping people on the land make a better living. The USA is a big country, its soil science is geographically intertwined, and the cradle of its history primes back to a few people.
Foreword by Ron Amundson, Maxine Levin
About this book
About the author
1. Prologue - The roots of soil science
2. Pochva Americana I
3. From a farm on loess - Emil Truog
4. From a farm on till - Charles Kellogg
5. From a farm on the plains - Roy Simonson
6. The mother of the west
7. Building an American soil survey
8. Of soils and men
9. Pochva Americana II
10. Building international soil science
11. First International Congress of Soil Science in 1927
12. From 1927 to 1960, and a favor returned
13. Seventh International Congress of Soil Science in 1960
14. Chronicles and Progressions
Alfred Hartemink was born in 1964 on Pleistocene sand in the Netherlands and is a professor of soil science at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. He has studied soil in various countries, and his main interests are pedology, and the fostering and epistemology of soil science.
"Soil Science Americana is an intellectual biography, not of one individual but of a new scientific field from its emergence to its complete coming of age."
– Louise O. Fresco, President, Wageningen University and Research
"In a lively, personal voice, Hartemink traces the roots of modern soil science in the United States [...] creating a book that will engage both the expert and non-expert in the underappreciated field of soil science."
– Jo Handelsman, Director, Wisconsin Institute for Discovery
"The intellectual master piece is of interest to soil scientists, general public and the policy makers, and will remain pertinent for generations to come."
– Rattan Lal, World Food Prize Laureate 2020, The Ohio State University