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Soil Science Society of America presents awards in Houston

October 27, 2008

MADISON, WI, October 23, 2008- The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) presented the following 2008 Awards during their Annual Meetings on Oct. 5-9 in Houston, TX.
  • Bruno Basso, University of Basilicata -- Lloyd R. Frederick Soil Teaching Travel Study Award. Bruno Basso is an Associate Professor in the Department of Crop Systems, Forestry and Environmental Sciences at the University of Basilicata in Italy. He is also Adjunct Professor at the Kellogg Biological Station at Michigan Station University and Queensland University of Technology in Australia. Dr. Basso received B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Naples in Italy, and his Ph.D. degree from Michigan State University. Dr. Basso field of research is Precision Agricultural Systems with specific interest in the development and application crop simulation models to assess causes of spatial and temporal variability of yield and to identify soil management strategies to increasing crop productivity and water use efficiency. He was the 2007 recipient of the SSSA L.R. Ahuja Ag Systems Modeling Award.
The Lloyd R. Frederick Soil Teaching Travel Award is designed to assist top soil science instructors, so they may have a foreign study travel or sabbatical experience. The program will help support the profession of soil science, encourage international teaching experiences, and benefit countless students of the instructors participating in the program. The awarded is supported by gifts to the Agronomic Science Foundation.
  • Qingli Ma, Environmental & Turf Service, Inc -- L.R. Ahuja Ag Systems Modeling Award. Qingli Ma is an environmental hydrologist in the Environmental & Turf Services, Inc. in Maryland. Dr. Ma received a B.S. degree from Shandong Normal University, M.S. degree from Zhejiang University, and Ph.D. degree from the University of Georgia. His program focuses on computer simulation modeling of water, pesticide, and nutrient transport in agricultural and urban systems, such as golf courses. Ma has been active in the Soil Science Society of America, American Chemical Society, and American Society of Agronomy.
The L.R. Ahuja Ag Systems Modeling Award is presented to an early career soil scientist, agronomist, or crop scientist in recognition of significant contributions. The award is supported by a gift from Dr. Lajpat (Laj) R. Ahuja to the Agronomic Science Foundation.
  • Stephanie Boyle-Yarwood, Oregon State University -- Emil Truog Soil Science Award. Stephanie Yarwood is an Instructor/Advisor in Oregon State University's Department of Microbiology. She earned her PhD from Oregon State University in Crop and Soil Sciences. Her research interests include links between microbial community composition and nutrient cycling in forest soils. A contributor to the Journal of Natural Resource and Life Science Education, Dr. Yarwood is engaged in teaching that promotes inquiry-based learning. She is a member of the Soil Science Society of America and the American Society for Microbiology.
The award is given to a Ph.D. recipient who has made an outstanding contribution to soil science as evidenced by his or her Ph.D. dissertation. The recipient must have received a Ph.D. degree during the preceding calendar year.
  • Harry Vereecken, Forschungszentrum Jülich -- Don & Betty Kirkham Soil Physics Award. Harry Vereecken received his agricultural engineering degree and Ph.D. in agricultural sciences from Leuven University, Belgium. His research focuses on water flow and solute transport in soils and aquifers He is liaison for Europe of Vadose Zone Journal. He is active in the European Geophysical Union, Soil Science Society of America, German Soil Science Society, and American Geophysical Union.
The Don and Betty Kirkham Soil Physics Award recognizes mid-career soil scientists who have made outstanding contributions in the area of soil physics. The award is supported by the Lena and Maria Van der Ploeg Fund and the Don and Betty Kirkham Fund, both of the Agronomic Science Foundation.

Palle Pedersen, Iowa State University -- ASA-CSSA-SSSA Early Career Professional Award. Palle Pedersen is an assistant professor and soybean extension agronomist in the Department of Agronomy at Iowa State University. Dr. Pedersen received B.S. and M.S. degrees from the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University in Copenhagen, Denmark, another M.S. degree in Agricultural Economics from University of London, England, and his Ph.D. degree from University of Wisconsin-Madison. His programs overall goal is to identify and solve soybean production problems to improve the economic well-being of farmers.

The ASA-CSSA-SSSA award recognizes those who have made an outstanding contribution in agronomy, crop science, and/or soil science within seven years of completing their terminal degree.
  • Pierre Bordenave, InterMountain Resources -- Irrometer Professional Certification Service Award. Pierre A. Bordenave is the president and owner of the soil scientist consulting firm, InterMountain Resources (IMR), headquartered in Sandpoint, ID. As a soil scientists and entrepreneur, he formed IMR 24 ears ago. The firm provides a comprehensive range of environmental services, with a focus on soil and water issues, limitations, and capabilities. Bordenave received a B.S. degree in 19821 from the University of Idaho. He has served in various capacities of the National Society of Consulting Soil Scientists and is the current Chair of the Board.
The Irrometer Professional Certification Service Award recognizes an outstanding certified professional who has demonstrated adherence to the certification goals and personal growth, impact on associates, and the public at large. The award is supported by the Irrometer Company through the Agronomic Science Foundation.
  • Larry P. Wilding -- Soil Science Distinguished Service Award. Larry P. Wilding is a professor emeritus with the Soil and Crop Sciences Department, Texas A&M University. Earlier he served on the faculty at The Ohio State University. He received B.S. and M.S. degrees from South Dakota State University and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois. His program focused on pedology with over 40 years teaching and research experience in near surface Earth processes. He served as president of SSSA, member of several NRC/NAS Committees, and as co-chair of the 18th World Congress of Soil Science.
The Soil Science Distinguished Service Award is presented in recognition of outstanding service to soil science. Selection is based on the nominee's contributions during his or her career. Members eligible for the award must have 25 years or more of active membership in the Society and have ceased full-time professional employment.
  • Warren J. Busscher, USDA-ARS Coastal Plains Research Center -- Soil Science Research Award. Warren Busscher is a soil science researcher with the USDA-Agricultural Research Service Coastal Plains Research Center in Florence, SC. He received a B.S. from Loyola University, Chicago and his M.S. and Ph.D. from Penn State. His research focuses on soil strength, tillage management, and water availability/management for plant growth. Dr. Busscher served as associate editor for the Soil Science Society of America Journal and as editor of the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation.

  • Michel D. Ransom, Kansas State University -- Soil Science Education Award. Michel D. Ransom is a Professor of Soil Science and Assistant Head for Teaching in the Agronomy Department at Kansas State University. He earned his B.S.A. and M.S. degrees from the University of Arkansas and his Ph.D. degree from The Ohio State University. He conducts teaching and research in pedology and coordinates the Agronomy teaching program. Dr. Ransom has served as Chair of the Pedology Division and was on the Board of Directors for the Soil Science Society of America. He was an Associate Editor for the Soil Science Society of America Journal. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy and the Soil Science Society of America.

  • Jorge Delgado, USDA-ARS -- Soil Science Applied Research Award. Jorge A. Delgado is a soil scientist with USDA-ARS and Fellow of the SSSA, SWCS and ASA. Dr. Delgado received a B.S. degree from the University of Puerto Rico, and M.S. and Ph.D. from Louisiana State University. He has been Research Editor of the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS) and chair of the SWCS Editorial Board since 2001 and is the current SSSA and SWCS Liaison. He received the 2007 SWCS Conservation Research Award for Excellence in Conservation Research. His leadership has contributed to the development of the Nitrogen Index, Nitrogen Trading Tool, and NLEAP-GIS. With over 130 publications, Dr. Delgado has a strong national cooperation program with NRCS, State Agencies, and international scientists. His applied research in the use of cover crops, 15N isotopic techniques and nitrogen management practices and tools have greatly impacted soil nutrient management, helping to increase farm-level nitrogen use efficiencies.

  • Barrett L. Kays, Landis, Inc. -- Soil Science Professional Service Award. Barrett L. Kays, President of Landis, Inc. in Raleigh, NC is a soil scientist in private practice. He holds a B.S. degree from Oklahoma State University, M.L.A. degree in landscape architecture and Ph.D. degree in soil science from North Carolina State University. His knowledge of the political and legislative process was essential in passage of NC Soil Science Licensing Act and development of the vibrant profession in NC. He continues to promote the profession of soil science thorough his work on various national and state boards and commissions.

Michael J. McLaughlin, CSIRO Land & Water -- International Soil Science Award. Michael McLaughlin is Chief Research Scientist and Director of CSIRO Centre for Environmental Contaminants Research in Adelaide, Australia and professor in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Adelaide. He has worked in three continents and focuses primarily on soil and environmental chemistry. Dr. McLaughlin looks at the behavior and toxicity of nutrients and contaminants in soil-plant system, the assessment and remediation of contaminated soils, and use of advanced techniques to measure and monitor nutrients and pollutants in the environment.
For more information on the recipients or on the awards presented, please view the ASA-CSSA-SSSA Awards Program PDF online, Photos of the recipients are available to view and download online at: For additional assistance, contact Sara Uttech, 608-268-4948,

The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is a progressive, international scientific society that fosters the transfer of knowledge and practices to sustain global soils. Based in Madison, WI, and founded in 1936, SSSA is the professional home for 6,000+ members dedicated to advancing the field of soil science. It provides information about soils in relation to crop production, environmental quality, ecosystem sustainability, bioremediation, waste management, recycling, and wise land use.

SSSA supports its members by providing quality research-based publications, educational programs, certifications, and science policy initiatives via a Washington, DC, office. For more information, visit

SSSA is the founding sponsor of an approximately 5,000-square foot exhibition, Dig It! The Secrets of Soil, which opened on July 19, 2008 at the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum in Washington, DC. For more information, visit

Soil Science Society of America

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