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Canadian Society of Soil Science

February 2001


CSSS membership renewal is fully underway and members are encouraged to take the time to send in their renewal. A quick check of last years membership list indicates a total of only 24 student members. The provincial distribution of student members is Quebec with 11, Alberta with 5, Ontario with 3, Manitoba with 3, and Saskatchewan with 2 student members (B.C. and the Maritimes currently have no student members). In my opinion, students represent the future of CSSS and student membership numbers are an index of the strength and vitality of the society. The low number of students suggests a serious problem, or at the very least, significant indifference to student memberships. A concerted effort is needed to at least triple these numbers. Graduate students in particular should be encouraged to be members and to subscribe to the Canadian Journal of Soil Science. I am asking all members to make it a priority to actively promote CSSS membership to students (and others!). Better yet, why not sponsor a student membership and ensure they can attend the annual meeting.

This newsletter contains a Call For Nominations and Awards. It is important for CSSS members to take an active role in their society. A way of doing this is to nominate and encourage distinguished candidates to let their name stand, for CSSS council positions. Alain Plante has been an outstanding graduate student representative on council and I echo his request for students from eastern Canada to consider this position. Finally, I encourage you to take the time to nominate, or support the nomination of, CSSS members for Fellow Awards. This is an important way of recognizing colleagues with a distinguished record of achievement in Soil Science and service to CSSS.

In the last newsletter, I indicated that Council is actively pursuing new partnerships with science societies having similar interests. As a consequence, the CSSS annual meeting at the University of Guelph (Aug. 2nd - 4th , 2001) is being held in conjunction with the International Humic Substances Society, immediately following the International Conference on Biogeochemistry of Trace Elements. In addition, the CSSS annual meeting in 2002 is scheduled to be in Banff in co-operation with the Canadian Geophysical Union (CGU). A draft proposal for creating a national umbrella/voice for agriculture science societies has also been circulated for discussion to CSSS Council and the executives of the Canadian Society of Agronomy, and the Canadian Society of Animal Science.

Gary Kachanoski
President, CSSS

CSSS Council

Gary Kachanoski
University of Saskatchewan
Saskatoon, SK S7N 5A4
Tel: (306) 966-5754
Fax: (306) 966-5756

Martin Carter
Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada
Charlottetown, PE, C1A 7M8
Tel: (902) 566-6869
Fax: (902) 566-6821

Past President
Régis Simard
Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada
Ste-Foy, QC, G1V 2J3
Tel: (418) 657-7985
Fax: (418) 648-2402

Craig Drury
Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada
Harrow, ON, N0R 1G0
Tel: (519) 738-2251
Fax: (519) 738-2929

Marie-Josée Garand
Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada
St. John's, NF, A1E 5Y7
Tel: (709) 772-7476
Fax: (709) 772-6064

Eastern Councillor
Denis Angers
Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada
Ste-Foy, QC, G1V 2J3
Tel: (418) 657-7985
Fax: (418) 648-2402 Email:

Forage Crops in Sustainably Managed Agroecosystems:
The Bentley Fellowship

Letter to the Editor from Dr. C.F. Bentley

Dear Councillor Angers:

I am a long-time CSSS member with considerable overseas experience in more than 30 developing countries over a 48 year period. From that extensive experience, I have arrived at the opinion that the almost total lack of inclusion of leguminous forage crops in dryland arable cropping is probably the simplest most under-exploited technology with enormous potentials for benefits in the tropical world. My conviction is so strong that, in the names of my late wife and self, I have established, in co-operation with Canada's International Development Research Centre, the Bentley Fellowship in Forage Crops.

On the basis of my extensive experience in developing countries, I am of the opinion that the potentials of which I am convinced will not be achieved by research done at national research stations, agricultural university research stations or on the lands of The Future Centres (formally the International Agricultural Research Centres). Therefore, our Fellowship in Forage Crops specifies that it is primarily for Canadian graduate students who want to engage in on-farm applied research to test, verify and evaluate the potential role of forage crops in arable land cropping systems on the land of, and with the participation of, co-operating small farmers in developing countries

Frankly, and understandably, we are having difficulty attracting applicants because few potentially interested students have any overseas contacts or means of finding locations where they might be able to conduct the kind of applied research that is specified for the IDRC Fellowship in Forage Crops. If IDRC had a list of potentially suitable locations which might be able and willing to act as a base for Fellowship holders, and which could provide some assistance to the Fellows, there should be mutual benefits for host agencies and the Fellows. I think that, if IDRC could include such a list along with copies of the announcement of the Fellowship, it would obtain numerous applications within a relatively short time. Many CSSS members may know of overseas institutions that might be interested in hosting an IDRC Forage Crops Fellowship holder - - - to mutual advantage. Additionally, some CSSS members might know of potential applicants that may not be aware of the fellowship.

For application forms, or additional information, please write to Ms. Rita Bowry, IDRC, PO Box 8500, Ottawa, ON K1G 3H9. And, of course, I will gladly answer enquiries.

Yours sincerely,

C.F. Bentley, O.C., FCSSS

Note from the Editor: more information and application documents are available on our Web site at


'Tis the season: While the Christmas holidays have come and gone, it is the time of year when many local or provincial soil science meetings are held. For instance, the Alberta Soil Science Workshop is held every year over the "Reading Week" break. I would like to encourage all students to attend, if not participate, in these meetings. They offer a great opportunity for networking, a broad mix of industry, government and academia, and offer the benefits of being a local meeting. The meetings are also a great opportunity for your first public presentation or poster. In addition, some local meetings offer prizes for student presentations and travel grants.

Words of advice: On December 11th, I presented and defended my PhD.D. thesis. While I had already defended my master's thesis several years before, the process of a thesis defence is a stressful period, which is why I thought I would share a few words of wisdom (?). The first thing to remember while you blood pressure continues to increase is what my advisor told me: "the defence is a celebration of your work." While it is true that some rare occasions, there might be someone on your examining committee that will seem harsh or confrontational, it is important to remember that if your thesis was not acceptable, you would not be sitting in that room sweating it out. Your examining committee is there to inquire not to destroy. Another important point to note is that during any thesis defence, there are three types of questions that your examiners will ask: 1) the question for which you know the answer, and your examiners expect that you know the answer, 2) the question for which you don't know the answer, but your examiners don't expect you to know the answer, they just want to see your approach to it, and lastly 3) the question for which you don't know the answer, which is too bad because your examiners don't know the answer either and they're really desperate to find it. The last piece of advice I would like to share is simple: RELAX! It is amazing how far some positive thinking can go in a defence.

Elections: A call for nominations is scheduled to be mailed with this newsletter. I would like to call on all students from eastern Canada to consider the Graduate Student Representative position on CSSS Council. My term will be ending and a replacement will be needed. I can assure you that the position is not a lot of work, and the sense of accomplishment is very rewarding. Help steer the CSSS into its next phase of growth and help bring student issues to the Council.

Alain Plante
Graduate Student Representative
CSSS Council


This note covers the fiscal year 2000, ending December 31, 2000. We accumulated a surplus of $5000 in the operating account. In the trust fund, our bonds yielded about 5% while the AIC gained 26% and the Templeton decreased by 0.81%. Thanks to the good work of Gary Patterson during the last five years, we are in excellent financial condition. We must continue to maintain this situation while thinking of the best ways to spend our surplus to promote soil science.


The annual meeting of the Canadian Society of Soil Science will be held in Guelph, Ontario Aug. 2 -4, 2001. We will meet together with scientists from forestry and the International Humic Substances Society. The meeting will follow the Sixth International Conference on the Biogeochemistry of Trace Elements held from July 29 to Aug. 2 in Guelph. The list of themes, workshops, tours, and call for papers is given on the web page. We will add more information as it becomes available. Note that call for papers is due May 1, 2001.

For more information and updates on the conference please see:

or contact or


The Soil and Environmental Science Dictionary

In about June 2001 CRC Press will publish the CSSS Soil and Environmental Science Dictionary. Members of the CSSS will receive a 50% discount. Members need to mention the promotional code 281BC no matter what channel they use to order the book to ensure their discount. See the enclosed flyer for more information on how to order.

We wish to acknowledge and thank the following people who helped edit and review parts of the book.

Manas R. Banerjee Douglas G. Maynard
M.H. Beare G.R. Mehuys
G. Bélanger J.J. Miller
Claude Bernard Alan P. Moulin
Johanne B. Boisvert G.H. Neilsen
Martin H. Chantigny Denise Neilsen
Reinder de Jong Michel C. Nolin
J.F. Dormaar Rock Ouimet
Deena Errampalli Léon-Étienne Parent
C.A. Fox Philippe Rochette
L.J. Gregorich R.R. Simard
Yash P. Kalra Barrie Stanfield
Claude Lapierre Ulrica F. Stoklas
M.R. Laverdière A.J. VandenBygaart
David A. Lobb Karl Volkmar

Ed Gregorich, L. Turchenek, M. Carter and D. Angers,


CSSS Council

Nominations for Council positions should be sent to the Secretary by April 15, 2001. This year, we will require nominations for the Eastern Councillor (2 year term), for the President-Elect position (3 year term) to be chosen from Western Canada and for Graduate Student representative (2 year term) to be chosen from Eastern Canada.

Canadian Society of Soil Science Graduate Student Representative

Terms of References

In 1999, CSSS Council amended the structure of the council to include a graduate student representative. The role of the representative is to enhance the service of the Society to its student members.

Term: The position is a two (2)-year term.

Election: The position is to be filled by a graduate student studying in some aspect of soil science.

Responsibilities: The candidate will act as liaison between the Society and active or potential graduate student members of the Society. In this capacity, the candidate will:

  • Participate in Council activities and vote on all motions brought to Council.
  • Promote and maintain communications between the Society and Canadian academic units involved in soil science education.
  • Help to co-ordinate and plan student activities at the Annual Meetings.
  • Provide student news for each publication of the CSSS Newsletter.

CSSS Honourary Membership Award

Awarded to non-members who have rendered valuable or special service to Soil Science. All nominations, which are evaluated by a three member CSSS Awards Committee, must have the following documentation. Four copies of the nomination must be received by the President-Elect, Chair of the Awards Committee, by end of April, 2001.

  1. Name, address, telephone number, email address of the candidate.
  2. One page letter briefly outlining the reasons for the nomination.
  3. A brief resume (< 3 pages) of the candidate indicating their service to Soil Science.
  4. One page letter from each of three individuals supporting the nomination.
CSSS Fellow Award

Awarded to CSSS members, of at least 10 years standing, with a distinguished record of accomplishment in Soil Science and service to CSSS. Information on the nomination procedure and nomination documentation are given below. Four copies of the nomination must be received by the President-Elect, Chair of the Awards Committee, by end of April, 2001.

Nomination Documentation (maximum 8 pages, 2-3 cm margins, 12 pt. type)

  1. One page introductory letter signed by the nominator and three sponsors including:
    1. Name, address, telephone number, email address of the candidate.
    2. Name, address, telephone number, email address of the nominator and three sponsors.
    3. Members of CSSS Council cannot serve as a nominator or sponsor.
  2. One page summary by nominator outlining achievements of the nominee.
  3. Nomination documents:
    1. Personal achievements (e.g., degrees, memberships, service to CSSS)
    2. Professional achievement (e.g., research, teaching, service to Soil Science)
    3. Professional publications (number of books, papers, patents, products, etc..)
    4. A list of the 10 most significant publications, products, achievements, etc.
CSSS Travel Awards

Five categories of CSSS awards are available. The number of awards supported depends on available funds. Applications must be received by the President-Elect, Chair of the Awards Committee, by end of April, 2001.

  1. Student Travel to CSSS Annual Meeting
    Available to any CSSS member graduate student studying in Canada. The student must be prepared to present a paper/poster. Nominations should be sent by student's Supervisor or Department Chair.
  2. CSSS Conference Travel
    To allow CSSS members to participate in conferences, symposia, and workshops within North America. Evidence of invitation and degree of participation are required. A maximum of $500 per award.

Note: Awards 3 to 5 (CSSS Overseas Travel , Visiting Scientist Travel, and Short-term Professional Development for International Soil Scientists) will not be offered in 2001 and 2002.

Note: You can also find the information and details for application for the various CSSS Awards at


Yash P. Kalra was installed President of the Soil and Plant Analysis Council at the American Society of Agronomy meeting in Minneapolis, November 2000. He has previously served as President of the Canadian Society of Soil Science (CSSS), Western Enviro-Agricultural Laboratory Association (WEALA), and the Group of Analytical Laboratories (GOAL).

The Calendar - Forthcoming Meetings

April 26-30, 2001
International Symposium on Soil Erosion Management, Taiyuan, China. Email:

June 25-27, 2001 Livestock - Options for the Future
Tri-Provincial Conference on Manure Management
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Dr. K. Buckley, Brandon Research Centre

July 21-27, 2001
7th Int. Symposium on Soil and Plant Analysis. Edmonton, Canada. Anette Palm,
Fax: + 49 6307 401104

July 29-August 2, 2001
6th International Conference on Biogeochemistry of Trace Elements, Univ. Guelph, Guelph, Ontario.

August 1-3, 2001
Canadian Society of Soil Science, Guelph, Ontario.

August 3-9, 2001
12th World Fertilizer Congress, Beijing, China.
T: 86 24 2391 6261;
F: 86 24 2384 3313;

October 9-12, 2001
Soils Classification 2001, "Developing the basis for the systems of the future",
International Symposium, Hungary, Information:
Dr. Erika Micheli,
Szent Istvan University,
2100 Godollo,
Phone: 36 28 410200/1812,
Fax: 36 28 410 804,,
Web Site:

November 11-15, 2001
6th International Society of Root Research Symposium, 'Roots: the Dynamic Interface between Plants and the Earth',
Nagoya, Japan.

August 14-20, 2002
17th World Congress of Soil Science,
Bangkok, Thailand.
T: 662 940 5787;
F: 662 940 5788;
E; ;

CSSS - Business Office

The CSSS Business Office: membership concerns, updated CSSS membership list, CJSS journal subscriptions, society publications. Contact:
Steve Sheppard,
P.O. Box 637,
Pinawa, Manitoba, R0E 1L0, Canada;
Telephone: (204) 753-2747;
Fax: (204) 753-2170;

CSSS - Online

See the CSSS web site homepage, for Newsletters, Council, Business Office, Annual Report, Events Page, Careers, Student, CSSS '00, important Links, and much more. Information and details for application for CSSS Awards and CSSS Travel Awards will be placed on the HomePage soon.

The CSSS Newsletter is published three (Fall, Winter and Spring) times per year. Contributions from members are welcome. Please send contributions by email to the Eastern Councillor.

Canadian Society of Soil Science
P.O. Box 637
Pinawa, Manitoba R0E 1L0
phone: (204) 753-2747
fax: (204) 753-2170

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