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Welcome to State of Soil Science WA Conference

Henry Smolinski

On behalf of the Conference Organising Committee, welcome to the 2019 WA Soils Conference, hosted by Soil Science Australia. Our theme this year is “The State of Soil Science in WA” and I am pleased to see that all disciplines of the field of the science of soils is represented at this year’s conference.

Our soils are one of the most valuable natural resource assets to support and sustain our existence. Soil is the engine room for our food production, the filter for our water systems, and the foundation for our infrastructure. The study of soil is fundamental in understanding our earth’s dynamic and diverse processes.

We are delighted to have Prof. Daniel Murphy, Head of School, UWA School of Agriculture and Environment and Dr Juhwan Lee, Research Fellow in Soil and Landscape Science, Curtin University provide our keynote presentations. Prof. Daniel Murphy’s research interests focus on soil microorganisms and how ecosystem respond to the challenges of climate change and the need to feed the world’s growing populations. Dr Juhwan Lee’s research focus is land use and soil management options with specific interests in spatial and temporal analysis of plant production, soil carbon and nitrogen balances and greenhouse gas emissions. The insights of our keynote presenters are highly relevant to current State and National interest in carbon sequestration, regenerative agriculture and rangelands reform.

This year’s annual premier lecture in soil science for WA (The Boodja Lecture) is presented by Mr Andrew Watson who has a long-standing career as Western Australia’s Soil and Land Conservation Commissioner. Andrew will discuss aspects of the last phases of one million acres per year of land clearing and development in the south west land division, together with how soil and land resource information is used to underpin changing land use and development, especially in WA’s north, where opportunity exists to avoid many of the problems encountered in the south west (and perhaps what has been forgotten and why many Kimberley projects have failed).

We hope that you will take this opportunity to learn more about innovations in soil science and network with peers /colleagues, old and new, to improve the management of soil in our wonderful state.

Soil Science Australia’s commitment is to encourage a wider appreciation of soil across our community. In the coming year the WA branch will be delivering a range of soil refresher training courses and field tours for students. We look forward to your participation and contribution, and encourage you spread the word about these events. The SSA (WA branch) AGM officially closes the conference. All are welcome!