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Soil Science Society of America
5585 Guilford Road • Madison, WI 53711-5801 • 608-273-8080 • Fax 608-273-2021
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Contact: Susan V. Fisk, Public Relations Director, 608-273-8091,

Soils are living

Soils home to more creatures than there are humans on the earth!

June 25, 2015 — In celebration of the International Year of Soil 2015 (IYS), the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is coordinating a series of activities throughout to educate the public about the importance of soil.  July’s theme is “Soils Are Living.”

According to July’s IYS monthly leader Mary Stromberger, “soil is a living, dynamic natural resource. It helps us sustain life—but it doesn’t do its job alone. The biodiversity of life in soil is critical to a healthy world.” Stromberger is a soil scientist at Colorado State University.

Here are some facts about life in soil:

  1. Larger animals like gopher turtles and burrowing owls make their homes in soil. The soil protects them from weather and predators.
  2. Insects often live in soil, too. The give back by creating tunnels and helping aerate the soil.
  3. Bacteria and fungi—referred to as microbes—live in the soil. These tiny creatures provide essential services like converting nitrogen from the air into a form that plants can use for food. They decompose organic matter and aid in weathering of rocks to provide plant nutrients.

As part of their celebration of IYS, SSSA developed a series of twelve 2-minute educational videos. July’s “Soils Are Living” video can be viewed on YouTube at, or downloaded at Educational materials can be viewed at by clicking on the July tab.

Follow SSSA on Facebook at, Twitter at SSSA Soils.  SSSA also has a blog, Soils Matter, at  Additional soils information is on, for teachers at, and for students through 12th grade,

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, 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. Founded in 1936, SSSA proudly celebrated its 75th Anniversary in 2011. For more information, visit or follow @SSSA_soils on Twitter.