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New Book Continues Legacy of UW-Madison Soil Research
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 03/16/2017

University of Wisconsin-Madison Professors Alfred Hartemink and Jim Bockheim will present Chancellor Rebecca Blank with the first copy of their new book, The Soils of Wisconsin. The first such account of the state’s soils in more than 40 years, the new volume joins the rich history of soil science at UW-Madison, a history that stretches back more than a century. The foreword is written by Chancellor Blank, whose father was a soil scientist.

The book launch will take place on Thursday in the Soils Building on Observatory Drive in Madison. Chancellor Blank will speak following introductions by the authors and presentation of the first copy.

"Soil is an extremely important resource, but it hasn't gotten a whole lot of attention," says Bockheim, whose research focuses on soil formation in Antarctica. "We're trying to make the discipline more visible."

In 1976, Francis D. Hole, a professor of soil science at UW-Madison, published Soils of Wisconsin, then the most authoritative collection of knowledge about Wisconsin soils. The new book is dedicated to Hole, who was a beloved teacher on campus and successfully led the campaign to name Antigo silt loam the official state soil in 1983. Hole’s two children will attend the book launch.

Of the twelve different soil orders that exist around the world, seven are found in Wisconsin, which is one of only three states that have up-to-date and comprehensive soil maps available.

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