Advancing the Emerging Field of Hydropedology First International Conference on Hydropedology; University Park, Pennsylvania, 28–31 July 2008



Both soil science and hydrology are at a critical threshold of exploring breakthroughs. Synergies are expected by bridging classical pedology with soil physics, hydrology, geomorphology, and other related bio- and geo-sciences to address complex soil and water interactions across spatiotemporal scales. Holistic study of the Earth's critical zone (i.e., the critical interface between the surficial solid Earth and its fluid envelopes, which ranges from the top of vegetation to the bottom of aquifers) demands interdisciplinary systems approaches to tackle a wide array of environmental, ecological, agricultural, geological, and natural resource issues of societal importance.

In this spirit, and aiming to advance the emerging field of hydropedology, the first international conference on hydropedology was held at Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) with the theme “Water and Soil: Key to Sustaining the Earth's Critical Zone.” The International Union of Soil Sciences' Working Group on Hydropedology organized this meeting, with main sponsorships from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Research Initiative and Penn State.