PULLMAN, Wash. — A first-of-its-kind interdisciplinary conference on Dust in Ancient Environments and Contemporary Environmental Management will be held October 11-14 at the Battelle Conference Center in Seattle, Washington. The conference will explore the connections between the human uses of loess (wind deposited) soils, the role of wind in deposition and erosion of these soils, and the global-geologic cycles of this system. More than one hundred scientists, engineers and policymakers from 17 countries will attend the conference.
The conference will encourage and facilitate the geological, environmental, and agricultural communities in working together to address the increasing number of problems associated with our modern management of loess soils.
Keynote speakers are Sandra Harrison, Max Plank Institute, Germany; Martin Iriondo, CONICET, Argentina; Tom Lumpkin, Washington State University; Bill Nickling, University of Guelph; Steven Porter, University of Washington; and Xiaoye Zhang, Xian Laboratory of Loess and Quarternary Geology, China.
A pre-conference field tour October 8-11 will allow participants to explore conference themes in the Palouse region of eastern Washington, where farmers enjoy the deepest deposits of loess in western North America. Loess soils cover over 10 percent of the Earth’s surface and support most of the world’s rain-fed cereal grain production.
Farmers and researchers in the Palouse and greater Columbia Plateau dryland cropping area are working closely together to develop new wind erosion control practices and strategies that will lead to decreased dust emissions from soils with resulting reductions in human health impact, increased profitability and sustainability.
The tour will also visit other interesting sites and terrain that emphasize the historical and geological perspectives.
The conference is sponsored by the International Union for Quaternary Research; the U.S. National Science Foundation; the USDA Cooperative States Research, Education, and Extension Service; the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service; the Chinese Academy of Sciences; University of Washington’s Quaternary Research Center; Washington State University’s College of Agriculture and Home Economics; and the WSU Department of Crop and Soil Sciences.
For further information and to register for the conference, contact WSU Conferences & Institutes at 800/942-4978, wsuconf@wsu.edu, or fax: 509/335-0945. For information or questions regarding program content and submission of proposals for talks or papers, contact Program Chair Alan Busacca at 509/335-1859, busacca@wsu.edu, fax: 509/335-8674. The website, http://www.eus.wsu.edu/c&i/programs/dust.htm, has complete information including travel and lodging suggestions and faxable registration forms.