Pedometrics2015 in Cordoba Spain was my first Soil-focused International Conference. Many thanks to the Pedometrics 2015 Organizing Committee and the International Union for Soil Science (IUSS) for offering me the student scholarship which covered registration costs.
This first soil centered international conference I attended came with a lot of experiences. As I expected, I was able to meet renowned scientists whose publications I have been reading. Their presentations and contributions in the conference reflected what I thought about them being dedicated and very knowledgeable in this lovely field of science. To be honest, I thought almost all of the big names were somewhat aged people, but I was wrong. I was inspired by many of these scientists, old and young, men and women.
Like many other participants, I learned a lot from the presentations on all the themes of the conference. This was possible because there were no parallel sessions, and therefore participants were not compelled to forego some sessions just because they could not be in more than one at a time.
I was captivated by presentations that employed proximal soil sensing and geostatistics to study and map soil and soil properties. It is clear that there are prospects of making soil mapping easier and improving reliability of the results. The WG IUSS Soil Landscape Hands-on Modelling Workshop and the Soil & Landscape Modelling were among my favourite sessions. I am curious about how these models will perform in Tanzanian and African soils and landscapes. I am considering using some graduate students to work on some of these models on Tanzanian landscapes. I was happy to note that some of these can be obtained for free. Some presenters offered to assist with additional materials and clarifications when I approached them.
I enjoyed the two tours organized. The guided city walk was very interesting and informative. The structures and explanations showed the beauty and history of the City of Cordoba and its great people. The field trip to Santa Clotilde made me get a better understanding of the Mediterranean landscapes and farming systems. Actually, it was my first time to see an olive tree – and, I realize I was not the only one!
Finally, I should congratulate the Pedometrics2015 Organizing Committee for such a successful and well organized conference. Will be nice to meet again in Wageningen in 2017!
Boniface H J Massawe (PhD)
Department of Soil Science
Sokoine University of Agriculture