Richard Webster Medal 2014

David G Rossiter, Chair Pedometrics Committee on Prizes and Awards for 2014–2017

Gerard B. M. Heuvelink

Associate Professor at the Soil Geography and Landscape group
Senior researcher at ISRIC – World Soil Information and Alterra, Wageningen University and Research Centre
Soil Geography and Landscape group
Wageningen University and Research Centre
P.O. Box 47
6700 AA Wageningen
The Netherlands
(+)31-317-474628 and (+)31-317-485208

Nominated by:
Tomislav Hengl, Dick Brus
Nomination process:
The committee received two very strong nominations, which were evaluated by all five members (Rossiter, Oliver, McBratney, Yang, Grunwald) on the basis of the five listed criteria: (a)  a distinction in the application of mathematics or statistics in soil science through their published works; (b) innovative research in the field of pedometrics; (c) leadership qualities in pedometrics research, for example, by leading a strong research team; (d) contributions to various aspects of education in pedometrics (e.g. supervision of doctoral students, teaching of pedometrics courses in higher education, the development of courses for broader professional needs); and (e) service to pedometrics (e.g. by serving on a committee of the Pedometrics Commission or promoting pedometrics to the IUSS). The voting was very close, and the sponsors of the nominee who did not receive the award this year are strongly encouraged to re-nominate their candidate in 2018. The results were circulated to the committee, and no objections were raised to the award, by a narrow margin, to Gerard Heuvelink.

Among the reasons for satisfying the criteria, proposed by the nominators, are:
(a) Most influential publications based on Google Scholar are:
– A Propagation of Errors in Spatial Modelling with GIS (Citation rate: 32/year)
– A generic framework for spatial prediction of soil variables based on regression-kriging (CR: 38/year)
– About regression-kriging: from equations to case studies (CR: 29/year)
– Optimization of sample patterns for universal kriging of environmental variables (CR: 20/year)
– Modelling soil variation: past, present, and future (CR: 17/year)
All these papers are soil science/pedometrics related.

(b) Recognized by his peers in Pedometrics, e.g., by the 2006 Best paper award in Pedometrics: Heuvelink G.B.M., Schoorl J.M., Veldkamp A., Pennock D.J. Space-time Kalman filtering of soil redistribution. Geoderma 133 (2006):124-137.

(c) Since 2012 leading the largest research project at ISRIC: AfSIS (Africa Soil Information Services); chaired the Dutch Soil Science Socitey from 2004-2008; project leader or (co)-supervisor of 4 current and 13 completed research projects registered by the (Dutch) National Academic Research and Collaborations Information System (NARCIS); see list at

(d) He teaches geostatistics, spatial uncertainty analysis and pedometrics to students of Wageningen University. The teaching is embedded in the Soil and Landscape Variability course to undergraduate students of Soil, Water, Atmosphere. Gerard also contributes to the Spatial Modelling and Statistics course to MSc students of Geo-information Science of Wageningen University and the Inventory Techniques for Land Science and Frontiers in Land Science courses of the MSc Soil Science. Recent post-graduate courses taught by Gerard are the Space-Time Geostatistics course to employees of Wageningen IMARES, the Statistical Methods for Spatial Data Analysis and Modelling course to PhD-students of the Production Ecology and Resource Conservation graduate school, and the Spatial Uncertainty Propagation workshop organised prior to the Pedometrics 07 conference.
Member of 18 PhD committees since 1996.

(e) He chaired the Pedometrics Commission in the period 2002-2006; during his mandate, the Digital Soil Mapping working group has been established; pedometrics got much more visibility within the IUSS (it was promoted to a commission in 2004; Pedometrics is now one of the most active research groups within IUSS)

He chaired the Dutch Soil Science Socitey from 2004-2008, after being vice-president from 2001-2004).

He is the co-editor of the Geoderma journal.

He edited several issue of the Pedometron newsletter and is still one of the main contributors to that newsletter (notably with the Pedomathemagia column)

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