Jonathan Atkinson, Operations Director for the Land Restitution Evaluation Study (LRES), has been invited by the South Africa Soil Science Society of South Africa (SSSSA) to join the National soil classification working group (SCWG). The SSSSA is a scientific society, which, in the interest of its members, promotes the advancement of soil science and soil technology as well as the responsible practicing thereof by its members with the view to the long-term sustainable utilisation of the environment in the interest of the community. Membership to the SCWG is by invitation through the Council of the Soil Science Society of South Africa or the South African Soil Survey Organisation (SASSO). All members are tasked with:
- Continuous development, maintenance and implementation of scientific soil classification and soil information systems.
- Enhancing the scientific level of soil classification through the application of relevant local and relevant international research.
- Improving the practical implementation of soil classification and soil information systems through their testing by soil survey and other allied scientific user groups for:
- Accuracy in defining criteria that can be successfully applied in routine soil classification.
- Relevancy in the use of soil properties important for sustained land development, land use and land remediation.
- Suitability for incorporation into soil information systems.
- Harmonising the general vision of soil classification and soil information systems with other recognized soil classification and soil information systems.
Jonathan’s current research focus on digital soil and geomorphological mapping using various GIS and remote sensing platforms for improved soilscape modelling has resulted in improved optimization of terrain unit mapping for agronomic and soil data-scarce regions of South Africa.