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Minutes of Science Panels meeting Frankfurt 17/10/2016

Please comment on these minutes, together with new science panel structure proposal and mission statements on the science panel pages of the site.

Minutes of the Frankfurt meeting

Present : Andrea Schnepf, Jan Vanderborgt, Dani Or, Ute Wollschlaeger, John Koestel, Martine van der Ploeg, Ana Tarquis, Mathieu Javaux, Harry Vereecken, Eckart Priesack, Kris Van Looy

Introduction by Andrea

Andrea recalls how the ISMC came about; initiated EGU 2014, inaugural conference Austin March 2016

Objective of the consortium is linking soil disciplines, standardizing data in a community effort.

Written out in white paper Vadose Zone Journal 2016. The preliminary website already counts > 200 registrations, presenting platforms and models

IUSS (international union soil science) working group - promoting ISMC within IUSS, and visibility larger: the approval is still on the agenda. Next meeting Japan 2018. Todo: Harry will link up regularly with the office in Vienna to check status.

Governance structure; Harry & Michael co-chairing, science panels established. Goals year 1 and 3 formulated.

New coordinator ISMC appointed by Forschungszentrum Jülich, Kris Van Looy. 

Proposed ISMC work format

Regular meetings: panels need to meet once a year at AGU/EGU, plus whole ISMC meeting also once a year. Organization of a scientific conference every two years; such frequency is believed sufficiently regular for this very diverse community to keep the momentum.

At EGU2017 special sessions proposed by each science panel, + ISMC session. Todo: science panel coordinators give sign to Ana + coordination office of session title, abstract, acceptance  (see further)


Main point of agenda: discussing missions (statements) of the science panels

Discussing overlap in objectives and activities of Scientific panels leads to aggregation of CROSS and Connect panel in Cross-Connect, and Data & Observation and MLINK into DO-Link


Objective of a meta-repository

With a knowledge base of available datasets to soil (and soil functions), ISMC can be a reference/resource center for Earth system science data.

Objective of data link to models

Thinking of what kind of data we need, and what is around, what can we do with it, what is missing? (Data products could be model generated data also)



Two-level approach: soil process models and integrated field scale and earth system model

First step of inventory of models, then intercomparison of specific processes models, then look at integration in earth system model (Soil One)

For the earth system model we chose the angle to ecosystem services (and sustainable earth); role of soils in supporting different ES; soil functions present in models, linking the functions to services and to sustainable earth measures like the proposed Soil Footprint.


Bridging the different soil modelling communities (disciplines) and connecting to the other earth science disciplines and potential stakeholders/external partners

Proposal to apply for a COST Action “Soil Footprint”. Could be prepared at a splinter meeting during EGU 2017 ?

We discussed the proposed “rules of conduct”. Decided not to be included as part of a science panel mission statement, but perhaps somewhere on the ISMC website (general terms of consortium). 

Result of these discussions is a new organization structure for the ISMC with three science panels.


Todo: the actual coordinators of the science panels propose a mission statement (formulations made during meeting; please look at versions published on the website); for harmonization these are reduced to two sentences (one on context and one for objectives) and a short list of first actions. Goal for each of the panels should be a paper presenting roadmap and/or innovation proposed under the activity.


Planned activities

Special sessions at AGU/EGU 2016-2017 from the science panels, contributions to conferences and reports; overview provided by Ana; todo: to be checked/completed by all.

SSS11 Metrics, informatics and statistics in soils:

SSS11.1/BG9.39/NP10.6 Dynamical Time-Space Models in Soils

SSS11.2/GI1.10/HS11.59 ‘Data-model’ conundrum in soil and environmental modelling

SSS11.3/BG9.40/HS11.60 From soil sampling to system monitoring

SSS11.4/BG9.41/NP10.5 Complexity and non-linearity in soils

SSS11.5/ESSI4.10/HS11.61/NH9.23 Communication of uncertain information in earth sciences: data, models and visualization

SSS11.6/BG9.42/NP10.7 Integrating ecological concepts and upscaling theories into soil biogeochemical models and research

SSS11.7/GI1.9/NP10.8 Data and observations in soil science: datasets, databases and applications of statistical analyses and machine learning methods


SSS7 Soil Physics

SSS7.15/HS8.3.6/AS4.14/CL5.22 Advancing Integration of Soil and Subsurface Processes in Climate Models.  Convener: Dani Or  | Co-Conveners: Harry Vereecken , Gerrit H. de Rooij

SSS7.18/HS8.3.4 Development of a Vadose Zone Model Intercomparison Platform . Convener: Jan Vanderborght  | Co-Conveners: Patricia Garnier , Diederik Jacques , Eckart Priesack


ISMC conference 2017 with two topics: presentation SOILWAT initiative, new PTF’s, and the activities under ISMC (science panels).

Presentation of opportunities and developed activities

Gewex SOILWAT initiative presented by Dani. Workshop Leipzig June 2016 Integrating soil processes in climate models: proposition for joint working group between GEWEX and ISMC.

Further presentation how Olam model (Leaf-4) can be used as platform for the earth system model (Soil One); this will be explored in a 6 month project by Bob Walco, entering SoilGrids in Leaf-4 (based in Jülich).  

Links with other programs projects listed for further follow-up: Cost actions KeySOM - BIOLINK, Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative, ERA-Planet, Horizon2020 ESFRI LTER network, common activities with AgMIP (Todo: office will follow up, for the AgMIP sharing information by Eckart Priesack)


Proposition for a 12 member Executive board:

Chair, co-chair; 6 members (2 per science panel) and 4 ‘members at large’ to join executive board

For the executive board, everyone can put forward candidates; the current science panel coordinators will be proposed automatically.

Planning: 15 November call out for candidacy, 15 December candidates online and vote till 15 January. Election will be run with online selection tool: some safety in it (no double voting). Todo: office will organize this web-application 

Everyone who registers on the website is considered member (and can register for specific science panel membership). Members of scientific panels can choose for panel chairs. After discussion there is decided for no membership fees (for the moment)

Proposition for a Scientific advisory board:

Useful for legitimacy and connection to other communities; Todo: each panel suggests 2 members and they have 1 meeting at AGU/EGU (people from other communities preferably).


We will make a logo soon! Todo: Office will launch propositions

Minutes of this meeting will be posted on the website, together with information about actualization science panel mission statements, and road maps on panel work, on election,…

We need to work out routes to funding; call for everyone to bring in ideas/point out opportunities

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