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Dr Hamish Cresswell, CSIRO, Australia

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Seminar
30 August 2012, 11am
at the James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen
for scientists, researchers and other interested parties
Photograph of Hamish Cresswell

Unfortunately this seminar has been cancelled due to unforseen circumstances.

Dr Hamish Cresswell, Research Programme Leader at CSIRO Land and Water in Australia will give a seminar entitled "Soil science in the management of multi-functional rural landscapes" at the James Hutton Institute in Aberdeen.

Communities are concerned that we manage our landscapes to provide economic, social and environmental services for the future. Governments are making major investments in changing land use and seeking to improve land management.

We describe a bio-economic approach for planning agricultural land use to meet multiple objectives. The analysis enabled quantification of the extent of different types of land use change required to meet salinity and water yield targets at least economic cost, and where land use change might best occur within a landscape.

This and other land use planning approaches require knowledge of at least the distribution of soils and their attributes, the surface and groundwater hydrology, the current land use, economic costs and returns of current and proposed land uses, and landholder capacity to change.

Understanding the catchment basics is a prerequisite to science supporting landscape planning and management. Advances in digital soil mapping, proximal sensing, application of airborne geophysics, digital elevation models, terrain indices and land use mapping are reducing the cost of data acquisition.

The characterisation of soil hydraulic properties remains a challenge however. We describe recent analyses to support prediction of the soil water characteristic and unsaturated hydraulic conductivity relations. Soil science has an essential role in integrative landscape analysis including through reducing the cost of soil data acquisition and improving understanding of soil distribution and function.

This seminar will take place at the James Hutton Institute Aberdeen and will be broadcast live to the Dundee site.

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The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.