135-3 Evolving Anthropocene How Soils Shaped Civilization.

See more from this Division: S05 Pedology
See more from this Session: Advancing Pedology - How Is the Anthropocene Transforming Pedology?
Monday, October 22, 2012: 9:00 AM
Duke Energy Convention Center, Room 250, Level 2
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Cynthia Stiles, Pacific Islands Area, USDA-NRCS, Honolulu, HI
Soils are an essential foundation upon which human society has been built, particularly as it evolved from hunter-gatherer bands into settled agrarian communities.  It is well-known that different cultures have evolved in response to prevailing environmental conditions, which are also forcing factors in soil formation.  Thus, it is easy to see that equivalent cultures developed on similar soil types despite wide geographic separation.  Trajectories of societal development are strongly related to the resilience of soil and water resources, particularly where rapid population has increased stress on limited resources.  As society moves away from cultural separation and into the new age of globalization, we are witnessing a lowering significance in cultural knowledge – and respect – for natural resources that are critical to sustaining societal needs. The uniqueness of cultures drawn from the land is less notable in the Anthropocene, as most people are now far-removed from the close relationship with the natural surroundings that shaped cultural knowledge.
See more from this Division: S05 Pedology
See more from this Session: Advancing Pedology - How Is the Anthropocene Transforming Pedology?