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Decision and Policy Analysis Research Area – DAPA

Pedometrics conference 2013: Spatial and temporal modeling of soil

DAPA africa team member Kennedy Ng’ang’a attended the 10th biennial meeting of Pedometricians happened in Nairobi, Kenya between 26th  – 31st August 2013. The gathering attracted participants from around the world with various institutes and organizations being represented. The Pedometrics Conference 2013 was held at the ICRAF campus and was jointly hosted by CIAT and ICRAF.

pedometrics_group

This year’s meeting was divided into two parts; a pre-conference workshop and the main conference. The 2-day pre-conference workshop exposed participants to the latest approaches in modeling and mapping soil properties. Both geostatistical approaches as well as machine-learning approaches to mapping soil were presented and practiced. The hands-on approach of the workshop allowed many participants to explore these techniques and have a greater appreciation of how they are implemented.

The main conference attracted over 65 participants drawn from 15 countries. Keynote addresses were delivered by senior scientists including the Director General of ICRAF, the Director of Soils Research Area at CIAT, The Principal Scientist at the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, as well as the Chair of Division 1.5 of the International Union of Soil Science. Presentations at the conference touched on diverse topics ranging from Digital Soil Mapping, Pedotransfer Functions, Advances in Proximal and Remote Sensing, as well as Analytical Techniques for Assessing Soil Organic Carbon stocks.

sample_farmer

In addition, there was also a poster presentation as well as a field trip to north-central Kenya where participants practically engaged in soil classification using different classification systems. The field trip also provided participants with a chance to interact with locals and observe the conservation approaches being practiced by pastoralist communities in the region. An additional bonus was the wide range of wildlife which was seen by participants as they went about the field trip. All this contributed to a highly educational and entertaining experience both during the pre-conference, the actual conference and the field trip. In summary Pedometrics 2013 was a huge success!

 

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