I first met Dr. Colby Moorberg when he was a member of the Soil and Water Conservation Club at Iowa State University; I was the club advisor. He soon became the club president and conveyed to others his strong desire to improve soil and water resources. It was clear then that Colby would favorably affect soil and water resources through some future profession although I did not know when or how. Colby has maintained a strong soil and water conservation ethic throughout his life and an even stronger desire to share with others the value and importance of conserving these critical natural resources.
In principle, soil erosion and water runoff are mediated by rather simple processes. However, landscape and climate drive soil erosion and water runoff and vary continuously in both space and time. Attempts to understand the complexities and interactions of these dynamic processes have resulted in a broad research and publication record. Capturing and organizing critical components of this extensive literature to help educate soil and water conservation students and researchers offers a rather large challenge along with a potentially valuable and unique opportunity.
Soil and Water Conservation: An Annotated Bibliography brings to life educationally valuable components of the literature addressing this topic. Not only are the selected references effective educationally, they are readily available to those learning about soil and water conservation science. The structure of this easily accessible educational resource and the documents identified in this annotated bibliography leverages modern information technology allowing updates as they become available. It is adaptable for different users and user goals and capitalizes on the increasing volume of scientific materials being published in open access format.
Soil and Water Conservation: An Annotated Bibliography could become a model for future upper level undergraduate and graduate classes in Soil Science. A teaching philosophy that supports connecting students with sources of soil and water conservation information favors better knowledge and understanding of soil and water resources; it additionally builds links between students and those members of the profession writing about these key topics. This vision for supporting and supplementing education in this topic area is not totally new; however, creating a resource well suited to meet these goals is. This resource has met the forward-thinking goals of Dr. Moorberg: 1) create an easily available educational resource; 2) familiarize students with technical resources that are a foundation for soil and water conservation education; and 3) establish a science-based class resource with low or no cost to the student. The vision for and delivery of a credible, unique, and potentially impactful educational resource is to be commended by our teaching and research profession.