Breaking Ground

1. What's under your feet?

2. Past: What not to do with dirt

3. Present: On thin ground?

4. Future: Dig in

Related Why Files
small green toy tractor Dust in the wind

Beach erosion

Worms go wild

The first farmers

Transgenic crops

Feeding the future

American Agriculture: A Brief History, by Douglas Hurt, Iowa State University Press, 1994.

The State of the Nation's Ecosystems: Measuring the Lands, Waters, and Living Resources of the United States, Cambridge University Press, 2002.

Soils, Land and Food: Managing the Land During the Twenty-first Century, by Alan Wild, Cambridge University Press, 2003.

State of the World 2002, by Christopher Flavin et al., Worldwatch Institute, 2002. (See p. 62-74 for global trends in agriculture)

U.S. biosurvey reveals worrisome trends, Milius, S, Science News 156(Sept. 25):199, 1999.

"Easter Island's End," Jared Diamond, Discover, August 1995.

"Environmental and Economic Costs of Soil Erosion and Conservation Benefits," David Pimentel et al., Science, Feb. 24, 1995.

"U.S. Soil Erosion Rates - Myth and Reality," Stanley Trimble and Pierre Crosson, Science, July 14, 2000.

"Tropical Soils and Food Security: The Next 50 Years," M.A. Stocking, Science, Nov. 21, 2003.

"Soil Fertility and Hunger in Africa," by Pedro Sanchez, Science, March 15, 2002.

"Global environmental impacts of agricultural expansion: The need for sustainable and efficient practices," David Tilman, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., May 1999.


What's the pedosphere?

Activities for teachers, or anyone who likes to play in the dirt.

Free soil education for kids!

The official government earthworm answers your questions.

Agriculture in the classroom.

For teachers: dirty lesson plans.

World soil information

Soil at the Smithsonian

The Land Institute.

Everything's clean on our credits page.

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