Summary of pre-AGU 2017 activities

ISCN all-hands meeting 2017

ISCN’s second annual all-hands meeting was held on Dec 10, 2017 in New Orleans. Attended by 33 scientists, the morning included a range of presentations (see agenda here). The ISCN leadership presented updates on recent publications, activities, and synergies. Action group members presented updates on soil respiration and AmeriFlux data, and carbon stabilization (focus on radiocarbon data). We also had a short presentation on Farm tools and FarmOS, and discussed possible collaborations with this group.

We also had four breakout discussions on the following topics:

  • The use of soil data in wetland mapping (Lead: Gustaf Hugelius): the goals of this group were to discuss i) whether soil data can be useful for wetland mapping, ii) is there a useful soil science definition of a wetland and iii) how soil data and the soil science community can contribute to global wetland mapping efforts?
  • Belowground traits and soil carbon (Lead: Avni Malhotra): the goals of this group were to evaluate current understanding and knowledge gaps on the link between belowground plant and fungal traits and soil carbon storage. The group also discussed data needed to better understand belowground trait-soil carbon linkages.
  • Radiocarbon data (Lead: Alison Hoyt): this group discussed the potential applications of soil radiocarbon data to ask questions regarding management and land use change influences on soil carbon storage. They also discussed the state of existing radiocarbon data and which data are missing from archives. The group reported on possible publications and the way forward for data aggregation.
  • Scales of data (Leads: Julie Loisel and Jennifer Harden): This group discussed data needs of the soil science community and how to address questions that are relevant to human-soil interactions. Discussions spanned from data necessary to create a soil management framework, to what soil processes relevant to management can be modeled and which datasets are needed for this modeling.


ISCN Data Hackathon

The all-hands meeting in the morning was followed by a Data Hackathon.  Led by Kathe Todd-Brown, this event brought together 30 scientists interested in using customized R scripts to ingest data into the ISCN database.

Some quick numbers for the hackathon:

1 – data ingestion script

2 – suggestions for changes to the infrastructure/features

3 – pull requests to

7 – people contributed ‘Issues’ that either identified data or make suggestions to the repository

8 – hackathon related forks of

14 – new data sets identified

23 – hackathon related forks of

The hackathon generated a lot of interest among our colleagues and we had productive discussions on future hackathons on targeted data needs. If you are interested in data updates please subscribe to:!forum/soc-drahr

Please post a comment below if you wish to get involved in any of the breakout group follow ups or would like to get involved in future data hackathons.


ISCN winter workshop highlights

Stanford, California, Feb 27 to March 3, 2017. 

Fourteen scientists met to discuss and define research and data priorities for soil carbon science and for ISCN. Along with ISCN action group representatives and soil scientists with diverse research backgrounds, we drafted an article highlighting the converging needs of the soil carbon science and soil health communities and the way forward for ISCN.

Read the EoS meeting report here!


ISCN all-hands meeting and Data Hackathon at AGU 2017

**January 2018 update: we will post the summary from AGU meetings at the end of this month!

**December 7th, 2017 update: please note that if you signed up for the hackathon and/or the all-hands meeting and are not getting any emails from us, they might be going to your spam folder. For the all-hands meeting, all the logistical information is below.**


Greetings soil carbon lovers!

There are three exciting ISCN related events at AGU fall meeting 2017, New Orleans:

1) ISCN all-hands meeting:  All are welcome! Whether you are an ISCN member or interested in becoming one, or just curious about the network or database, join us! Click below to see the meeting agenda:


Sign up now to attend!

Date and time: Sunday, December 10, 2017; 8 am to 1 pm

Location: Galerie 3 (second floor), Marriott New Orleans, 555 Canal street, New Orleans

Data hackathon: co-hosted by the International Soil Carbon Network (ISCN) and the Permafrost Carbon Network (PCN) tentatively Sunday, December 10th (afternoon). Want to see how your data compare and contribute to comprehensive datasets? Interested in finding new uses for old data? Want to help us grow our “Underground Network” in one searchable database? Bring your own soil carbon data or work with existing datasets! In this hackathon we’ll craft R scripts to harmonize soil carbon data and build teams for future collaborations. Soil survey, field experiments, and laboratory incubation, soil respiration data are welcome, though we are not currently set-up to work with ‘omics or high resolution MS/NMR data.

See event details and register. Note that spaces are now full and you can register to be on the wait list. 

Date: December 10, 2017; Time: 1 to 5 pm; Location: Galerie 3 (second floor), Marriott New Orleans, 555 Canal street, New Orleans


3) Session B063: Soil Carbon Dynamics at Broad Scales: Linking Mechanistic Knowledge to Broad-scale Applications. Time and location tbd in October

See session description here!