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Illinois Soil Classifiers Association

The Illinois Soil Classifiers Association (ISCA) was established in 1975 to promote the wise use of soils in agriculture and urban development. ISCA is made up of professional soil classifers in public service, private industry and education and includes students and others interested in preserving soil.

Structure of ISCA

ISCA is a volunteer association. Its officers are elected by the membership at large and the association is governed by an Executive Council. The Executive Council is made up of the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, President-elect and the immediate Past President. The Executive Council makes all decisions of the association, including establishing a budget, developing educational opportunities, and developing other membership activities.

Membership to ISCA is offered in several categories. In order to be a Full Member and eligible to hold an office, the applicant must have minimum educational requirements in the field of soil science and a certain number of years of experience in the field of soil classification.

An Associate Member must meet all the requirements of a Full Member, except for the years of experience. There are other membership categories to include students or others who are supportive of the objectives of ISCA.

Officers are elected at an Annual Meeting of ISCA. The Annual Meeting is a business meeting and other meetings and field tours may be held throughout the year. The association adheres to rules and guidelines established in a constitution, by-laws and a code of ethics which can be amended at the Annual Meeting by the membership. The consitution and by-laws also establish the requirements for certification of professional soil classifiers.

Certification of Professional Soil Classifiers

The membership of ISCA established a separate Certification Board which operates independently from the Executive Council. The Certification Board oversees the applications for members who are interested in becoming certified as a professional soil classifier. Among other requirements, the applicant must meet the basic qualifications as a Full Member, plus pass an exam.

ISCA Objectives

The original objective of ISCA was to establish a licensure program with the State of Illinois, to license soil classifiers to conduct on-site soil evaluations. The licensing program for soil classifiers did not materialize for various reasons. ISCA then developed a self-certification program to "certify" soil classifiers, instead of issuing a state license.

The current objectives of ISCA include the following:

1. Protect the public welfare: The association encourages technical competence and ethical conduct in the profession of soil classifying. It has partnered with the U. S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service in Illinois to develop standards for conducting high-intensity soil surveys. It has also partnered with the Illinois Department of Public Health in encouraging the use of certified soil classifiers when establishing an on-site sewage disposal system for an individual home.

2. Advance the profession of soil classifying: ISCA conducts various training sessions for its membership as well as offering educational opportunities for those who have an interest in soils. ISCA sponsors the Burton W. Ray Scholarship Award in Soil Science. This award is named after Burton W. Ray (deceased) who was a charter member of ISCA and an associate professor of the University of Illinois. The scholarship is awarded to an Illinois college student who scores the highest in the annual Region 3 soil judging contest. In addition, ISCA sponsors the qualifying collegiate soil judging teams that choose to continue to national competition.

ISCA also interacts with neighboring state soil classifier associations, having joint field trips and conferences. The association publishes a quarterly Newsletter that is distributed to the membership and is made available on the ISCA webpage.

3. Promote the wise use and conservation of the soils of Illinois through the use of soils information in land use planning: ISCA is a cooperator in the Illinois Cooperative Soil Survey and participates in the annual planning of the cooperative. ISCA has co-published non-refereed, non-copyrighted pamphlets with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Illinois to educate the general public on the basics of soils.

ISCA is affiliated with the Soil Science Society of America, ARCPACS, the United States Consortium of Soil Science Associations, and the National Society of Consulting Soil Scientists. ISCA is referenced in the State of Illinois Septic Code and in various county health department codes throughout Illinois.

ISCA contributed to the "Dig It!, The Secrets of Soil" exhibit of the Smithsonian Museum and ISCA members participate in the "Scientist at the Field" program at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, Illinois as volunteers through the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Sources

Soil classifier (talk) 18:22, 6 June 2010 (UTC) Soil classifier (talk) 18:10, 8 June 2010 (UTC) Soil classifier (talk) 18:11, 8 June 2010 (UTC) Soil classifier (talk) 00:58, 9 June 2010 (UTC) Soil classifier (talk) 01:03, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

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