The first international journal focusing on wind erosion research will begin publication in 2009.
Agricultural Research Service (ARS) soil scientist Ted M. Zobeck is the president-elect of the newly formed International Society for Aeolian Research and co-editor-in-chief of its new quarterly Elsevier journal, "Aeolian Research."
Zobeck works at the ARS Wind Erosion and Water Conservation Research Unit in Lubbock, Texas. His colleague, Jeff Lee of Texas Tech University in Lubbock, is the other co-editor-in-chief of the peer-reviewed journal.
"Aeolian research" refers to winds' ability to shape the Earth's surface. It comes from the name of the Greek god Aeolus, the keeper of the winds. As obscure as the name sounds, aeolian research deals with the type of problems exemplified by America's Dust Bowl days.
Dust storms occur regularly around the world and can affect people's respiratory health and daily lives in many ways, including causing massive traffic accidents by obscuring visibility. The sculpting of the earth by wind is spectacularly visible in sand dune formations.
Aeolian research ranges from the study of dunes and dust emissions to global soil transport, pesticide movement, desertification, global warming and acid rain.
The first research paper on aeolian processes was written in 1646 to investigate a dark-red rain that fell in Belgium.
Aeolian researchers include agricultural specialists and engineers, soil and vegetation scientists, geographers and climatologists, among other disciplines.
Zobeck announced the new society and journal at this month's joint meeting of the Geological Society of America, the Soil Science Society of America, the American Society of Agronomy, the Crop Science Society of America, the Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies, and the Gulf Coast Section of the Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists.
ARS is a scientific agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture.