About the Project

Globalization and global environmental issues, as well as unification of scientific researches and teaching on EU level necessitate harmonization and correlation of technical languages, such as the one used in soil science. Despite the passage of years and the development of unified European system of soil description it is still not used in a satisfactory manner among teaching staff at EU universities. National bias in soil teaching still dominate and seriously complicates exchange of information and teaching process. Existing national or cross-border projects are limited either territorially or as a result of the use of national methods of description and classification. International projects overcome these limitations but usually refer to one or a few selected environmental aspects. Another drawback of these projects from educational point of view is a typical scientific approach, which results in a low availability of raw data and complicated manner of their presentation. Therefore, they are hardly usable for teaching purposes.
    The project consortium brings together specialists from 9 Institutions from 8 countries (Czechia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia) having expertise in soils of different regions of Central Europe. Each partner is an renowned expert in the study of soils within particular region. Individual members of the consortium also participated in a number of works related to the adaptation of the WRB in regional research (national scale), as well as international (testing WRB for improvement of next editions) and its use in the context of learning and teaching at the higher education level. Such experience is essential to reach the project objectives.
    The Freely Accessible Central European Soil (FACES) project will create a student fieldwork manual, course curriculum and soil database of Central Europe, covering the Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. The product will be extensive and offered in unified format. Moreover it will be user-friendly. International system of the characteristics of soils adopted by the FAO will be used for the presentation of the data. Interpretation of the origin and systematic position of soils will be based on the international classification of soils WRB (World Reference Base for Soil Resources), which the new (third) edition was published in 2014 (and update in 2015). Development of extensive database applying the new version is thus essential from didactic point of view. Project will allow to prepare state of the art teaching resources. Since next edition of WRB will not be published before 2026, produced materials will be up-to-date didactical tools for many years. Among project activities will be meetings dedicated to collection of soil data necessary to prepare teaching materials. Soil samples will be collected to carry necessary laboratory analysis. On the basis of obtained field and laboratory soil data will be prepared online database and chapters for soil atlases. There are also planned two Intensive Courses. These IP meetings will take place in 2017 (Lithuania) and 2018 (North Poland). The main objectives of these activities will be testing and evaluation of pilot educational module.
Elaborated data base (and other outcomes) will be freely accessible as a web site throughout European Union and whole world as well. The obtained product, due to its modern form will be powerful tool in teaching at universities. It will also improve cooperation between European institutions dealing with soil science, environmental issues, geoinformation systems etc. The use of developed product will be resulting in raising of theoretical and practical qualifications and skills of students and soil science professionals, which will last also many years after end of founding period of FACES.

Project is Co-funded by Erasmus+ of the European Union.

Project number: 2015-1-PL01-KA203-016480