The Global Soil Partnership at the Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has declared 2015 the International Year of Soils. In celebration, the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is coordinating a series of activities throughout 2015 to educate the public about the importance of this precious natural resource.

SSSA has organized a series of 12 monthly messages throughout the year and is developing a series of 12, 2-minute educational videos in collaboration with Jim Toomey, who authors the environmental cartoon, Sherman’s Lagoon. SSSA members also have created educational materials for K-12 teachers. Additionally, groups can request an SSSA member to speak at their event by filling out an Ask a Scientist form.

Here are SSSA’s 12 themes to celebrate the International Year of Soils:

January – Soils sustain life

February – Soils support urban life

March – Soils support agriculture

April – Soils clean and capture water

May – Soils support buildings/infrastructure

June – Soils support recreation

July – Soils are living

August – Soils support health

September – Soils protect the natural environment

October – Soils and products we use

November – Soil and climate

December – Soils, culture, and people