General Information

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Welcome to the ISRIC Spring School!   

The ISRIC Spring School aims to introduce participants to world soils, soil classification, soil databases, software for soil data analysis and digital soil mapping in two five-day courses that are run in parallel.



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Who is the Spring School for?                   

What are the  courses about?                             

Venue, dates and selection criteria             

Contact the team

Good to know






Who is the Spring School for?

  • Soil and environmental scientists involved in (digital) soil mapping and soil information production at regional, national and continental scales;
  • Soil experts and professionals in natural resources management and planning;
  • Soil science students at MSc and PhD level.


What are the two courses about?

This is a course on the soils of the world and their assessment. It will provide an introduction to the soils of the world and their diversity, their main forming factors, classification (according to the World Reference Base for Soil Resources 2014), and management.  

Course coordinator: Stephan Mantel

Lecturers: Stephan Mantel, Niels Batjes, Johan Leenaars, Zhanguo Bai, Eloi Ribeiro, Seppe Deckers, Rachel Creamer, David Rossiter.


The aim of this course is to introduce methods and software for the management, analysis and mapping of soil properties within the R environment for statistical computing. The course alternates between lectures and computer practicals and covers a variety of subjects, such as geostatistics, linear regression and machine learning for soil mapping, quantification of uncertainty and soil map validation.

Course coordinator: Gerard Heuvelink;

Lecturers: Gerard Heuvelink, Bas Kempen, Madlene Nussbaum, Eloi Ribeiro, Titia Mulder, David Rossiter.




The Spring School  will be held at the Wageningen Campus, the Netherlands, from 28 May - 1 June 2018. We offer participants the optional  “Introduction to R” tutorial and "Introduction to soils and their properties" lecture on Friday 25 May 2018, if sufficient requests have been received.


Important  dates

  • Registration deadline: 12 March 2018
  • Confirmation of participation: 15 March 2018
  • Letter of invitation (for visa application): 19 March 2018
  • Final programme of the Spring School: 14 May 2018
  • Spring School:  28 May - 1 June 2018

Note: it might take substantial time to obtain a visa for the Netherlands (a Schengen visa). If you require a visa, we strongly advise to apply for one as soon as you have received confirmation of your participation.

More information about visa application for the Netherlands can be found here. A list of countries whose nationals need or do not need a Schengen visa can be downloaded here.


Selection criteria

Each course is limited to 30 participants per course. In case of a larger number of applications, priority will be given based on time of application (first-come first-served).


@ Contacts for more information

  • Spring school coordination: springschool(at)
  • DSM course coordinator: Gerard Heuvelink (gerard.heuvelink(at)
  • WSA course coordinator: Stephan Mantel (stephan.mantel(at)



Good to know

Courses may be cancelled if the minimum number of participants is not reached.  We will inform you latest 15 March 2018. In that case the amount paid will be refunded to your bank account. Please note that the refund will be done to the same bank account number used to pay the course fee.

100% of the participation fee must be paid at the time of registration.

ISRIC does not provide scholarships for this course, nor assists with finding scholarships. Participants will have to find and bring their own funding.

Please read carefully the Costs and Payment section.


Interested in Soil Biology and Biochemistry? Wageningen University organizes a "Laboratory skills course in soil biology and biochemistry" in the week after the spring school from 4-8 June 2018! More information can be found here.


The ISRIC Spring School  contributes to the Global Soil Partnership implementation,  and is organised under the auspices of the C.T. de Wit Graduate School for Production Ecology and Resource Conservation of Wageningen University. The 2018 spring school is  organized in collaboration with guest lecturers from the Catholic University of Leuven, Soil Biology and Biological Soil Quality group of Wageningen University,and the School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences of Bern University of Applied Sciences.


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