Research in the chair group Soil Physics and Land Management (SLM) addresses soil physical and hydrological processes at different temporal and spatial scales, and their central role in sustainable land and water management. Specific attention is given to flow and transport processes of water and solutes through and over the soil system, and their effects on crops, vegetation and the groundwater.
Research activities vary from field and laboratory experiments, to detailed process and modelling studies, to scenario and impact assessment studies at watershed level. This knowledge is used to explore, design, test and evaluate promising innovative practices and strategies for sustainable land management, often in close collaboration with (local) stakeholders and with the aim to prevent and remediate soil degradation problems worldwide. Upscaling and downscaling of these processes and innovative practices in time and space are important elements.
Staff of SLM group is involved in academic teaching in two BSc programmes: “International Land and Water Management” and “Soil, Water, Atmosphere”. Furthermore, SLM is one of the leading chair groups for teaching in the MSc programmes International Land and Water Management (with specialization Land Degradation and Development) and Earth and Environment (with specialization Soil Physics, Ecohydrology and Groundwater Management). About 30 PhD students currently perform research in this new group, often in close collaboration with other chair groups from the soil cluster, as well as cross-disciplinary with other sciences groups within WUR and abroad.
The SLM chair group is the result of merging two existing chair groups as of May 2012; the chair groups LDD (Land Degradation and Development) and SEG (Soil Physics, Ecohydrology and Groundwater Management).