About These Pages


Soil – The World Beneath Our Feet


“Soil – The World Beneath Our Feet”, was a website that was designed on behalf of the New Zealand Society of Soil Science (NZSSS),  in 2015, to promote the public understanding and appreciation of soils and to celebrate the then, 2015,  International Year Of Soils. Although here at the NZSSS, we believe that every year is a celebration of soil.

Because this website was a unique New Zealand resource, it was decided that the pages should be kept available for anyone who wished to use them. The best way to do so, was to add them to the actual NZSSS  website, where they would be available as the wonderful source of information for children and teachers wanting to learn more about the world beneath our feet.

Some tenets of soil science are global by their nature, but where possible, we use New Zealand examples.  Educator Angela Schipper wrote the articles and activities. Dr Megan Balks and Professor Louis Schipper provided expert advice and quality assurance.


Here is a little bit about the team members who produced the material for these pages:



Angela Schipper


Angela Schipper


Angela Schipper is a former primary school teacher who now works for them Science Learning Hub. She still makes appearances as  Mrs Frizzell and enjoyes children’s enthusiasm for hands-on science.


Dr Megan Balks



Dr. Megan Balks teaches soil and environmental sciences at the University of Waikato. She has a special interest in Cryosols – or frozen soils, especially in the Antartic, a place she has visited 19 times to do research. Dr Balks was the first woman to be made a Fellow of the New Zealand Society of Soil Science.


Professor Louis Schipper


Louis Schipper


Professor Louis Schipper is a soil science lecturer at the University of Waikato. His research interests are in organic matter cycling, nitrogen dynamics, soil quality and educating the next generation of soil scientists!