November 2, 2023

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ANKENY, IOWA —  For 78 years, the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation (JSWC) has been publishing the latest in soil, water, and related natural resource sciences. Earlier this year, and for the first time since its inception, the Editorial Board approved the addition of a second Research Editor who will oversee the review of research in the social sciences. The Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS) is excited to announce that Dr. J. Gordon Arbuckle Jr. has been selected to fill the position of Research Co-Editor of the JSWC.

“We are seeing more submissions from social scientists across the globe than ever before, and we want to ensure we are meeting the needs of our readers by publishing the best, high quality, up-to-date research in all the sciences—both physical and social—that is needed to advance conservation, particularly with the urgency in making our food systems and communities resilient to climate change,” explains Gretchen Sassenrath, JSWC Research Co-Editor.

Over the last decade, submissions of research in the social sciences have been steadily increasing, and the resulting papers consistently gain some of the highest citations in the journal. Papers like “Comparing cover crop use by horticultural and commodity producers” (Myers and LaRose) and “Individual- and county-level factors associated with farmers’ use of 4R Plus nutrient management practices” (Upadhaya et al.) dig into the mindset of farmers adopting conservation and recommendations for expanded research in this arena and tactics for practitioners.

“Social science is a bridge between physical research and practitioners. It helps those working with farmers and communities to understand how to merge environmental, economic, and cultural benefits to advance the conservation of natural resources,” states Jody Thompson, Acting Editor of the JSWC.

Dr. Arbuckle's strong publication record, expertise in the social sciences, and proven dedication to advancing conservation science and the JSWC make him highly qualified for the position of Research Co-Editor. He is a professor of rural sociology in the Department of Sociology at Iowa State University; his research and extension efforts focus on improving the environmental and social performance of agricultural systems. He created the Farm Rural Life Poll, the longest-running farm poll in the nation.  He also was the lead social scientist on the Soil and Water Conservation Society’s Conservation Practitioner Poll, which is bringing the voice of the conservation professional into policymaking conversations. Dr. Arbuckle has served as an Associate Editor of the JSWC since 2012 and received the 2021 Associate Editor of Excellence Award, the 2022 SWCS Fellow Award, and his research has received the Best Research Paper for Quality and Impact Award numerous times. Under the leadership of Dr. Gretchen Sassenrath and Dr. Arbuckle as Research Editors, the JSWC will continue its legacy as a leading journal in conservation science.

“There is a reason our organization and journal have been around for 78 years,” states Clare Lindahl, CEO of SWCS. “As our industry and profession has evolved, so have we. We bring the conservation professionals working with farmers and communities what they need, and this newest evolution in our scientific publication shows this.”


About SWCS

For seventy-eight years, the Soil and Water Conservation Society has been the premier international organization for professionals who practice and advance the science and art of natural resource conservation. We believe sustainable land and water management is essential to the continued security of the earth and its people. Our goal is to cultivate an organization of informed, dynamic individuals whose contributions create a bright future for agriculture, the environment, and society. The Soil and Water Conservation Society is headquartered in Ankeny, Iowa, with chapters across the United States and Canada.

For More Information:

For more information, contact:

Emma Harper, SWCS Communications Coordinator, at

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