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An Early Career Professional is an individual that has 10 years or less applied work experience within the Soil Science industry, including postgraduate students.

The Early Career Professionals Programme (ECPP) adds a new component to the biannual NZSSS conference schedule and was first established in 2022. The programme’s main objective is to help introducing early career soil professionals to each other and foster their collaboration. The focus of the ECPP is to encourage networking within the soil community and to develop a  shared vision of how to advance soil science in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The programme is inspired by the whakatauki He waka eke noa (the canoe we are all in with no exception). It takes cooperation and communication as well as the harmony of body and mind to operate a waka: physical strength to gain forward momentum, a wise mind and successful communication between different sailors of the waka to navigate safely. Based on this idea, the ECPP comprises two workstreams: Soil Fit and Soil Clever.

Soil Fit includes a physical component such as a soil-themed outdoor activity, whereas Soil Clever comprises a learning experience in workshop format. An important objective for both workstreams is inclusiveness, and acknowledgement that different attendees will enter the programme with different backgrounds, may those be cultural or educational. Consequently, both workstreams aim to be generic to interest a wider audience but also specific enough to provide a thorough socialising and learning experience. For Soil Clever it was decided that the primary focus shall be on science communication and skill development such as multimedia filming, public speaking, creative content creation, graphic design, online posting, public interviews or similar. Instead, Soil Fit provides a valve for excess energy to be released after long hours of sitting and in this sense serves as an icebreaker encouraging attendees to mingle.

For the 2022 conference, the two workstreams are included in the student and full registration fees:

    Rogaining in the Wither Hills in cooperation with the Blenheim Rogaining Association with the event open to all conference attendees (fun/active networking opportunity) as well as the public, a post-rogaining dinner and socialising for young professionals only. The rogaine will be open all week to attend at any time of the day and will include a high proportion of interesting soil and geological features as check points. For ECPP attendees, there will be an exclusive session held on Monday afternoonFree for all conference attendees. Transport to Wither Hills is included with student registration only
    For more information about what Rogaining is, click here

    Bazzacam smartphone DIY video workshop. Due to time constraints, it was decided that this workshop will be offered to early career professionals prior to the conference commencing. The workshop will be in an online format and participants will be tasked to put their skills into practise during the conference by creating creative content featuring the event and its participants. The footage may be used for promotional purposes in the future and the best short clip shall be awarded at the final conference dinner.
    Click on the following links to find out more

  • What to expect and deliverables

  • Intro flyer

  • Ten Tips for smartphone video interviews​

  • Dates:  1st, 8th, 15th and 22nd November noon to 1 PM
    How to book: You can register for this workshop on the Conference registration form

Contact Details

The 2022 ECPP is led by Kirstin Deuss and Anne Wecking. Both are members of the NZSSS and as early career professionals completed their PhDs in 2021. Contact details are:



Timothy Clough, NZSSS President, Lincoln University
Matt Oliver, Marlborough District Council
Anne Wecking, Tasman District Council
Leo Condron, Lincoln University
Sam Carricks, Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research
Jim Moir, Lincoln University
Jennifer Owens, Scion Research
Trish Fraser, Plant and Food
Simeon Smaill, Scion Research
Thomas Caspari, Landcare Research
Lea Boodee, OnCue Conferences


Abstract Submissions — Now Open
Early-Bird Registrations — July
Abstract Submissions — Close 14 August

Early-Bird Registrations — End 14 October


Lea Boodee, OnCue Conferences

03 928 0620