For his achievement in research in Soil Science, he received the Dokuchaev medal in 2010. At the time he himself was not able to travel anymore, but his granddaughter Idid was his respectful ambassador at the festive ceremony. We now live in a transformed world of the “electronic revolution”. Information and knowledge can be transmitted within fractions of a second around the globe.
Dan, with his broad “Bildungshorizont” (horizon of educational knowledge and wisdom) enjoyed these new means to dive into the history of soil science. With skill and insight, he traced and compiled the achievements of the pioneers of soil science for coming generations. On many meetings check details and some excursions, I had the chance to discuss
with him the wellbeing of the CATENA journal. When after 20 years I passed the journal in 1993 to Elsevier, he said “You could not do better to secure its future”. After my “Aliya” (immigration) to Israel in 1995, I had the chance to meet him and his wife Rita frequently in Jerusalem, and we spoke regularly by phone, especially to exchange greetings on religious holidays. During the last years his voice on the phone became weaker and thinner, but his spirit remained vivid, positive and encouraging. He never complained about physical hardship or emotional sorrow after the death of his dear wife Rita in 2010. It was a big reward for learn more him to be able to stay in his home till the end, where his loving children and grandchildren supported him beautifully. I last talked to Dan by phone in December 2013. I was unable to visit him in person but we agreed to meet on my next visit to Jerusalem in “Passover” click here 2014, with his last words being — “Very good, all the best, Lehitraot (see you)”. While we were talking, I imagined him sitting in his room, working peacefully, serene, in harmony with himself, looking out of his window over the Judean valleys
and mountains and on the horizon, the silhouette of the first stone houses of Jerusalem. After nearly a century of life travel, he had arrived home. Dan H. Yaalon and Margot Rohdenburg in his house in Mevasseret, Jerusalem, on December 2010. Dan H. Yaalon is showing his Dokuchaev award that he had received in the summer of 2010. Photo by Simon Berkowicz. “
“The Editors of Catena mourn the loss of our colleague Dan Yaalon. Below are two remembrances from colleagues on Dan’s contributions to pedology and history of soil science. Dan H. Yaalon was one of the most influential soil scientists in many decades, a long-standing faculty member of the Institute of Earth Sciences of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a much decorated scientist with colleagues from many disciplines, and a devoted family man. Dan passed away on Wednesday 29 January 2014. He was 89. Dan touched the ideas, the research, and students of many scientists.