Kovda, Viktor Abramovich
Born Dec. 16 (29), 1904, in Vladikavkaz, now Ordzhonikidze. Soviet soil scientist, corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1953). Became a member of the CPSU in 1927.
Kovda graduated from the Agricultural Institute in Krasnodar in 1927. In 1931 he organized a laboratory of saline soils in the V. V. Dokuchaev Soil Institute and directed it until 1959. He was a professor at Moscow State University from 1939 to 1941, and in 1941–42 he directed the Institute of Botany and Soil Science of the Uzbek branch of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. He was professor and chairman of the subdepartment of soil science of the biology and soil department of Moscow State University (from 1953). From 1958 to 1965 he directed the Department of Exact and Natural Sciences of UNESCO (Paris), and since 1970 he has directed the Institute of Agricultural Chemistry and Soil Science of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. His main studies deal with the soils of the USSR, China, and Egypt. Initiator and director (1960–65) of the Soil Map of the World, an international project of the FAO and UNESCO, he became president of the International Society of Soil Science in 1968.
Kovda’s works have practical implications for the development of new lands, including construction of irrigation systems and reclamation of solonetses and saline soils. He was awarded the State Prize of the USSR (1951, 1953), the V. V. Dokuchaev Gold Medal (1967), and the Silver Medal of the French Association of Soil Scientists (1971). He has received three orders.
WORKSSolonchaki i solontsy. Moscow-Leningrad, 1937.
Proiskhozhdenie i rezhim zasolennykh pochv, vols. 1–2. Moscow-Leningrad, 1946–47.
Geokhimiia pustyn’ SSSR (Speeches to the Seventh International Congress of Soil Scientists). Moscow, 1954.
“Zakonomernosti protsessov solenakopleniia v pustyniakh Aralo-Kaspiiskoi nizmennosti.” Tr. Pochvennogo in-ta AN SSSR, 1954, vol. 44.
Ocherki prirody i pochv Kitaia. Moscow, 1959.