Professor emerit Jaya G. Iyer passed away in Madison, Wisconsin on May 2, 2012, at the age of 78. For nearly 40 years she was a compassionate and caring advisor to countless undergraduate students and a much-valued soil science consultant to midwestern tree nurseries. As a beloved instructor and advisor in soil science she passed on her love of plants, soil, and the vital connections between them. She brought soil biology prominently into the undergraduate curriculum, a topic that now is appreciated as central to the global challenges of biodiversity loss and climate change. Jaya reorganized and taught for years the laboratory experience associated with plant nutrient management. Many students felt this was the best laboratory experience of their undergraduate careers. She was an energetic recruiter for the soil science major and her advising talents were acknowledged through the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Outstanding Advisor Award in 1993 and the Outstanding Advisor Award from MANRRS (Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences) in 1995. Jaya was also an enthusiastic ambassador of soil science to K-12 students and teachers. Beyond campus she was an expert in plant nutrient management for tree nurseries, assisting both public and private sector growers in Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Kansas. Her research and outreach work encompassed the dawning of appreciation for the significance of soil mycorrhizae for seedling success and the potential for slow-release fertilizers to reduce water pollution from nurseries. The reforestation of the Lake States has benefited from her research and outreach work. Jaya was awarded BSc, MSc and PhD degrees from the University of Bombay between 1955 and 1959, and from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the MSc degree in 1962 and a PhD in 1968. She joined the Department of Soil Science staff in 1968 and advanced through the academic ranks to become professor in 1993, until retiring in 2003. Jaya was the first female on the Department of Soil Science faculty and was active in campus equity issues. In addition to the many students she taught and mentored, she was a beloved mentor to junior faculty, among them those who are now senior faculty and themselves mentors to another generation. Jaya was born in Mumbai (Bombay) India in 1933 and came to the United States in 1960. After her father died in 1978, Jaya’s mother joined her in Madison. As “Mama’s” health failed, Jaya lovingly cared for her in her home until she died in 2003. Jaya moved to Oakwood Village soon after retirement, living there until recently moving to Agrace Hospice care. She is survived by several cousins in the United States, India and Singapore, and many good friends.