Because vadose zone research relates to diverse disciplines, applications, and modes of research, collaboration across traditional operational and topical divisions is especially likely to yield major advances in understanding. The Unsaturated Zone Interest Group (UZIG) is an informal organization sponsored by the USGS to encourage and support interdisciplinary collaboration in vadose or unsaturated zone hydrologic research across organizational boundaries. It includes both USGS and non-USGS scientists. Formed in 1987, the UZIG operates to promote communication, especially through periodic meetings with presentations, discussions, and field trips. The 10th meeting of the UZIG at Los Alamos, NM, in August 2007 was jointly sponsored by the USGS and Los Alamos National Laboratory. Presentations at this meeting served as the initial basis for selecting papers for this special section of Vadose Zone Journal, the purpose of which is to present noteworthy cutting-edge unsaturated zone research promoted by, facilitated by, or presented in connection with the UZIG.