USDA to Invest $3 Million to Support Cooperative Soil Science and Soil Survey Research

Dan Research, Soil, USDA-NRCS


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) plans to invest $3 million in partnerships to promote research that informs and improves soil surveys at the regional level. This is part of an ongoing effort to continue to provide critical data. Proposals from institutions of higher education in the Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (CESU) network should be submitted to USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) by July 22, 2023.

Each proposal must include significant collaboration with soil survey personnel, such as the NRCS National Soil Survey Center research staff or Major Land Resource Area soil survey or regional offices.

These priorities were developed through meetings and feedback gathered in conjunction with the 2022 regional conferences of the National Cooperative Soil Survey (NCSS). The work should have regional application and fill gaps in soil survey knowledge and databases. Work could extend up to three years. Individual proposals must have a total cost between $50,000 and $500,000.

Within the NCSS region where the work occurs, proposal topics should:

·        Address emerging issues such as urban soils, ecosystem services, wetlands/hydric soils, climate, wildfire and/or soil biodiversity and how those topics intersect with ecological sites and soil surveys.

·        Enhance collaborative efforts between soil survey staff and cooperative research projects with emphasis on practical tools for MLRA staff and use of long-term monitoring and experiment locations.

Additional information is available in the notice of funding.