Efforts Underway to Improve Soil Surveys

Dan Environment, Soil, USDA-NRCS

soil surveys
Image by NT Franklin from Pixabay
soil surveys

Efforts to improve soil surveys is currently underway through the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). They plan to invest in partnerships to promote and fund research that informs and improves soil surveys. This is all part of an ongoing effort to continue to provide critical data to the country, and partners are encouraged to prepare proposals.

For those interested, 2024 Cooperative Soil Survey Research Proposals must include significant cooperation with soil survey personnel. This includes those at the National Soil Survey Center, Major Land Resource Area soil survey or regional offices. The work should have national or broad regional application to fill gaps in soil survey databasesprovide new approaches to collecting or interpreting soil survey data, and/or address emerging issues in the national research priority areas.

NRCS intends to announce a funding opportunity in three nationally relevant areas of soil survey research. They are the Dynamic Soil Properties (DSPs) and Soil Change, the Methods of Soil Hydrology and the Expansion of Datasets.


The period of performance could begin as early as October 2024 and could extend up to 3 years. NRCS expects to fund approximately $3,000,000 of cooperative research depending on funding availability. Eligibility is limited to institutions of higher education in the Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (CESU) network. All proposals must include a data management plan and all data and deliverables must be made publicly available per USDA regulations (.pdf).

For more information, contact Research Soil Scientist Amanda Pennino: amanda.pennino@usda.gov or at 402-480-4346.