Office of the Chief
The Chief provides overall leadership for the activities of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to help people conserve, maintain, and improve our natural resources and environment. The Associate Chief works with the Chief in planning, coordinating, and directing the activities of NRCS, as well as coordinating the work of the divisions and staffs within the Office of the Chief. The offices that operate directly under the Office of the Chief include Strategic Natural Resource Issues, Legislative Affairs Division, Public Affairs Division, and Regional Conservationists.
The NRCS organization in its East, Central, and West regions is headed by a Regional Conservationist. Regional Conservationist are management representatives of the Chief and are responsible for providing overall direction of NRCS programs and activities consistent with the Chief's guidance; acting as representatives of the Chief at meetings; and supervising the State Conservationists and the Directors of the Pacific Basin and Caribbean Areas.
The Management Deputy area is responsible for the development of national policies and procedures, as well as overseeing the financial resources of the Agency. This deputy area provides leadership for management services and customer services, human resources, information technology, ethics programs, civil rights, budget planning and analysis. The Management Deputy Area is also responsible for assessing emerging legislation, policy, and operations issues, and continuity of operations, national centers services, outreach and advocacy, including social sciences and alternative dispute resolution. The offices that operate directly under the Management Deputy area include Civil Rightsand Financial Management.
The Program Deputy Area
The Programs Deputy Area is responsible for financial assistance programs, easement programs and conservation technical assistance.
Science and Technology
The Science and Technology (S&T) Deputy area leads NRCS efforts for science-based technology and technical tools concerning conservation engineering, practice standards, air quality (supporting the USDA Agricultural Air Quality Task Force), energy conservation, nutrient management technology, and other ecological issues. S&T also extends technical expertise to foreign governments. S&T manages the NRCS Conservation Innovation Grants Program and Plant Materials Program. S&T collaborates with the Soil Science and Resource Assessment Deputy area to set NRCS research and technology development priorities. S&T partners with other Federal agencies, Tribal, state, and local governments, and academia seeking best-science technologies and technical tools for natural resources conservation.
Soil Science and Resource Assessment
The Soil Science and Resource Assessment (SSRA) Deputy area is responsible for Divisions, Institutes and Centers related to soil science, soil survey and resource assessment, technical assistance to foreign governments, and international scientific and technical exchange. SSRA has technical leadership for the use of geospatial technologies (GIS, GPS, remote sensing) in NRCS and for establishing geospatial data standards for the agency. SSRA also conducts the National Resources Inventory (NRI) for assessment of natural resource conditions and trends in the United States. Drawing on the NRI and other data sources, SSRA leads the agency's resource analysis effort to support USDA in policy making for resource conservation. SSRA works in coordination with the NRCS Science and Technology deputy area to set research and technology development priorities for the agency. SSRA also has leadership for NRCS homeland security operations.
Strategic Planning and Accountability
The Strategic Planning and Accountability Deputy area ensures accountability for performance and results through the integration of strategic planning, budget formulation, operations management, and oversight and evaluation. This includes: establishing and communicating agency direction in the agency strategic, performance and business plans; estimating and requesting resources required to accomplish goals and objectives; ensuring agency operations are efficient and effective; measuring and reporting on performance and customer satisfaction; and providing oversight and evaluation of agency operations.