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Soil Geomorphology Institute (000142)


This training presents an integrated earth science approach to soils and geomorphology. The purpose is to expand field skills and conceptual knowledge needed to generate and deliver scientifically accurate soil inventory products. The course provides a comprehensive treatment of key soil geomorphic principles and processes including 1] soil geomorphology, 2] stratigraphy, 3] hydrology, and 4] pedology and use of  current tools to apply these principles and processes.  


Upon completion of this training, participants will be able to:

  • Apply the 4 principles of 1] soil geomorphology, 2] stratigraphy, 3] hydrology, and 4] pedology to different  geomorphic environments for soil survey data development, evaluation, and delivery;
  • Use the interrelationships of ecological factors to soil geomorphology in preparation of soil survey data; 
  • Identify soil patterns as controlled by soil landscape hydrology and their relations to water quality, soil morphology, soil processes, and hydric soils;
  • Discuss spatial distribution and the age, both relative and absolute, of geomorphic surfaces and their relationships to landforms, soil processes, soil patterns, and ecological influences to produce high quality soils data;
  • Identify types of earth materials, sediment bodies, and stratigraphic relationships as they relate to soil genesis and soil processes for the development of high quality soils data;
  • Create 2D diagrams and 3D landscape models to illustrate key processes occurring in any geomorphic environment tacit knowledge and/or field gathered documentation;
  • Integrate the concepts and knowledge of the class to evaluate, develop, and use Soil System products; and 
  • Use the Geomorphic Description System (GDS) properly in gathering and documenting point data. 

 Course requires participants to bring a laptop or tablet computer for use in the classroom and during field trips.


Completion of NEDC 000012 – Basic Soil Survey – Field and Lab.

Minimum of 1-2 years field experience in project soil survey.


Pre-training: Reading assignments

Course: 3 weeks (Course starts at 1 pm on the first Monday, ends by 12 noon on the last Friday, unless otherwise stated)

Post-training: 3 to 12 hours

Target Audience 

Soil scientists, ecological site specialists, and others who can benefit from this training (principally targeted towards,but not limited to, those in project soil survey).

Attendance of NRCS employees requires nomination by a Soil Survey  Regional Director or State Soil Scientist.  Concurrence of the State Conservationist is required for candidates nominated by State Soil Scientists.

NEDC Contacts

Kathy Buttle 

Technical Specialist 

Shawn McVey


Enrollment is accomplished by the Soil Survey Regional Directors, State Soil Scientists, and NCSS liaisons of cooperating agencies nominating participants directly to the Training Coordinator, NSSC, typically in response to a national bulletin soliciting nominations.