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2010 North Central Regional Soil Survey Conference - Draft Committee Charges

Soil Interpretations Committee

The ecological site initiative within the Soil Survey Division of NRCS generates the opportunity to integrate the science behind the ecological site effort and to adapt it to the physiographic areas located in the North Central Region. The ecological site concepts have primarily been used on rangeland and forestland. Cropland remains as fairly uncharted territory in this effort. The North Central Region has the opportunity to provide leadership and initiative in this application.

  1. Review the status of the new ecological site staffing efforts in NRCS. These include the ecological data quality specialist for MO-10, St. Paul; and the MLRA-SSO vegetation specialists in Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, and North Dakota. If these positions are currently unfilled, provide recommendation as to what disciplines would provide greatest opportunities for development of ecological site concepts in the north-central region. (e.g., forester, agronomist, wildlife biologist, rangeland management specialist). For the MLRA-SSO specialists, provide recommendation as to which SSOs would be most beneficial. Identify partnering potential with other agencies, universities, etc.
  2. Review the benchmark soils in the region and recommend those soils which would have the most value added from ecological sites.
  3. Investigate potential collaborative projects that can showcase the use of ecological sites, the state and transition model, and dynamic soil property studies. Identify at least one project for each of the MLRA Regional Offices (MO-5, Salina; MO-7, Bismarck; MO-10, St. Paul; MO-11, Indianapolis).
  4. Explore the adaptation of the state and transition model for use on cropland. Integrate dynamic soil properties in the evaluation.
  5. Identify training needs for implementation of the ecological site initiative.
  6. Identify cooperator and agency needs and uses for ESI and DSP data and soil change interpretations.
  7. Risk assessment.
  8.  Urban interpretations.
  9. Review the criteria for T and K factors. Input is needed from the NCSS partnership regionally to identify science-based issues with the criteria related to electronically derived values from the NASIS database with the possibility to incorporate changes into the National Soil Survey Handbook and NCSS standards.

Standards and Taxonomy Committee

  1. Review proposals for changes to Soil Taxonomy, the National Soil Survey Handbook, the Field Guide for Describing and Sampling Soils, and the Soil Survey Manual and recommend adoption or denial.
  2. Identify needed changes and review proposals for changes to the National Soil Survey Handbook, Field Guide for Describing and Sampling Soils, and Soil Survey Manual to accommodate subaqueous soil survey activities, dynamic soil property data collection, and ecological site inventory.

New Technology Committee

  1. Identify potential new technologies to support field activities in the processing of existing digital spatial data.
  2. Identify new technologies and methodologies that can support and/or enhance digital soil survey activities.
  3. Identify the need for soil property maps, the required map scales for soil property maps, and what soil properties to map.
  4. Identify customers who require soil property maps.
  5. Investigate ways and propose methods to provide end users with accuracy measurements for soil maps.
  6. Gridded SSURGO.

Research Needs Committee

  1. Recommend research areas that would assist in addressing short term soil survey mission needs.
  2. Identify global research areas (see 2009 NCSS Research Agenda Committee Report) that would benefit from pedological research and inclusion of soil survey concepts and data.
  3. Recommend research that would contribute to ecological site inventory and dynamic soil property initiatives.
  4. Recommend research that would enhance the rapid carbon assessment initiative.
  5. Recommend research areas that are regionally important.