Soil Surveys

Alaska Soil Survey Information

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Helping landowners and communities select the best sites for homes, schools, airfields, roads, landfills, and agriculture. Soil surveys provide a scientific inventory of soil resources for making maps, identifying physical and chemical properties of soils, as well as supplying current information on potential uses and limitations of each soil.

The Alaska MLRA Soil Survey Office coordinates the collection of soils and related natural resource data for the state of Alaska. Alaska is part of the Pacific Northwest Soil Survey Region (SSR1). All work is done in partnership with federal, state and location agencies, as well as, private landowners and community groups. This partnership comprises the National Cooperative Soil Survey (NCSS).

The Alaska MLRA Soil Survey Office also coordinates the Alaska portion of the national Resource Inventory (NRI). This inventory is an on-going effort to monitor the changes and trends in natural resource use and condition over time.

Visit the USDA NRCS Soils Homepage.

What is a Soil Survey?

A soil survey is a resource inventory where field scientists collect, organize, and interpret information about the natural resources in an area.  Although the main focus is on soils, data is also collected on vegetation, landforms, and surface hydrology.  To learn more about soil surveys click here.

Alaska's Soil Survey Fact Sheet 


Major Land Resource Areas of Alaska


Status of Soil Surveys in Alaska

Alaska Soil Survey Areas

STATSGO Soils Data for Alaska

Certified datasets are available as both quarter quad DLGS or seamless Arc/Info coverages in export form in the UTM Coordinate System.

  • General Soil Map of Alaska -- STATSGO Data (Recommended data citation: Soil Survey Staff, Natural Resources Conservation Service, United States Department of Agriculture. Accessed month/day/year.)
  • Major Land Resource Areas of Alaska, 2002 -- Spatial Data
  • An alternative presentation of the soil survey area data, including on screen or printed soil maps, is available through Web Soil Survey.



SNOTEL Soil Climate Sites


Alaska Project Offices and Soil Survey Activities


Web Soil Survey

The first stop for soil survey information is Web Soil Survey. This site provides quick access to all available soil survey information in Alaska as well as the rest of the United States. The site allows online viewing of soil survey maps, data, and interpretations. Users can specify local areas of interest. The site also provides access to electronic copies of traditional soil survey publications and maps.

Those users who want to acquire complete electronic datasets for soil surveys can do so at Web Soil Survey. Data for the Exploratory Soil Survey of Alaska is accessed by downloading STATSGO Data and Spatial Data.



Education Information



Shawn Nield
Regional Soil Scientist
USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service
800 W. Evergreen Ave., Suite 100
Palmer, AK, 99645
(907) 761-7763    Fax (907) 761-7790

Cory Cole
State Soil Scientist
USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service
800 W. Evergreen Ave., Suite 100
Palmer, AK, 99645
(907) 761-7759    Fax (907) 761-7790