Soil Surveys

Soil Survey

The National Cooperative Soil Survey (NCSS) program is a joint effort between cooperating Federal agencies, land-grant universities, and other State and local agencies to map soils, collect soil data, interpret maps and data, and promote use of surveys. In Arizona, field investigations are made for parts of counties and the material is compiled in a published soil survey. The survey contains soil maps showing the geographic distribution of soils and a text that describes, classifies, and interprets soils. 

Arizona's Soil Survey program has professional soil scientists and other specialists working together as the Soil Survey Staff. The Soil Survey Staff is composed of three parts, with each playing a critical role in the overall Soil Survey program. The three parts include:

  • State Office Soils Staff - under leadership of the State Soil Scientist, provide overall administration of the Soil Survey program, National Resources Inventory (NRI), and the soil Geographic Information System (GIS).
  • Technical Soil Services - provide assistance to customers using soil survey information. To request a particular soil survey, contact Rob Wilson, Resource Soil Scientist, at (480) 988-1078, ext. 106, in the Chandler Soil Survey Office.
  • MLRA Management and Project Offices - conduct soil survey data gathering, analyzing, and manuscript writing.  Offices are located in Flagstaff, Tucson, and Globe.

The links below provide more information on the Soil Survey program in Arizona and beyond.


The following documents require Adobe Acrobat.

Adobe Acrobat document Status of Soil Surveys - Arizona (517 KB)

Cathy McGuire, Soil Survey Regional Director, (602) 285-6347

Eric Wolfbrandt, GIS Specialist/Cartographer, (602) 280-8822

  • National Soil Survey Center  (Services for national standards, database, training, interpretations, research, and analysis.)
  • Soil Properties-Shrink/Swell  (Maps showing shrink swell potential for the soils of the greater Phoenix and Tucson areas of Arizona.)
  • Soil Data Mart  (Link to the national repository for spatial and attribute soils data.)
  • Web Soil Survey  New!  (Link to the interactive, on-line web soil survey. Create soil survey interpretive maps and reports.)