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Deputy Chief Noller Herbert

Noller Herbert is the Deputy Chief of Science and Technology at NRCS.

As deputy chief for Science and Technology, he ensures scientifically sound conservation practices, technology acquisition, development, and transfer. His Deputy Area acquires, develops, and transfers cutting-edge science-based technology to support all NRCS programs and activities, and to meet the conservation needs of NRCS customers, partners, and stakeholders. Additionally, he addresses priority natural resource challenges with many other agencies and partners, and ensures compliance with the highly erodible land, wetland, and water quality provisions of the Farm Bill-and applicable national environmental statutes and regulations. 

Prior Herbert has served as the NRCS acting regional conservationist for the Central Region from July 2021 to December 31, 2021.  He provided agency and natural resources leadership and support to 12 state conservationists and partners and ensures states effectively manage an extensive portfolio of comprehensive conservation strategies—which includes implementing NRCS’s conservation technical assistance and financial assistance programs on private lands.

A registered professional engineer, Herbert was previously director of the Conservation Engineering Division (CED) within Science and Technology in Washington, D.C. In this capacity, he served as the agency’s chief engineer and provided national technical leadership for engineering functions, policy guidance, and coordination of engineering technology development and training.

Herbert has 39 years of engineering experience in planning, designing, and constructing conservation practices and implementing watershed projects. Since 2007, he has provided executive leadership in developing engineering policy and technical documents that are science- based and field-friendly. During this time, he also supervised the NRCS National Design, Construction, and Soil Mechanics Center and the National Water Management Center.

Between October 2010 and September 2018, Herbert led implementation of the NRCS Emergency Watershed Protection Program, Watershed Dam Rehabilitation Program, Watershed Operations Program, and Conservation Innovation Grants Program. He also provided leadership for partnerships between NRCS and other federal agencies and non-governmental organizations.

Herbert is a member of the Diné (Navajo) Nation. He graduated from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona, with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and holds a Master of Public Administration from the American University, Washington, D.C. He is an active member of the NRCS American Indian and Alaska Native Employee Association, American Indian Science and Engineering Society, and Society of American Indian Government Employees.