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Eco Science

Ecological Sciences- Mississippi

The Ecological Sciences Division (ESD) leads the technology for Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in ecological, cultural resource, and environmental compliance technologies to ensure science-based conservation for our Nation's resources.

Who we are and what we provide

ECS is responsible for carrying out the agency's mission as it pertains to ecological sciences in the delivery of technical assistance and programs to USDA clients. ECS is responsible for maintaining the National Planning Procedures Handbook, the Field Office Technical Guide, as well as individual discipline manuals and handbooks used in conservation planning and technical assistance delivery in Mississippi. The principal functions of ECS are to, 1) ensure that conservation planning provided to USDA clients meet agency standards, 2) that conservation planning addresses quality criteria for soil, water, air, plants and animals, 3) that social and economic considerations are addressed, 4)environmental and cultural resource laws are observed during the conservation planning process, and 5) that agency and partner organization field staff and technical service providers are adequately trained to perform these functions.

ECS is a multidisciplinary team that includes a cultural resources specialist, biologist, GIS specialist, plant materials manager, grazing land management specialist, and forestry specialist. This ECS team is directed by the State Resource Conservationist (SRC). ECS provides leadership, training, and technical over-site on conservation planning procedures, methods, and techniques. ECS ensures quality assurance on all conservation planning applications, that state-of-the-science technology transfer is provided to USDA clients, and certified professionals meet minimum criteria to perform effective conservation planning on the land.


Integrate agricultural, ecological, environmental, fish & wildlife, cultural heritage and energy concerns into all NRCS programs.

  • Develop and implement new technologies to assess and treat soil, water, air, plant, animal, and energy resource concerns.

  • Provide leadership and technology for erosion prediction and control, nutrient management and comprehensive nutrient management plans, pest management, forestry, fish and wildlife management, highly erodible land and wetland compliance, air quality, invasive species and pollinators, range and pasture management, water quality, soil quality, historical and cultural resources, and organic farming.

  • Provide leadership for policy and maintenance of the Field Office Technical Guide (FOTG), National Conservation Practice Standards, and the National Technical Guide Committee.

  • Develop policies and guidelines for NRCS compliance with laws, regulations, and Executive Orders pertaining to ESD expertise.

  • Provide national technical liaisons for NRCS with other agencies and groups for ecological and cultural resources-related legislation, policy, and initiatives.

  • Provide leadership for plant data information through the National Plant Data Center.

  • Provide leadership for the National Plant Materials Program that selects, evaluates, increases, and releases plant materials and plant technology for conservation uses.

  • Provide leadership and guidance for training and employee development in ecological and cultural resources activities.

Programs and Activities

Technical Resources

Cultural Resources
Invasive Species
Threatened & Endangered Species

Rogerick Thompson

State Resource Conservationist

Additional Information