Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Conference

2024 Western Regional Cooperative Soil Survey Conference

Event Date
July 22-25, 2024
Time
See Agenda (below)
Location
Missoula, MT
Topics
Photo of the Upper Blackfoot Geographic Area which is west of the continental divide and part of the Rocky Mountain Range. The area is characterized by mostly rolling hills and mountains that are underlain by various types of rock. High peaks are topped with volcanic rocks with areas of exposed rock.

Join us for the 2024 Western Regional Cooperative Soil Survey Conference!

11
Jun
Deadline

Registration

$275 – Regular Registration
$375 – Late (after June 11) or On-Site Registration

$50 – Student Registration

By attending this conference, you agree to be photographed or video recorded, which may be used for NCSS and USDA publications, websites, and social media.

The 2024 Western Regional Cooperative Soil Survey Conference will be hosted by Montana State University and held in Missoula, Montana. The conference theme is: “Soilscapes to Landscapes: Focused Conservation for Reinvigorating Healthy Communities.”  

Call for Abstracts

Western Call for Abstracts

Committees

Western NCSS Committees

Lodging

Hilton Garden Inn
3720 North Reserve Street
Missoula, MT 59808
(406) 532-5300

Co-Hosts

Nathan Parry
State Soil Scientist
NRCS Montana
(p) 406-587-6834
(e) nathan.parry@usda.gov

Dr. Stephanie A. Ewing
Associate Professor, Soil Biogeochemistry
Montana State University
(e) stephanie.ewing@montana.edu

Liaison

Deb Harms
National Leader, Soil Survey Laboratory
USDA-NRCS
(p) 402-437-5324
(e) deb.harms@usda.gov


Bookmark this page and subscribe to GovDelivery for conference news!

Check out the 2024 NCSS Awardees!


Agenda

Monday, July 22 (Moderator: Quinn Lively)

10:00 am
Registration

Montana State University (MSU)

1:00 pm
Opening and Housekeeping (Grant Greek Ballroom)

Nathan Parry, Montana State Soil Scientist

1:10 pm
Welcome from Montana NRCS (Grant Greek Ballroom)

Tom Watson, Montana State Conservationist

1:20 pm
Welcome from Montana State University (Grant Greek Ballroom)

Dr. Stephanie Ewing, Professor, Soil Biogeochemistry & Director, Montana Water Center (MSU)

1:30 pm
Remarks from SPSD Leadership (Grant Greek Ballroom)

Neil Dominy, Director of the National Soil Survey Center

1:50 pm
Update from Northwest Region (Grant Greek Ballroom)

Eva Muller, Northwest Regional Director SPSD

2:10 pm
Update from Southwest Region (Grant Greek Ballroom)

Andrew Brown, Soil Scientist SPSD

2:30 pm
Update from Alaska Region (Grant Greek Ballroom)

Tim Riebe, Senior Regional Soil Scientist SPSD

2:50 pm
Break
3:05 pm
Federal Agency Reports (Grant Greek Ballroom)

USFS Regions 1 and 4 Report by Vince Archer, R1 Soil Scientist

3:25 pm
Field Tour Logistics and Brief Overview of Wednesday

Jay Skovlin, Soil Scientist SPSD

4:00 pm
Concurrent Meetings

Cooperator/Partner Meeting (Salon B)
State Soil Scientist Meeting (Salon C)
Regional SPSD Staff Meeting (Salon F)

5:00 pm
Dinner (on your own)

Tuesday, July 23 (Moderator: Vince Archer)

8:00 am
Committee Meetings (5 concurrent)

Bylaws (Salon A)
Interpretations (Salon B)
Taxonomy  (Salon C)
Technology (Salon E)
Coastal Zone Soil Survey (Subaqueous Soils) (Salon F)

9:00 am
Committee Meetings (5 concurrent)

Hydric Soils (Salon C)
Research Priorities (Salon B)
Soil and Ecosystem Dynamics (Salon E)
Standards (Salon F)
Urban (Salon A)

10:00 am
Committee Meetings (5 concurrent)

Bylaws (Salon A)
Interpretations (Salon B)
Taxonomy (Salon C)
Technology (Salon E)
Coastal Zone Soil Survey (Subaqueous Soils) (Salon F)

11:00 am
Committee Meetings (5 concurrent)

Hydric Soils (Salon C)
Research Priorities (Salon B)
Soil and Ecosystem Dynamics (Salon E)
Standards (Salon F)
Urban (Salon A)

12:00 pm
Lunch Buffet (provided)
1:00 pm
Coastal Zone Soil Survey (Grant Greek Ballroom)

Greg Taylor, Senior Soil Scientist for Special Projects SPSD

1:20 pm
Biochar (Grant Greek Ballroom)

Dr. Deborah Dumroese, Senior Scientist & Research Soil Scientist USFS

1:40 pm
Montana Focused Conservation (Grant Greek Ballroom)

Kyle Tackett, Assistant State Conservationist, Partnerships

2:00 pm
Overview, History, and Goals of the Blackfoot Challenge (Grant Greek Ballroom)

Brad Weltzien, Land Steward and Jim Stone, Chair Blackfoot Challenge

2:30 pm
Community Agriculture in Montana (Grant Greek Ballroom)

Brad Holiday, Montana State Community Ag Specialist

2:50 pm
Break
3:05 pm
Soil Health Progress in Montana (Grant Greek Ballroom)

Keela Deaton, Montana Soil Health Specialist

3:25 pm
Update to Technical Soil Services Handbook (Grant Greek Ballroom)

Jennifer Smith (virtual), Wisconsin State Soil Scientist

3:45 pm
Transitioning Progress Reporting from Acres to Milestones (Grant Greek Ballroom)

Debbie Surabian, National Resource Soil Scientist and National Leader for Standards

4:05 pm
Digital Soil Mapping Updates/Highlights (Grant Greek Ballroom)

Suzann Kienast, National GIS Specialist SPSD

4:25 pm
Dynamic Soil Properties: Understanding our past, informing our future (Grant Greek Ballroom)

Francine Lheritier, National Resource Soil Scientist SPSD

4:45 pm
Field Tour Primer (Grant Greek Ballroom)

Larry Smith, Retired Geomorphologist, Montana Tech

5:30 pm
Evening Social and Poster Session (with light hors d'oeuvres and cash bar)
7:00 pm
Dinner (on your own)

Wednesday, July 24 (Field Tour and Evening Banquet)

7:45 am
Convene Outside Hotel and Board Buses
8:00 am
Field Tour of Blackfoot Valley

This full day bus tour will highlight soils within the glaciated terrain of the Blackfoot Valley in western Montana. Tour stops will feature forested and rangeland soilscapes ranging from outwash plains to beautiful knobby glacial moraines and interactions with water from the high stand of glacial Lake Missoula. Stops will also include discussions on soil health with a local producer and studies on biochar application.

Brown bag lunch, drinks, and snacks are provided.

5:00 pm
Arrive Back to Hotel (Hilton Garden Inn)
5:45 pm
Convene Outside Hotel and Board Buses for Banquet Dinner (provided)
6:00 pm
Banquet Dinner, Recognitions, and Keynote Speaker

Dinner is provided and will be at the Zootown Arts Community Center (ZACC), in the heart of downtown Missoula at the historic Studebaker building. Biga Pizza is catering the event.

Tom DeLuca, Dean-College of Forestry, Oregon State University
Neil Dominy, Director of the National Soil Survey Center

8:00 pm
Arrive Back to Hotel (Hilton Garden Inn)

Thursday, July 25 (Moderator: Matti Osterman)

8:00 am
Research Presentations (Grant Greek Ballroom)

8:00 AM -- Meghan Krueger: An Introduction to Soil Survey Area CA663, Inyo County Area, California

8:20 AM -- Travis Nauman: Utilizing a digital soil mapping workflow to optimize Soils2026 efforts to complete SSURGO for the most populous areas of Alaska

8:40 AM -- Jack Poole: In Prairie Riparian Corridors, Hydric Soils and Shallow Groundwater Dictate Water Quality Patterns

9:00 AM -- Janis Boettinger: Soils and Rare Plant Habitat in the Colorado Plateau

9:20 AM -- Jonathan Maynard: Evaluating On-Farm Functional Soil Variability: A Decision

9:40 AM -- Travis Nauman: Soil Landscapes of the United States (SOLUS) soil property maps: overview, feedback, and future directions

10:00 AM -- Break

10:15 AM -- Mark Kimsey (virtual): Soil Moisture Regimes ID

10:35 AM -- Dave White: Bringing together mechanistic pedological knowledge and innovative digital soil mapping techniques for a complete nation-wide soil inventory

12:00 pm
Lunch Buffet (provided)
1:00 pm
Committee Reports (Grant Greek Ballroom)

Hydric Soils: Aaron Miller, MLRA Soil Survey Office Leader

Interpretations: Steve Campbell, Soil Scientist at West National Tech Support Center

Research Priorities: Juliet Baker

Soil and Ecosystem Dynamics: Kirt Walstad, Regional Ecological Site Specialist NW Region

Taxonomy: Shawn Nield, Idaho State Soil Scientist

Standards: Andrew Brown, Soil Scientist SPSD

Technology: Nate Starman, Senior Regional Soil Scientist for Southwest Region

Coastal Zone Soil Survey (Subaqueous Soils): Greg Taylor, Senior Soil Scientist for Special Projects

Urban: Erik Dahlke

3:00 pm
Break
3:15 pm
Western NCSS Business Meeting, Voting, and 2026 Meeting Overview

Nathan Parry and Amy Koch

3:45 pm
Closing Remarks

Nathan Parry, Montana State Soil Scientist

4:00 pm
Conference Adjourns