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Soil Technical Note-9

Central Great Plains MLRA Region 5
MO5 Soil Technical Note-9

October 28, 2008

Subject: SOI – Technical Teams

Purpose. To supplement National Soil Survey Handbook (NSSH) guidance (NSSH Parts 608 and 610) for the Central Great Plains Major Land Resource Area (MLRA) Office Region 5 (MO5) soil survey office (SSO) technical teams and provide suggestions for managing technical team meetings

Technical Team members are responsible for assisting the MLRA SSO with the development of the soil survey area evaluation and providing technical guidance related to resource needs and concerns. Members of the team are: MLRA SSO staff, MO staff (soil data quality specialists/senior soil scientist), state soil scientist from all states in the area covered by the MLRA SSO, district conservationist(s), rangeland management specialist(s), specialists from other disciplines, resource soil scientist(s), soil scientists from other state or federal agencies, representatives from external customers such as tax appraisers, county planning departments, universities, and local sanitarians or septic installers.

The typical flow for an initial Technical Team meeting would go as follow:

  •  Project leader opens with welcome to members
  • Introductions
  • Establish objectives of meeting and Technical Team (senior regional soil scientist)
  • Brief introduction of the soil survey area (SSA), keep this simple and not technical. The approach would be like the general nature of the county section of a published soil survey.
  • Canvas each participant for needs or desires of soil survey information, project ideas, or deficiencies that are known to exist
  • Should no project ideas or priorities be brought to light, the project leader should have a list of deficiencies or projects that MLRA SSO has observed in preliminary evaluations
  • Re-canvas participants to develop list
  • Discuss and set priorities for projects
  • Set date for next meeting of the Technical Team

The reason for having Technical Teams is to gather data from users of the soil surveys to determine where the deficiencies are and how the agency may better serve the needs of users of the soil survey. A good example of projects that may arise out of a Technical Team meeting comes from the Clinton, Missouri, project office. The local health and planning departments wanted to use soil survey information to assess an area’s potential for on-site wastewater treatment systems. The national interpretations showed almost all soils in the area with severe limitations. Obviously systems were being successfully installed on some soils. The project office in cooperation with the local planners, state department of natural resources (DNR), and the Resource Conservation and Development (RC& D) coordinator put together an interpretation for a soil potential index for on-site wastewater treatment systems. While this index is not currently being implemented MLRA wide, it illustrates the potential of projects that may come out of the Technical Team meeting. Not all projects will be putting more lines on a map or changing the name of Alpha to Beta.

The project leader should not come to the meeting with an agenda of projects that he wants to do, but he should be prepared with some ideas to help generate discussion about deficiencies and needs for improved information.


State Soil Scientist/MO Leader

DIST: SS (MO5), MO Leaders – TX – CO – ND – MN – AR