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Employee Spotlight: Maggie Payne, NCSS Scientist of the Year for 2020

Maggie Payne, Resource Soil Scientist, Massachusetts

Maggie Kidd Payne, Resource Soil Scientist with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Wareham, Massachusetts, has been named the 2020 Scientist of the Year by the National Cooperative Soil Survey. The purpose of the award is to recognize exceptional achievement by NCSS scientists.

Maggie began her NRCS career in 2007 in Warwick, Rhode Island as a Biological Science Technician. She has also held the positions of Resource Soil Scientist and Soil Conservationist in Rhode Island. In 2014, she was promoted to her current position as Resource Soil Scientist in Wareham, Massachusetts.

Highlights of Maggie’s career include serving as northeast regional coordinator for National Rapid Carbon Assessment (RaCA) initiative, authoring and co-authoring numerous professional publications, serving on the NRCS Massachusetts and Rhode Island Civil Rights Committee, completing the first coastal and subaqueous soil survey in the nation, as well as the first inland freshwater soil survey in association with the University of Rhode Island and the Rhode Island MapCoast partnership, and serving as a technical expert for conservation projects in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Maggie is a 2001 Magna Cum Laude graduate of Colby College in Waterville, Maine with a B.S. in Biology-Environmental Science Concentration. She received a M.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Rhode Island in 2007.

The National Cooperative Soil Survey (NCSS) is a nationwide partnership of Federal, regional, State, and local agencies and private entities and institutions. This partnership works to cooperatively investigate, inventory, document, classify, interpret, disseminate, and publish information about soils.