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Social Media for Soils

Job Aids

A job aid is, simply put, something that can be used on the job to improve performance. These job aids come from the NSSC, MLRA Offices, and State Offices and are posted on the Web sites of these offices.

Quick Links

GIS and Digital Soil Mapping for Soil Survey
Operations & Management
Promoting the Soil Survey
Soil Databases, General
Soil Databases, NASIS
Soil Survey Graphics
Technical Soil Services, Education
Technical Soil Services, General
Technical Writing
Other Job Aids


WRB Teaching Materials

Soil Taxonomy Forum

Java Newhall Simulation Model (jNSM)

English to Metric Conversion Chart (XLS; 188 KB)

Glossary of soil science terms by the Soil Science Society of America, 2001

Rounding off numbers (PDF; 12 KB)

Identifying/Classifying Buried Soil Horizons (Dr. John M. Galbraith, Virginia Tech) (PDF; 1.32 MB)

Guy Smith Interviews

Clarification of the Definition of Aniso Class

Reaction (pH) in Soil Taxonomy, Use of

USDA Soil Texture Calculator. Enter the percent sand and clay, and let the calculator do the rest. Enter up to four points on the Excel version.

Control Sections (PDF; 181 KB)


Analysis PC

Populating Map Unit Data: Taxonomic Classes and Map Unit Components

GIS and Digital Soil Mapping for Soil Survey


Define Project Area and Scope

Identify Physical Features of Interest

Data Sources and Preprocessing

Data Development and Landform Analysis

Data Development and Spectral Analysis

Sampling for Training Data

Predict Soil Classes or Properties

Calculate Accuracy and Uncertainty


Geospatial Data Gateway


Soil Resource Inventory Toolbox (SRITB)


EM38 Meter Cookbook (PDF; 11.1 MB)

Installing Monitoring Wells in Soils (PDF; 1.9 MB)

Mobile Computing

Assessing Carbonates in the Field with a Dilute Hydrochloric Acid (HCl) Solution

Pedon Description Form

Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity

Soil Color Contrast

Operation of EM38RT Meter W/ Garmin Map76 GPS Receiver & Allegro CX Field Computer a DVD video available upon request.

USDA Soil Texture Calculator. Enter the percent sand and clay, and let the calculator do the rest. Enter up to four points on the Excel version.

USDA Sand, Silt, and Clay Range Calculator. Workbook to develop/check ranges of sand, silt, and clay per allowed textures for multiple horizons. Calculate and save results.

Separating Roots from the Soil by Hand Sieving (PDF; 263 KB)

Estimated Soil Organic Matter -- Field Method (PDF; 330 KB)

Pedon PC

Operations & Management

Workload Analysis Tools

Careers in Soil Survey


Scaling Soil Profile Publication Images (PDF; 3.4 MB)

Adding a Graph to a Photograph of a Pedon (PDF; 368 KB)

Soil Survey Photography (PDF; 6.8 MB)

Digital Soil Survey Images (PDF; 34 KB)

Digital Photography (PDF; 207 KB)

Using the Olympus C4000 (PDF; 28 KB)

Promoting the Soil Survey

Web Soil Survey 3x5 quick reference card (contact Mike Wigginton for more information)

Soil Databases, General

Recall and Commit Official Soil Survey Data (PDF; 923 KB)

Export and Commit Official Soil Survey Data (link to YouTube video)

How to Create an ODBC Connection and Setup SoilDB for Use with R (PDF; 50 KB)

Assigning Generalized Horizon Labels to Assist in Data Aggregation and Analysis

How to Review Pedon Data with RStudio (DOCX; 52 KB)

How to create a comma-delimited list using Excel (DOCX; 268 KB)

R Stats - How to Review Pedon Data with Rcmdr (DOCX; 871 KB)

Digital Editing Tools and SDV (recorded live meeting from Texas) (WMV; 28.3 MB)

Web Soil Survey (click on “Web Soil Survey – How to Use It”)

Soil Data Viewer (click on “Browse the Soil Data Viewer Online User Guide”)

Soil Data Access (SQL experience required) (Use the “I want help with –” area for assistance)

Using Microsoft Access

Soil Databases, NASIS

Map Unit Data: Taxonomic Classes and Map Unit Components, Populating

Soil Moisture Status in the National Soil Information System

Taxonomic Moisture Class and Subclass in NASIS, Populating

Importing Soil Descriptions (232 forms)

Soil Survey Graphics

More than 3,750 block diagrams (line drawings) from published soil surveys are available. Most of the diagrams relate soils to landscape positions. You may search for diagrams three ways: an interactive map, a comprehensive spreadsheet, or a brief spreadsheet. The interactive map shows the location of survey areas for which a diagram is available. The comprehensive spreadsheet is linked to the diagrams in PDF, TIF (image), and AI (Adobe Illustrator) formats. The brief spreadsheet is linked to the diagrams only in PDF format. Users can search the spreadsheets for specific key words, such as a series name or a county.

Block Diagrams for Soil Interpretations (PDF; 8.87 MB)

  • Includes instructions on how to draw block diagrams.
  • Compiled by Robert W. Eikleberry. 1968. United States Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service, Lincoln, Nebraska.

A Modern Approach to Creating Block Diagrams for Soil Survey (PDF; 4.76 MB)

  • Developed for use with several present-day digital tools
  • Not designed to be a standalone method for developing diagrams or to replace traditional methods
  • Many steps in Eikleberry’s 1968 publication apply to this method

Technical Soil Services, Education

NASA site for soils educational materials

Educational Resources

What is Soil?

Careers in Soil Survey

Technical Soil Services, General

Visual Simulation for Resource Planning

Technical Writing

Guides for Editing and Publishing Technical Reports

  • Internal documents for authorized personnel located on SharePoint.

Other Job Aids

Videos and Webinars

USDA Enterprise Content Management (ECM) Soils Document Manager

  • Enterprise Content Management software manages files and websites across a large organization. ~For internal use only.~

Presenting Expert Testimony (YouTube video)

  • A training course by Jane Cornwell (OGC, Kansas City) which includes cases where the agency is not a party; subpoenas, pretrial preparation, and qualifying witnesses; giving testimony for depositions and trials; a top-10 list of courtroom bloopers; refinements for a witness; and a question and answer session.