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Taxonomy Team


The core goals of this focus team are to make Soil Taxonomy more scientifically applicable and to enhance its ability to provide “A basic system of soil classification for making and interpreting soil surveys.”

Main photo for Taxonomy Team.

Soil Taxonomy is a science-based tool that (1) groups soils into hierarchies that enable practitioners to understand soil properties at multiple scales and (2) provides a language for discussing the numerous soil types across the nation and world. Soil Taxonomy is used to understand how landscapes evolves geomorphically, how they function as a system through which water, nutrients, and pollutants flow, and how those landscapes vary as physical templates on which the biological world resides.

Taxonomy Charges button.
  • Coordinate taxonomy updates within the National Cooperative Soil Survey
  • Evaluate proposal quickly
  • Proactively solicit input
  • Hold Taxonomy meetings and reviews – subject specific
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13th Edition of “Keys to Soil Taxonomy” 2021

  • Updated to include clearer sentences, more rationale, more history, and new taxa
  • Specific definitions that need to be written (re-written)
  • A team of writers are being identified
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Updated Soil Survey Manual (2017) containing the most recent horizon nomenclature and chapters on subaqueous soils and urban soils.

Updated National Soil Survey Handbook with numerous links to Soil Taxonomy.

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2018 NCSS Regional Committees

2016 NCSS Regional Committees

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  • Densic Working Group
  • Ag Handbook 296 MLRA Update
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Curtis Monger, National Leader, Soil Survey Standards, NSSC, Lincoln, Nebraska

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  • John Galbraith
  • Jane Karenin
  • Keith Crossland
  • Shawn McVey
  • Matt Levi
  • Mike Jones
  • John Warner
  • Mike Regan
  • Ken Scheffe
  • SSSA Task Force for Fundamental Changes to Soil Taxonomy