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Soil Survey Technical Note 7

SOI - Soil Moisture/Soil Temperature (SM/ST) Pilot Project Final Report


To release the SM/ST Pilot Project Final Report.

Effective Date

Effective Upon Receipt


The SM/ST Pilot Project was proposed in 1990 to address the lack of consistent soil climate data to meet growing demands for assessment of global climate change and to make better resource management decisions. The NRCS Resources Inventory and Analysis Division and the Soils Division formed a partnership to address this need. The NRCS National Water and Climate Center (NWCC), Portland, Oregon and the National Soil Survey Center, Lincoln, Nebraska implemented this successful project.

Installation of SM/ST pilot project stations began in 1991 and was completed in 1992. The stations were equipped with sensors to monitor soil-moisture and soil-moisture temperature in addition to the usual climate parameters including; precipitation, air temperature, solar radiation, relative humidity, and windspeed. There were 21 remote sites in 19 states using meteor-burst communication technology to relay real-time data. The data was processed, stored, and made available for the user at the NRCS NWCC.

The attached SM/ST Pilot Project Final Report describes the project purpose, history, implementation challenges and improvements, customer demand for data, lessons learned, and recommendations for future efforts.

Information obtained from this Project will be used in future Soil Climate Analysis Network (SCAN), as well as other monitoring projects.

Details concerning this Pilot Project and the Final Report are available from Garry L. Schaefer, Team Leader, Data Resources and Field Support, NWCC, Portland, Oregon. His e-mail address is


This Note is being distributed through the NRCS eDirectives system. After issuance and under separate cover, the National Headquarters (NHQ) Conservation Engineering Division will distribute limited paper copies to NHQ Division Directors and above and National Center Directors.

Filing Instructions

This Note is available electronically at the Natural Resources Conservation Service eDirectives Web site at If a paper copy is retained, please file it sequentially in Title 430 of the Technical Note binder.


If you have questions, contact the Team Leader, Data Resources and Field Support, NWCC by telephone at (503) 414-3068. 

           /s/                                                                                          /s/
LAWRENCE E.CLARK                                                             MAURICE J. MAUSBACH
Deputy Chief                                                                          Deputy Chief
Science and Technology                                                         Soil Science and Resource Assessment


See the Final Report - Soil Moisture/Soil Temperature Pilot Project in this PDF document.