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National Cooperative Soil Survey of the United States

Cover of the document


David Rice Gardner submitted this thesis, “The National Cooperative Soil Survey of the United States,” to the Graduate School in Public Administration of Harvard University as a requirement for his doctoral degree in 1957. As a soil scientist in the Soil Conservation Service, David Gardner had seen the soil survey from the inside while working in scientific and technical positions as well as in administrative ones. Dr. Gardner brought these skills to his historical research and writing on the soil survey program.

David Gardner’s doctoral thesis has not been generally available to soil scientists. A few soil scientists in the Service read one of the photographic copies purchased from Harvard University by the Soil Survey Division, but soil scientists in field offices had little access to these scant copies. The purpose of this reprint edition is to make the study available to several audiences. Soil scientists in the Natural Resources Conservation Service will have a better understanding of their heritage through reading it. Since knowledge of historical developments can benefit practitioners in their jobs, this edition will be provided to soil scientists in the agency, to cooperators in the soil survey program, and to government depository libraries.

The author and Harvard University have permitted the Natural Resources Conservation Service to reprint the volume and to distribute it. This version is not a photographic copy of the original. It has been retyped, and the format and pagination have been altered to create a more compact volume. In a few cases capitalization and punctuation have been standardized. Otherwise, the volume remains unchanged from the version presented to Harvard University.