Skip Navigation

NCSS Social Media

2006 Applied Technology Committee - Organization and Structure

Report to the Western Regional Cooperative Soil Survey Conference

Pete Biggam, Chair, NPS, Lakewood, CO
Bill Ypsilantis, Co-Chair, Lakewood, CO

Committee Members In Attendance

Alan Busacca, Washington State University P
Crystal Briggs, Washington State University P
Robert Davidson, U.S. Forest Service P
Bruce Frazier, Washington State University P
Chuck Gordon, NRCS
Dave Hoover, NRCS P
Steve Howes, U.S. Forest Service
Darrell Kautz, NRCS P
Maxine Levin, NRCS
Randy Lewis, NRCS P
Bob MacMillan, LandMapper Env. Solutions P
Sarah McCall, BLM P
Corey Meier, NRCS P
Toby O’Geen, UC Davis
Neil Peterson P
Pete Biggam
Alan Price, NRCS P
Wayne Robbie, U.S. Forest Service P
Ken Scheffe, NRCS P
Darrell Schroeder, NRCS P
Rick Schuler, BLM P
Sudhir Raj Shrestha P
Bill Volk, BLM P
Tom Weber, NRCS
Eric Winthers, U.S. Forest Service
Eric Wolfbrandt, NRCS P
Bill Ypsilantis, BLM P
Bill Hiett
Steven Jelden, NRCS
Darwin Jeppesen
Nephi Cole P
P = present at committee meeting
Pete Biggam, chair not in attendance
Bill Ypsilantis, co-chair presided at committee meeting
Sarah McCall, BLM recorded committee meeting minutes

Charge 1

Define the roles, functions, and structure of the WRCSS Applied Technology Committee

  • Determine if committee name needs to be changed (NCSS New Technology Committee recommendation)
    • Recommendation was made by NCSS New Technology Committee to change their name to the NCSS Advanced Technology Committee.
    • Proposals:
      • Technology Committee
      • Integrated Technology Committee
      • Advanced Technology Committee
      • Applied Technology Committee
      • As is

    Recommendation accepted to change committee name to Applied Technology Committee

  • Confirmation of new chair and election of new co-chair
    • Pete Biggam proposed having the co-chair become the new chair. Commonly followed process.
    • Proposal
      • Unanimous agreement
    • Election of co-chair
      • Dave Hoover unanimously elected co-chair

    Recommendation to WRCSS conference steering committee – select Bill Ypsilantis as new chair and Dave Hoover as co-chair.

  • Develop business rules for the committee (roles of chair and co-chair, rotation of officers and committee members, formation of task groups, voting requirements for approval of recommendations)
    • Duties of chair and co-chair
      • Run committee meetings
      • Communicate w/ members about charges
      • Collect feedback from members
      • Develop report for national committee
      • Present report to Western Regional Cooperative SS conference as whole
      • Set agenda for next meeting
      • Forming task groups
      • Taking reports from task groups
      • Get recommendations for new tech and appropriate people for presentations
      • Serve as liaison to national committee (chair)
    • Co-chair
      • Help prepare for upcoming meetings, preparation of committee report
      • Co-chair stands in for chair in his/her absence
      • Maintains minutes at meetings
    • Committee members
      • Duties of committee members:
      • Attend committee breakouts
      • Provide feedback
      • Serving on task groups
      • Will serve on committee a minimum of 2 conferences
      • Solicit others to be part of task groups
    • Nomination of officers and committee members – revolving process
      • Carry-over of committee members serving for extended periods of time
        • 2-conference span of committee members recommended
        • Representation from each agency/sector
          • Each agency appoints a minimum of 1 representative to committee
          • Any conference attendees can be in attendance at breakout sessions
    • Formation of task groups
      • Appointed by committee chair upon approval of the committee members
    • Approval of recommendations
      • Voting
        • Majority vote
        • Minority opinion forwarded to national committee if individual feels strongly about position
          • Minority voting members are responsible for preparing minority report
  • Develop purpose statement for committee including scope of new technology issues to be addressed by committee
    • Proposed purpose statement paraphrased from the initial charges of the Western Regional Standing Committee on New Technology with edits added at conference breakout session. Purpose statement will be reviewed by committee members for final approval.

    The purpose of the Applied Technology Committee is to promote the use of new technology in soil mapping and soil information delivery, disseminate information on new technology to West Regional NCSS members, and provide recommendations to the National New Technology committee on application of new technology tools and resolution of barriers to the use of new technology.

  • Coordinate with WRCSS By-Laws Committee to update issues regarding Applied Technology Committee as a standing committee
    • The WRCSS By-Laws Committee was requested to acknowledge the Applied Technology Committee as a standing committee for the West Region. This issue will be addressed at this conference.

    The WRCSS By-Laws Committee will modify the by-laws to recognize the West Regional Applied Technology Committee as a standing committee

Charge 2

Determine what national issues regarding New Technologies can be adopted or included in the Western Region

  • Review the 2003 report of the NCSS New Technology Standing Committee and determine which recommendations we might implement in the Western Region.

    Recommendation to National committee: Research projects involving landscape analysis should be adequately staffed and funded to maintain momentum for incorporating advanced technologies into the NCSS program.

  • Passed as amended

    Recommendation-internal: Internet-accessible information should be available for NCSS partners to increase communication, improve education and training, and foster collaborative research, development and application of new or advanced technologies.

  • Western regional website or discussion platform will be developed and maintained by Dave Hoover, co-chair.

    Recommendation defeated: A NCSS task force should be formed to develop a proposal for symposia and pre/post-meeting field tours or workshops at the 2006 IUSS World Congress in Philadelphia that addresses scientific exchange and review of “new technology” research with the international soil science community.

    • Field tours being developed
    • Beyond scope of committee
  • The National Standing Committee also discussed Internet-based delivery of soil survey information. Pilot applications of ESRI Arc Internet Mapping Server (ArcIMS) from Oregon and Missouri were described. Further work is needed to identify the required functionality for providing soil survey information via the Internet.
    • Committee supports information posted to internet
    • Some states have already done this
    • End of calendar year supposed to be completed
    • Projects that promote web surveying information should be adequately funded etc.
    • Delivery vs. web-based (geobooks, information to users w/o internet access)
    • Workable recommendation: Phrasing like first point w/o specifics, concentration on new tech and delivery systems for soil survey. Looking at functionality
    • Functional delivery of soil information

    Recommendations to National committee.

    • Efforts by the states to provide innovative, electronic delivery of soil survey information should be adequately staffed and funded to ensure completion of this task.
    • Delivery of soil information must be functionally effective in reaching NCSS customers and ensuring ease of use.
  • Identify any other additional issues or opportunities which may be applicable to the Western Region, and prioritize these into recommendations.
  • How does the use of advanced technology in soil mapping get represented into the Metadata record for a particular soil survey area. This would potentially affect some of current Process and Lineage sections of the metadata record.
    • Arc map has metadata, NSSH must include metadata standard as standard operating procedures

    Recommendation to National committee: All soil surveys must provide metadata with use of new technology processes identified; procedures for derivation of new technology must be documented

    • Subcommittee to come up with minimum metadata standards, suggestions for additional documentation
      • Task group must look into what already exists and evaluate current procedures
      • Recommendation was passed-chair will form a task group or sub-committee
  • The National Soil Survey Handbook part 601.01(d) cites that one of the responsibilities of the National Soil Survey Center is providing new information, concepts, methods, understanding, and predictions for soil survey modeling. There is some question as to who is responsible for that role and if it is being met.
    • Who is responsible?
    • Is role being met?
    • Recommendation for someone at NSSC to fill role as national leader
      • Person should have technical role
      • NSSC may already be doing this-recommendation may not go anywhere
      • Lack of coordination nationally; results in duplication of efforts
  • Recommendation to National committee: West Regional Applied Technology Committee requests a mechanism be set up allowing us to provide input and feedback to the National Soil Survey Center on new technology development

Charge 3

Determine what “New Technologies” may currently be in place, or being evaluated, in the Western Region

  • Many concepts of New Technologies are currently being used by NCSS partners in the Western region, or being developed for potential use. Past methods to try to capture these methods appeared to “come up short”.
    • Develop a strategy in which all NCSS partners in West Region can provide input into this inventory of current and/or emerging methodologies.
    • Develop a database to catalog these projects and efforts.
      • Sarah McCall, BLM, at the direction of the committee co-chair developed a draft database as template for committee breakout discussions.
      • Western Regional website will be set up by next national meeting
        • Investigate whether more appropriate to use National NRCS/Fort Worth website or Lincoln NCSS website
        • West Region will initiate website & keep own database to be continually updated
      • Solicit input from states on new technology efforts for inclusion in database
      • Keeping catalog of info for website or other means of dispersal of information
        • Provide links to state websites
        • Need better idea of what to put on website/database
        • Investigate content/involvement with website-Dave
    • Develop a strategy to make this database available to NCSS members and others.

    Recommendations- internal:

    • Chair responsible for gathering information on ongoing new technologies, inputting the information into a catalog and forwarding cataloged information to committee members
    • Committee members will provide input to the catalog

Charge 4

Prepare report for presentation to Western Regional Cooperative Soil Survey Conference and submittal to NCSS Standing Committee on New Technology

  • Report prepared, presented at 2004 Western Regional Cooperative Soil Survey Conference, and submitted to National Standing Committee on New Technology

Other points of discussion:

  • Grant proposals
    • Criteria for review of proposals, submission of proposals
    • Letter of support, not signing off on grant
      • We reviewed and support new tech in current charges (submitted by chair)
      • Letter of support

    Recommendation: The West Regional Applied Technology committee will review grant proposals and provide a letter of support for worthy proposals.

  • Charges by the Conference Structure and Function Task Force
    • How do we address issues previously forwarded to National Committee and NCSS Conference that we have not received feedback on?
      • Need feedback from nat’l committee
      • Recommendation to nat’l conference steering committee about how to handle issues forwarded to them

    Recommendation: The National New Technology Committee needs to have a structure for giving feedback to regional conferences on recommendations being forwarded to them

  • How to allocate time in terms of working committee work vs. presentations vs. tours etc.?
    • Function of conference steering committee to develop the conference agenda to accomplish priority tasks and address priority issues at the conference

    Recommendation: Committee chair should have be able to request a specific block of time to accomplish committee work. This time period may overlap other conference functions.

    • Time as committee should be for work planning, not all organizational
      • How much time? Chair decides based on recommendations
      • Problem about continuity of meeting times with other committees in conference

    Recommendation: Chair of each committee should be on conference steering team in order to enhance direct communications between the committees and steering team

  • Good participation within conference and balanced program should be conference objective
    • More involvement for all conference participants is sought
  • Work done through outside communication
    • Historically most work done outside conference
    • Committee members bring recommendations/proposals to breakout session