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2018 Joint Northeast and South Regional Cooperative Soil Survey Workshop

June 24-29, 2018
Summersville, West Virginia

“Your NCSS: Meeting User Needs—Bridging Knowledge Gaps”

Hosted by West Virginia Natural Resources Conservation Service, United States Forest Service – Monongahela National Forest, West Virginia University, and West Virginia Partners in collaboration with North Carolina Natural Resources Conservation Service, North Carolina State University and North Carolina Partners.

The National Cooperative Soil Survey (NCSS) is a nationwide partnership whose purpose is to investigate, inventory, document, classify, interpret, and disseminate information about soil and ecological resources of the US. In the eastern US, areas of greatest resource concern—and the areas for greatest potential impact of the NCSS—involve coastal zone soils, urban soils, and ecological sites. These areas of critical need, along with the digital soil mapping tools that allow NCSS partners to effectively and efficiently deliver soil and ecological site knowledge to the user community, provide the principles that will guide discussion and planning for NCSS partners at the 2018 Joint NE-S Regional Cooperative Soil Survey Conference.

A concurrent graduate student agenda is being offered with special activities for students, including field trips and social events, opportunities to share your research, and presentations on professional development, USA Jobs, and the PATHWAYS program.

Quick Links




  • Sunday, June 24—High-Elevation Headwaters: Soils, Ecosystems, and Land Management
    This tour will take participants to some of the unique ecosystems of the high-elevation forests of the Central Appalachians. These forests represent one of the most diverse—and most endangered—ecosystems in the eastern US. The tour will include examination of the soils and landcapes within a remnant of the once-extensive red spruce forest, a walk through a high-elevation peatland, and a visit to a vernal pool. Among the various stops, participants will view Spodosols, Histosols, and unique hydric soils found in the relatively cold and wet environments of Central Appalachia.
  • Thursday, June 28—The New River Gorge: From Canyon Rim to Valley Floor 
    This tour begins atop the sandstone cliffs that form the rim of the New River Gorge—the deepest and longest river gorge in the Appalachian Mountains. Following an overview of the geology and cultural history of the New River Gorge (as well as views from one of the observation decks high above the New River) at the National Park Service’s Canyon Rim Visitor Center, the tour will descend into the gorge to view the natural and cultural resources that shaped both the diverse forest ecosystem within the gorge and the subsequent human inhabitants—from the early miners extracting the coal that fueled the US Industrial Revolution to today’s outdoor enthusiasts that seek high-adventure activities on the whitewater of the New River and the surrounding terrain. Among the various stops, participants will view residual, colluvial, and alluvial soils representative of the New River Gorge and surrounding landscapes. The tour ends on the edge of the New River.


Link to online registration:

General Registration: $250 (through June 15; $300 from June 16)
Student Registration: $50 (.edu Email address required)
Guest Registration: $15 (field tours only), $40 (banquet only), $55 (field tours + banquet)
Payments will be accepted via credit card (Visa or MasterCard). No checks.
Full refunds for registration cancellations will be issued until June 15 less a $25 processing fee.

Questions? Please contact Jim Thompson (; 304-293-2921).


Participants in the 2018 Joint Northeast-South Regional Cooperative Soil Survey Workshop are invited to submit a poster for the workshop.

You will be prompted to submit an abstract for the program during the registration process. The abstract should include the title, author(s) and a 100 (or less) word description of the information to be presented.


Blocks of rooms are being held at three local hotels, all of which are located near the conference venue. For all three hotels, the rooms are being held under the title “Soil Survey Conference”.

  • Quality Inn
    903 N Industrial Drive
    Summersville, WV 26651-2011
    $91 per night + tax
    Block will be released on June 15
  • Sleep Inn
    701 Professional Park Drive
    Summersville, WV 26651-2015
    $91 per night + tax
    Block will be released on June 1
  • Hampton Inn
    5400 Webster Road
    Summersville, WV 26651-9693
    $129 per night + tax
    Block will be released on May 23

For the Quality Inn and Sleep Inn there are 40 rooms in the block at each hotel. Rooms are available for check-in on Saturday, June 23, and check-out on Friday, June 30. Please specify your actual check-in and check-out dates when you call to make your reservation. At the Hampton Inn, room availability is restricted on Saturday and Sunday nights to 17 rooms. The full 40 rooms are available for the remainder of the week of the workshop.

If you are a government employee you will need to provide a tax exempt form at the time of check-in and your room charges must be billed to the government or paid with a government-issued credit card.


  • Overviews of current soil and ecology work occurring within the East
  • Field trips viewing soils and landscapes of the Central Appalachian Region: High Elevation Red Spruce, Vernal Pools, and the New River Gorge ecosystem
  • Interact with federal and academic partners that work with soil survey and ecological landscape scale inventories
  • The latest science in digital soil mapping and other soil mapping techniques
  • Career and resume building skills and USA Job Workshop


Map of the interstates and highways around Summersville, WV.

From I-79 South:
• I-79 South to US Route 19, South Exit 57 (Summersville).
• Follow US Route South approximately 30 miles.

From I-77 South:
• I-64 East from Charleston. Take I-77 South I-64 to Beckley, WV.
• Take Exit 48 (North Beckley/Summersville), US Route 19 North.
• Follow US Route 19 North approximately 45 miles.

From I-77 North:
• Take Exit 48 (North Beckley/Summersville), US Route 19 North.
• Follow US Route 19 North approximately 45 miles.

From I-64 West:
• Take Exit 48, (North Beckley/Summersville), US Route 19 North.
• Follow US Route 19 North approximately 45 miles.


James A. Thompson, Ph.D.
Professor, West Virginia University
Research Coordinator, National Soil Survey Center-Geospatial Research Unit
Morgantown, West Virginia
Phone: 304-293-2921

Jared Beard
State Soil Scientist, USDA-NRCS
Morgantown, West Virginia
Phone: 304-284-7597

Milton Cortes
Acting State Soil Scientist, USDA-NRCS
Raleigh, North Carolina
Phone: 919-873-2171