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News Release

NRCS Announces $1.9 Million Investment in Collaborative Research

Alan Stahnke, State Soil Scientist

UT-Rio Grande Valley Project Selected to Advance NRCS’ Soil Science Capacity

Temple, TexasAugust 16, 2019 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced $1.9 million in funding for 15 Soil Science Collaborative Research projects focused on soil science and soil survey research.

The information gained from the collaborative research will advance NRCS’ ability to provide scientifically based soil and ecosystem information to help address important natural resources issues facing our nation.

“NRCS is investing in universities across the country to leverage their scientific knowledge and expertise to support our conservation mission.,” said NRCS Chief Matthew Lohr. “By engaging a diverse group of scholars through research, we can identify innovative solutions and technological advancements that will increase our contributions to both science and society.”

Now in its 12th year, the current Soil Science Collaborative Research projects were selected from among 32 applications. Projects were selected based on nationally identified needs in communities and landscapes.

Through this research program, the University of Texas - Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV), a Hispanic Serving Institution, is looking to expand its soil science research and educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, a key area for agriculture production with a 90 percent Hispanic population. Through participatory research, the Kika de la Garza Science Fellowship program, technical assistance, training and outreach events, the UTRGV is providing students and producers experiences that prepare them to meet the challenges and opportunities related to agricultural, food, and natural resources.

NRCS will also fund research projects at Alcorn State University, Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, Colorado State University, Kansas State University, New Mexico State University, North Carolina State University, Purdue University, University of Arizona, University of California, University of Massachusetts, University of Tennessee, University of Wyoming (two projects), and Virginia Institute of Marine Science.

A detailed description of the projects is available online.

The information accumulated from these annual projects has helped NRCS develop integrated technical tools and information to assist planners and land managers in predicting and assessing soil health, ecosystem and landscape sustainability and the implementation of sustainable management systems.

“NRCS is a world leader in soil research,” said Dave Hoover, director of the NRCS National Soil Survey Center. “This prioritized investment in science-based tools will develop innovative data sharing and information delivery tools and products to reach multiple stakeholders around the world from underserved audiences to the most technically advanced.”

NRCS accepts proposals once a year. Interested researchers can learn more on the Soils Research Page.