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Technology Focus Team




Historically, the primary tools of the field soil scientist were an auger, sharp shooter, shovel, rock bar, and a field sheet. The New Technology focus team wants to help bridge the gap between historical tools and tools from the 21st century with a light-weight focus team where participation is the primary requirement. The New Technology sub-teams are simply an environment where everyone has a chance to share their experiences and ask questions. The dialog for these teams is intended to be generated by the participants. Of the People, by the people, for the people.

Have a question? Just ask, someone else probably has the same one.
Have an idea? Run it through the other members, they might be able to contribute.
Have an experience? Share it, others can learn from it.
Unexpected or meaningless results? Share that too, we don’t want to repeat.

While the tools we have identified for this focus team (ground penetrating radar, electromagnetic induction, mid-infrared spectroscopy, and x-ray fluorescence) are not new, they do offer a ‘newer’ approach to soil resource inventory that all interested people should be exposed to. These are tools soil scientists should be learning about and getting trained on from the beginning of their career. The New Technology focus team is a place to facilitate just that. 

Introduction to the Technology Focus Team (YouTube)

Portable X-Ray Fluorescence for Rapid Assessment of Toxic and Nutrient metals in Soils  


Outreach Team Charges button.
  • Identify internal and external audiences
  • Promote an environment where any employee or cooperator can learn about and discuss how any non-traditional soil survey tool can aid in National Cooperative Soil Survey activities

  • Maintain an active inventory of equipment

  • Update and encourage training opportunities

Outreach Team Reports button.


Outreach Sub-Team button.
  • Mid Infrared Spectroscopy
  • Ground Penetrating Radar
  • X-Ray Fluorescence
  • Electromagnetic Induction


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Amy Koch, State Soil Scientist, Hilo, HI

Chad Ferguson, Soil Scientist, Lincoln, NE

Sub-team leads:

Mid-Infrared Spectroscopy – Andrea Williams, Soil Scientist, Duluth, MN

Ground Penetrating Radar – Olga Vargas, Soil Scientist Greenwich, NY

Electromagnetic Induction - Tyson Morley, MLRA SSPL, Altus, OK

X-Ray Fluorescence – Edwin Muniz, State Soil Scientist, Somerset, NJ

Outreach Team Members button.
Join the Microsoft Teams - Technology Focus Team to see the current members.