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Soil Surveys

What is a Soil Survey? 

A soil survey is a resource inventory where field scientists collect, organize, and interpret information about the natural resources in an area.  Although the main focus is on soils, data is also collected on vegetation, landforms, and surface hydrology. Soil surveys help landowners and communities select the best sites for homes, schools, airfields, roads, landfills, and agriculture. They provide a scientific inventory of soil resources for making maps, identifying physical and chemical properties of soils, as well as supplying current information on potential uses and limitations of each soil. To learn more about soil surveys click here.

Alaska's Soil Survey Fact Sheet 
Visit the USDA NRCS Soil Survey Homepage
Visit the Pacific Northwest Soil Survey Region Homepage


Web Soil Survey

The first stop for soil survey information is Web Soil Survey. This site provides quick access to all available soil survey information in Alaska as well as the rest of the United States. The site allows online viewing of soil survey maps, data, and interpretations. Users can specify local areas of interest. The site also provides access to electronic copies of traditional soil survey publications and maps.


Status of Soil Surveys in Alaska

Status of Soil Surveys


Those users who want to acquire complete electronic datasets for soil surveys can do so at Web Soil Survey.


Major Land Resource Areas of Alaska

The Alaska MLRA Soil Survey Office coordinates the collection of soils and related natural resource data for the state of Alaska. Alaska is part of the Pacific Northwest Soil Survey Region (SSR1). All work is done in partnership with federal, state and location agencies, as well as, private landowners and community groups. This partnership comprises the National Cooperative Soil Survey (NCSS).

The Alaska MLRA Soil Survey Office also coordinates the Alaska portion of the national Resource Inventory (NRI). This inventory is an on-going effort to monitor the changes and trends in natural resource use and condition over time.

Land Resource Regions of Alaska






SNOTEL Soil Climate Sites


Alaska Project Offices and Soil Survey Activities


Education Information

National Cooperative Soil Survey of Alaska Meeting 

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) National Cooperative Soil Survey (NCSS) meeting for Alaska will take place on Friday, April 28 at the United States Department of Agriculture conference room, located at 800 West Evergreen Avenue, Palmer. Video and teleconference participation is available. The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. and adjourn by 4 p.m. Principal users of the NRCS Soil Survey and Web Soil Survey are encouraged to attend. The NCSS Alaska meeting will primarily discuss subjects of Alaska concern.

For more information on the meeting and soil surveys contact State Soil Scientist Cory Cole at (907) 761-7759 or by email at

News Release
Agenda and Presentations

Meeting Notes


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Cory Cole
State Soil Scientist
USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service
800 W. Evergreen Ave., Suite 100
Palmer, AK, 99645
(907) 761-7759    Fax (907) 761-7790