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National Cooperative Soil Survey

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Organization and Standards

The National Cooperative Soil Survey (NCSS) is a nationwide partnership of Federal, regional, State, and local agencies and private entities and institutions. This partnership works to cooperatively investigate, inventory, document, classify, interpret, disseminate, and publish information about soils. For information on NCSS responsibilities, see Part 601 of the National Soil Survey Handbook.

NCSS standards are common or shared procedures that enhance technology transfer, data sharing, and communications among soil survey participants. For information on the publications and technical references that guide the NCSS, please see Part 600 of the National Soil Survey Handbook.

Draft Strategic Plan

The NCSS is undertaking a renewal and revitalization effort, starting with the development of a first-ever strategic plan for the partnership. The draft plan is available for public review and will be presented for discussion at the 2016 NCSS regional conferences.

Comments regarding the strategic plan can be sent to David Lindo, Director of the NRCS Soil Science Division, at


Thumbnail from an NCSS conference.

The NCSS provides technical and operational coordination at national, regional, and state levels. Workshops, meetings, and conferences are held to discuss and resolve concerns and to make proposals and recommendations. Part 602 of the National Soil Survey Handbook describes the purpose of the NCSS conferences along with the bylaws.


NewslettersThumbnail of an NCSS newsletter.

The purpose of the NCSS Newsletter is to provide a forum for NCSS cooperators and others interested in the soil survey and related activities to express their views. Cooperators, partners, and others with an interest are encouraged to contribute on a regular basis to this publication. The newsletter is published quarterly.

Other Links

  • Map - shows the four NCSS regions.
  • Awards - summary of previous NCSS awards.
  • NCSS Training and Job Aids - Directed to employees of agencies participating in the NCSS.
  • History - Historical information on the soil survey.