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USDA NRCS Initiative for Soil Survey Cooperative Research - Due 07/08/24

Opportunity Title:

2024 SPSD Collaborative Soil Survey Research



Department of Agriculture (USDA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)


Opportunity Number:




The purpose of the 2024 Soil Survey Cooperative Research Proposals is to promote research that informs and improves soil survey. Each proposal must include significant collaboration with soil survey personnel (such as those at the National Soil Survey Center, MLRA Soil Survey or Regional offices). The proposal’s deliverables and their connection to soil survey must be clearly explained. Extra consideration will be given to proposals that include Dynamic Soil Survey research support, with close collaboration with National Soil Survey Center Research Soil Scientists. The work should have national or broad regional application to fill gaps in soil survey databases, provide new approaches to collecting or interpreting soil survey data, and/or address emerging issues in the national research priority areas.

Proposal topics should address emerging issues within at least one of three nationally relevant areas of soil survey research:

Dynamic Soil Properties (DSPs) and Soil Change

  • Investigation of DSPs not currently accounted for in evaluations of soil change at decadal time scales.

  • Assessments of DSPs for forest soils.

  • Creation of digital soil mapping models for predicting DPSs through space and time.

Methods of Soil Hydrology

  • Development of new field and laboratory methods that could be added to soil survey.

  • Expansion of existing methods for characterizing soil hydraulic properties (e.g., water retention, hydraulic conductivity), including those that can be gathered from existing soil survey data.

  • Enhancing communication of hydrologic toolsets and data to product users, especially non-soil scientists.

Expansion of Datasets

  • Leveraging existing NRCS and non-NRCS datasets to expand the reach of soil survey (e.g., deeper depths, spatial gaps).

  • Developing an online mapping tool or repository of soil survey projects, which could include major outcomes and generated datasets.

  • Enhancing the compatibility of non-NRCS datasets (e.g., National Ecological Observatory Network, Molecular Observation Network, U.S. Geological Survey’s National Geothermal Data System) with soil survey data.



  • Private institutions of higher education in the Cooperative Ecosystems Studies Unit (CESU) network

  • Public and State-controlled institutions of higher education in the Cooperative Ecosystems Studies Unit (CESU) network


Award Details:

Total Amount Available:



Maximum Award:



Minimum Award:




Applications Due July 08, 2024



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