Soil is a natural body comprised of minerals and organic matter with pore spaces for air and water. The formation of soil, along with ongoing management, impact the quality of the soil and its ability to sustain life. These unique combinations of physical, chemical, and biological properties are scientifically categorized in Soil Survey inventories.
Competencies for Soils:
· Module 1: Introduction to Soils
· Module 2: Web Soil Survey Basics
· Module 3: Introduction to Soil Health
Soils Module 1: Introduction to Soils
Course Description: This course will cover most commonly available sources of official Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) soils information and how to get information from soils data.
1. Explain basic soil information and why it is important
2. State how soil information is used to develop land use interpretations
Soils Module 2: Web Soil Survey Basics
Course Description: This course will cover information to assist users of soils information with accessing and interpreting soils data and information produced by the National Cooperative Soil Survey including a review of the online interface.
1. Access web soil survey
2. Demonstrate how to download official SSURGO soils
3. Navigate to and select an area of interest, run interpretive reports, and create and download reports
Soils Module 3: Soil Health Basics
Course Description: This course will provide an introduction to soil health, dynamic soil properties, and sustainability principles to guide participants with recommendations for land management.
1. Define soil health terms
2. Describe basic concepts of the soil ecosystem, biology, and function
3. Identify the condition of physical, chemical, and biological indicators of soil health
4. Determine best alternatives in practices to improve soil health conditions
5. Explain how improved soil health may lead to increased productivity and profitability