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Mark A Liebig

Research Soil Scientist

Dr. Liebig is originally from a small farm in the central Platte Valley of Nebraska. His formal education includes degrees from University of Colorado (B.A.) and University of Nebraska (M.S. and Ph.D.). Mark began his career with ARS in 1998 as a Research Associate in Lincoln, Nebraska. In 1999, Mark joined the Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory as a Research Soil Scientist where he has spent that last 18 years working with a multidisciplinary team of scientists to develop soil, crop, and animal management practices for the Great Plains to overcome limitations to productivity while maintaining or enhancing environmental quality. Mark has held elected offices in the Soil Science Society of America and Soil and Water Conservation Society, served on numerous editorial boards, and has authored or co-authored >90 journal articles. Additionally, Mark has developed decision aides and evaluation tools for farmers and scientists, and regularly contributes to research networks within and outside USDA-ARS.


The Science of Soil Health: Dynamic Cropping Systems (2015)

The Soil Habitat (2009)

Soil Carbon Sequestration and Switchgrass (2008)      View      Download



Journal articles

ARS Publication Listing



Managing agricultural greenhouse gases: Coordinated agricultural research through GRACEnet to address our changing climate. Liebig, M.A., A.J. Franzluebbers, and R.F. Follett (Eds.). Academic Press, San Diego, CA. 2012.

Recent trends in soil science and agronomy research in the northern Great Plains of North America. Malhi, S.S., Y.T. Gan, J.J. Schoenau, R.L. Lemke, and M.A. Liebig (Eds.). Research Signpost, Trivandrum, Kerala, India. 2010.

Decision Aids

Cover Crop Chart

AgroEcosystem Performance Assessment Tool


Managing Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Network (MAGGnet


Near-Surface Soil Property Responses to Perennial Forages in a Semiarid Region (2015)


Soil Quality Responses to Contrasting Management Observations from Long-term Trials in Central North Dakota (2014)


Quantifying Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Potential of Cropland Management Practices: A Review of the GRA Croplands Research Group Greenhouse Gas Network (2013)

Grazing Management, Season, and Drought Contributions to Soil Property Dynamics and Greenhouse Gas Flux in Semiarid Rangeland (2012)


Soil Science Society of American Fellow Award, 2012.

Soil and Water Conservation Society, Conservation Research Award, 2008.

USDA-ARS-NPA Early Career Scientist of the Year, 2007.

Soil Science Society of America S-6 Young Scholar Award, 2003.

Research Experience

1999 - present: Research Soil Scientist, USDA-ARS Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory, Mandan, ND.

1998 - 1999: Postdoctoral Research Associate, USDA-ARS Soil and Water Conservation Research Unit, Lincoln, NE.

1992 - 1994: Research Technologist, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE.


University of Nebraska; Agronomy; Ph.D. 1998.

University of Nebraska; Agronomy; M.S. 1992.

University of Colorado; MCD Biology; B.A. 1990.