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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Tucson, Arizona » SWRC » Research » Research Project #441661

Research Project: Technical Analysis of Grazingland National Resource Field Inventory Data

Location: Southwest Watershed Research Center

Project Number: 2022-13610-013-020-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Jun 1, 2022
End Date: Sep 30, 2024

The objectives of this project include: 1) Identify and correct National Resources Inventory (NRI) data quality issues, 2) Organizing NRI and other data sets for analysis, 3) Merging data sets from pertinent databases, 4) Utilize databases and various analyses in contributing scientific journal papers on ecological issues, 5) Assist in communication and working relationships between Soil Science and Resource Assessment, Iowa State University Center for survey Statistics and Methodology, NRCS State NRI leaders, NRCS Technical Center, and NRI Technical Advisory Team.

The USDA-NRCS in cooperation with Iowa State University’s Center for Survey Statistics and Methodology, Ames, Iowa, has conducted large-scale resource inventories for >65 years to assess U.S. natural resources on non-federal lands. A highly detailed and robust rangeland National Resource Inventory (NRI) was initiated in 2003 and currently there are ~ 23,400 random field samples. The field sample contains data on site parameters (soils, slope, ecological sites etc.); current production by species; plant foliar cover by species; plant height by species; plant census; rangeland health assessments; identifying resource concerns; disturbances; conservation practice needs; and measurements of soil stability. NRCS analysis of this data requires special rangeland quantitative skills, which require a working knowledge of rangeland ecology, database management, and statistical analysis skills, and skills in preparing reports and scientific journal papers. An agreement is proposed with USDA-ARS to fund a cooperative post doc position for 2 years (2022-2023) to apply these intrinsic skills to address various rangeland research topics while stationed at the USDA-ARS Southwest Watershed Research Center in Tucson, Arizona.