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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Reno, Nevada » Great Basin Rangelands Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #377031

Research Project: Management and Restoration of Rangeland Ecosystems

Location: Great Basin Rangelands Research

Title: A strategic plan for future USDA- Agricultural Research Service erosion research and model development

Author
item Weltz, Mark
item Huang, Chi Hua
item Newingham, Beth
item Tatarko, John
item Nouwakpo, Sayjro
item Tsegaye, Teferi

Submitted to: Journal of Soil and Water Conservation
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/21/2020
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Soil erosion is a natural process and the erosion potential of a site is the result of complex interactions among soil, vegetation, topographic position, land use and management, and climate. USDA has a long history of conducting basic research in soil erosion and developing erosion assessment tools used for conservation planning and risk assessment. However, research efforts and model development have historically been segregated, and researchers in these two fields have therefore developed separate soil erosion assessment tools. In developing the new USDA erosion research and prediction system, a transition plan has been developed to ensure continuity of ongoing efforts with NRCS, especially during the first five years. This plan addresses staff availability and continuity of operations to replace staff when vacancies occur and mentoring to ensure program integrity and capacity to deliver products as scheduled. USDA recognized the need to formulate a coordinated effort to develop the next generation soil erosion prediction system that contains the most current erosion science. To meet the current and growing challenges, USDA research capacity needs to be expanded across the Nation to include an additional 26 scientist positions with an increase in base funds of $12 million. These new erosion prediction tools will (i) have interfaces that meet user needs and can incorporate data from multiple data sources; (ii) implement software engineering standards, (iii) institutional commitment in expanding current research personnel and resources; and (iv) expanding LTAR so that wind and water erosion processes in critical areas of the nation are monitored and national databases are developed and maintained.

Technical Abstract: Soil erosion is a natural process and the erosion potential of a site is the result of complex interactions among soil, vegetation, topographic position, land use and management, and climate. USDA has a long history of conducting basic research in soil erosion and developing erosion assessment tools used for conservation planning and risk assessment. However, research efforts and model development have historically been segregated, and researchers in these two fields have therefore developed separate soil erosion assessment tools. In developing the new USDA erosion research and prediction system, a transition plan has been developed to ensure continuity of ongoing efforts with NRCS, especially during the first five years. This plan addresses staff availability and continuity of operations to replace staff when vacancies occur and mentoring to ensure program integrity and capacity to deliver products as scheduled. USDA recognized the need to formulate a coordinated effort to develop the next generation soil erosion prediction system that contains the most current erosion science. To meet the current and growing challenges, USDA research capacity needs to be expanded across the Nation to include an additional 26 scientist positions with an increase in base funds of $12 million. These new erosion prediction tools will (i) have interfaces that meet user needs and can incorporate data from multiple data sources; (ii) implement software engineering standards, (iii) institutional commitment in expanding current research personnel and resources; and (iv) expanding LTAR so that wind and water erosion processes in critical areas of the nation are monitored and national databases are developed and maintained.