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Soil Health Research

Soil Health Research

The overall goal for the Soil Health Institute’s research program is to address strategic, high priority needs of the scientific and stakeholder communities for advancing soil health.  Collaborative public-private research developed under this plan will contribute collectively to enhancing productivity, resilience and environmental quality through soil health.  Results will increase the scientific knowledge base that will allow soil health management practices and systems to be designed and implemented across a wide range of soils, climates, and cropping systems to increase a given soil’s capacity to provide water and withstand drought, suppress diseases, and provide nutrients.  It will expand the role of soils for producing nutritious food and feed, improving water quality, increasing carbon sequestration, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and improving human and animal health.  Soil health-promoting practices that show promise individually will be evaluated in multiple combinations that may benefit soil health in different and reinforcing ways.  We refer to these as “soil health management systems” that engage several practices simultaneously to enhance soil health while sustaining or enhancing productivity and environmental quality in economically feasible ways that are consistent with other on-farm decisions.

In its entirety, the Institute’s research portfolio is intended to yield analytical methods and standards, production and soil resource management methods, support for decision making, and recommendations that are actionable, beneficial, economically feasible, and acceptable by agricultural producers.

To assist us in our Research effort, the Soil Health Institute requests your help in cataloguing long-term (≥ 10 years) agricultural experiment sites in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Once compiled, this database will be made publicly accessible for building teams and planning agricultural research requiring inter-institutional collaboration on large scales, including soil health. Only a minimal amount of information is requested. Please submit your site’s information at the bottom of this page.

Thank you for helping advance the science of soil health!

Current Positions, Grants, and Opportunities to Promote Soil Health

The Soil Health Institute announces project scientist positions

The Soil Health Institute seeks up to six project scientists to help identify and develop soil health measurements as well as help manage its comprehensive evaluation program that relates soil health to quantified productivity, economic and environmental outcomes on long-term agricultural experimental sites across North America.

Interested scientists may contact:

ptracy@soilhealthinstitute.org
(208) 315-7000

POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT

Project Scientist (6 positions)

Soil Science/Crop Science/Agronomy/Microbiology/Range Science/Ecology

Term: 2 years

The Soil Health Institute (SHI), a non-profit organization created to safeguard and enhance the vitality and productivity of soil through scientific research and advancement, located adjacent to the Research Triangle Park (RTP) near Raleigh, North Carolina is seeking up to 6 Project Scientists to participate in a project to evaluate soil health indicators at long-term agricultural experimental sites across North America. The diverse team of scientists will help conduct and manage the SHI’s initiative to identify and develop widely acceptable soil health measurements, standards, and a comprehensive evaluation program that relates soil health to quantified productivity, economic and environmental outcomes.

All Project Scientists will work in a geographically-dispersed team designed to collect soil samples and evaluate the utility of soil health indicators for quantifying changes in soil properties as influenced by management, climate, production system, and other parameters across North America. Depending upon candidates, these 2-year positions may be staffed at SHI headquarters in Morrisville, North Carolina, or at remote locations (university, federal or private facility) as mutually agreed upon by the SHI, respective location administration, and the successful candidate.

Duties Include:

  • Engagement and project coordination with assigned regional long-term agricultural site leaders (15-25 sites per scientist) to evaluate soil health measurements and their relation to productivity, economic and environmental outcomes.
  • Participation and coordination with experimental site personnel, soil sampling and data collection from partnering long-term agricultural sites for soil health indicators in different stages of development.
  • Develop critical analysis and review of measurements, as well as existing soil health evaluation indices and programs at the regional (individual) and North American (team) level.
  • Contribute as the project team’s disciplinary lead for a specific area of expertise.
  • Prepare and publish findings for scientific and agricultural producer/field practitioner audiences.
  • Travel extensively during the site sampling phase of the project.

 

Qualifications:

  • A Ph.D. in Soil Science, Crop Science, Agronomy, Ecology, Range Science, Soil Microbiology, or related disciplines.
  • Research experience in soil health, agronomy, agricultural production and resource management at the field and laboratory levels.
  • Expertise in field sampling design and statistical analysis is highly recommended.

 

Application Materials Required:

  • resume/curriculum vitae;
  • college transcripts;
  • 3 references with contact information, including telephone number.

 

Questions, contact and/or send application materials to:

Paul Tracy, Ph.D.
Project Manager, Soil Health Institute
ptracy@soilhealthinstitute.org
(208) 315-7000


The Soil Health Institute announces lead statistician/database manager position

The Soil Health Institute seeks a statistician/database manager to develop experimental designs, data management approaches, and data interpretation. The professional will serve as the project team lead for statistical analysis and data management to assess soil health indicators at long-term agricultural experimental sites across North America.

Interested professionals may contact:
ptracy@soilhealthinstitute.org
(208) 315-7000

POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT

Statistician/Database Manager: 2 to 2.5 Year Appointment

The Soil Health Institute (SHI), a non-profit organization created to safeguard and enhance the vitality and productivity of soil through scientific research and advancement, located adjacent to the Research Triangle Park (RTP) near Raleigh, North Carolina is seeking a statistician for a project team to evaluate soil health indicators at long-term agricultural experimental sites across North America. The statistician will work in a diverse team of scientists to help manage the SHI’s initiative to identify and develop widely acceptable soil health measurements, standards, and a comprehensive evaluation program that relates soil health to quantified productivity, economic and environmental outcomes.

The 2.5-year position will involve developing experimental designs, data management approaches, and data interpretation to assess the utility of soil health indicators and methods to quantify long-term management effects on soil health in North America. The position may be staffed at SHI headquarters in Morrisville, North Carolina, or at a remote location (e.g., university, federal or private facility) as mutually agreed to by SHI and the successful candidate.

Duties Include:

  • Serve as the project team lead for statistical analysis and data management.
  • Review existing statistical designs at all participating agricultural research sites.
  • Develop digital database for the project, to include all data for measurements collected and associated environmental and agronomic metadata for each location in the project.
  • Lead the project’s statistical expertise, strategy, and capacity to analyze and interpret experimental data and metadata at all relevant individual site, regional and continental scales.
  • Train project scientists and collaborators on database management and statistical requirements for the project.
  • Provide statistical support for publications released to scientific, agricultural producer and field practitioner audiences.
  • Work with project team members and on-site collaborators on all aspects of the project involving experimental designs, data collection, data management, data analyses, data interpretation, and statistical preparation of publications and other communications for a variety of audiences, including scientists, farmers, consultants, and the public.
  • Travel frequently to site locations, partner facilities, and to the SHI office in Morrisville, NC.

 

Qualifications:

  • A minimum of a Master’s degree in statistics or related field, plus at least 5 years in experimental design and data management in agricultural or environmental field research are required. A Ph.D. in statistics or related field is strongly preferred.
  • Experience in database design, database management, and GIS is required.
  • Expertise in agricultural/ecological-based multi-site analyses and interpretation is desirable.

 

Application Materials Required:

  • resume/curriculum vitae;
  • college transcripts;
  • 3 references with contact information, including telephone number.

 

Questions, contact and/or send application materials to:

Paul Tracy, Ph.D.
Project Manager, Soil Health Institute
ptracy@soilhealthinstitute.org
(208) 315-7000

Long-Term Agricultural Experiments Directory Project





GENERAL SITE INFORMATION

SITE VARIABLES

EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN

HISTORICAL SITE DATA COLLECTION AND OUTPUT

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Our role in support of global soil health

  • Identify gaps in soil health research
  • Under the stewardship of the Institute’s Chief Scientific Officer in consultation with the Chief Executive Officer, External Science Advisers and Partners, soil health leaders collaboratively establish research priorities that will provide the highest science-based benefits to soil health. A primary goal is to ensure rapid economic return on investment so research and promoted practices benefit food and fiber producers, respecting their dedication and commitment to resource conservation and land management as well as their need to sustain their businesses.
  • Construct research road maps
  • Dedicated professionals who lead soil health research believe all stakeholders will benefit if efforts are more integrated and then translated into useful, adoption-ready practices. Researchers realize current soil health roadmaps are jigsaw puzzles with many pieces. They believe all stakeholders will benefit from unbiased, non-competitive coordination of research goals, grants and the robust discussions that build forward-thinking research projects.
  • Rigorous protocol related to submission of research proposals and assessments of outcomes.
  • Researchers want to focus on data-driven studies that truly serve all stakeholders. Researchers also want to standardize rigorous protocols across the research continuum – basic, translational and applied research pathways
  • Global reach and access
  • Researchers believe time is critical. They want the best researchers in the world to collaborate to solve soil’s most pressing soil health issues.
  • Prompt and broad information distribution
  • Knowledge and information generated by these research projects must be promptly and broadly disseminated, and the developments created will be delivered by the Institute and its Partners to all users who need them.


Current Projects

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Action Plan

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Research Grants

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Research Principles


If you’re a researcher who wants to connect with SHI Research Leaders, please connect here.

Access the Soil Health Research Landscape™ tool for scientific research studies and data.