Ask a Soil Scientist

Welcome to the “Ask a Soil Scientist” program. If you have any question on soils, soil science, and careers in soil science, this is the place to get answers. In addition, teachers can use this tool to request a Soil Scientist to visit the classroom. Teachers can also check out this helpful guide to find scientists to visit the classroom. Your question(s) will be sent to a Soil Science Society of America member in your region. As our members are volunteers with this program, please allow 24-48 hours for a response.

The Ask a Soil Scientist program has been designed for K-12 teachers, students, and anyone else with general interest soils-based questions. If you are a professional with a soil science question, consider an SSSA Membership - which will provide you access to the Membership and Scientific Expertise Directories. You may also wish to consult with a Certified Professional Soil Scientist. For research questions try searching our journals.

Are you willing to answer questions from the K-12/general public audience for your geographic area? Learn More! Please note: You must be a current member or have emeritus status and have at least three years of SSSA membership to qualify.

Please fill out the following form to submit your question.

Purpose Do you have a question or are you looking for a soil scientist to visit your classroom?
Classroom Visit

Subject Matter Please check all that apply.
Soil composition and importance as a natural resource (general information, overview of soils)
Soil origin and development (parent material, soil-forming factors, profile, classification, taxonomy, soil orders, soil survey, land-use planning, soil-use interpretation)
Soil physical properties (texture, structure, density, pores, color, temperature, water, aeration, tillage, cropping, systems, erosion)
Soil water (infiltration, percolation ,root uptake, energy concepts, hydrologic cycle, water quality, drainage, irrigation, wetlands, organic amendments)
Soil chemistry (clays, mineralogy, charge, cation exchange capacity, anion exchange capacity, composition)
Life in the soil (organic matter, organisms, biological activities, diversity, carbon cycle, decomposition, composting, bacteria, actinomycetes, fungi, viruses, fauna)
Soil pH (acid soils, lime, alkaline soils, salinity, sodic, reclamation)
Soils and plant growth (nutrients, tilth, soil quality, water-holding capacity, manure, organic amendments, low-input agriculture, sustainable agriculture)
Soil environment science (pollution, degradation, reclamation, heavy metals, nutrients, industrial wastes, pesticides)
Soil Careers

Your Information



State/Province* (If U.S. or Canada)


Region you are located in* (If located outside the U.S. and Canada):

Africa European Union
Asia Mexico
Caribbean Middle East
Central America Oceania
Eastern Europe South America

Please select one of the following:*
Home Owner

If Student or Teacher, please select grade level: K-4 5-8 9-12

If Other, please explain:

Email Address*  

Confirm Email Address*  

What is your question?*

Why do you need this information? (Our intent is not to answer class assignments but to provide background information on projects, general information on soil uses, or provide resources for educators.)


For verification purposes, please enter (as a number) the number described below.

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