NEON Initial Characterization Soils: Archival and Access At UMBS
During initial construction activities or early operations, NEON / Battelle contracted with the U.S. Department of Agriculture- Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) to perform an initial characterization of soils and their variability within and across NEON sites, complementing other NEON soils efforts including the Megapit and distributed periodic soil collections. The initial characterization effort was conducted from 2015-2019, and resulted in two data products now available from NEON. In addition, of the 3,246 soil horizons characterized from 46 NEON sites during the USDA-NRCS initial soil characterization campaign, 1,991 from 33 sites possessed sufficient material for archive in the University of Michigan Biological Station- Sample Archive Facility in Ehlers (UMBS-SAFE), a community-accessible soil archive established with NSF support in 2016-18. Subsamples of these well-characterized, air-dried samples are now available to researchers who complete a request and review process, described below. This process follows that used for the Megapit Soil Archive, with some key differences due to the smaller quantities of the archived samples (generally 50-200 g per sample) and the joint management of the archive by NEON and UMBS-SAFE staff.