Global Soil Partnership

United States of America

KSSL Laboratory

The United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Soil and Plant Science Division, Kellogg Soil Survey Laboratory (KSSL) located in city of Lincoln, State of Nebraska, USA.

Contact(s): Rich Ferguson

Laboratory Capacity

KSSL develops a freely available, well-organized, and easy-to-use database with a mid-infrared (MIR) spectral library with associated reference and meta-data that are suitable for building calibrations to estimate diverse soil properties at various geotaxonimic scales.

KSSL represents over 90,000 soil samples and growing, and the KSSL MIR library captures the compositional variability of soils that while mainly from USA.

Areas of Interest

KSSL offers three free capacity building resources:

- KSSL's large soil spectal library. KSSL data can be used as a free open data resources for different purposes on the topic of soil spectroscopy, such as research, education, soil assessment, soil monitoring, etc.

- Training. NRCS MIR training welcomes applicants from outside of NRCS on a space-available basis, and has included students at all levels from Canada, the Netherlands, India, New Zealand, Morocco, USA, etc. The training empowers participants to independently query the KSSL database or similar relational databases, do preliminary map-based assessment of the likelihood of model success, build and refine calibrations through modeling MIR spectra with reference data, validate calibration performance with true test samples, and perform instrument operation and control.

- Sample exchange. The KSSL accepts up to 300 samples from countries interested in using KSSL MIR and reference data compare methods and performances on conventional methods of analysis.

The University of Nebraska - Lincoln Department of Biological System Engineering

The University of Nebraska -Lincoln Department of Biological Systems Engineering hosts the Sensor Technologies for Agricultural Research Lab.

Contact(s): Yufeng Ge

Laboratory Capacity

The Sensor Technologies for Agricultural Research Lab conducts research in precision agriculture and both proximal, and remote-sensing applications for soil characterization and mapping.

The lab is equipped with an ASD LabSpec, a Spectralevolution SR3500, and a Bruker Alpha II FTIR. The lab is also equipped with low-cost spectrometers such as those from Neo-spectra and Ocean Insights for soil analysis. Other instruments including a Portable XRF, Gamma-ray sensor, and EMI sensor are available within the University. Our lab is near the USDA-NRCS National Soil Survey Center and Kellogg Soil Survey Laboratory. Therefore we have strong partnership with the KSSL to utilize their national-scale soil VisNIR and MIR spectral libraries (>100,000 samples primary from the U.S.) for the development of new methods and algorithms in soil spectroscopy. 

Areas of Interest

The Sensor Technologies for Agricultural Research Lab offers the following capacity building resources:  supervising graduate students, hosting visiting scientists, providing training in soil spectroscopy, as well as joint scientific publications. 


Advanced Soil Spectroscopy laboratories and Institutes are highly welcome to join SoilSpecNet (SSN) and any soil laboratories and institutes are encouraged to collaborate with listed SSN labs and institutes for the capacity development of soil spectroscopy, by sending an email to [email protected] and [email protected].