Powerful Geography
Soil Conservationist and Technician

Soil Conservationist and Technician

Soil Conservationist & Technician


Main Topic: Physical Geography
Secondary Topic: Environment and Society

Overview: A soil conservation technicians support the professional soil conservationist's efforts to market the concept of conserving soil to achieve optimum land use consistent with conservation objectives. Some of the tasks required by Soil Conservation Technicians are to gather preliminary data for conservation plans, develop a plan to implement conservation actions and supervise work done. The purpose of the job is to survey, implement and supervise soil conservation work implemented as part of a development or land maintenance project. On a day-to-day basis a soil conservation technician gathers preliminary data for use in developing physical resource plans and papers on the history of land use. After this, the technician then surveys, plots, lays out, and stakes selected sites and assists landowners in selecting, installing, and maintaining a variety of measures that conserve and improve the soil, plant, water, marsh, wildlife and recreational resources of a land area. Examples of single conservation measures that may be installed on a land site include contour cultivation, grass waterways, terracing, tree planting, field windbreaks, irrigation ditches, grass and legume seeding, and farm drains. Soil conservation technicians are important for the ongoing health of agriculture and more, globally. Soil is the foundation of all food that we and all other animals eat. By preserving soil health, we ensure that food production continues to feed the world. 

Soil conservationists are responsible for ensuring a health state of the soil. They spend a large proportion of their time working in the field, alongside farmers and other land users, offering conservation planning and technical help. Aims include conserving the soil, improving water quality, managing nutrients, and protecting and improving wildlife habitats. Apply conservation principles in specialized fields of science, such as agronomy, soil science, forestry, or agricultureAdvise land users on conservation plans, problems and alternative solutions; Provide technical and planning assistancePlan soil management and conservation practices, such as crop rotation, reforestation, permanent vegetation, contour ploughing, or terracing, to maintain soil and conserve waterVisit areas affected by erosion problems to seek sources and solutionsWork on assistance programs for local governmentsCollect and analyze soil samples; Analyze and present resultsDevelop studies to investigate various types of land useProvide information, knowledge, expertise, and training to government agencies at all levelsDesign and oversee the construction of soil conservation structuresMonitor land use to evaluate the effectiveness of land-use practices and plansGenerate cost estimates for different conservation practicesParticipate in environmental impact assessmentsManage projects and supervise technical and professional staff. Conservationists work is spread between offices, laboratories and outdoors. Fieldwork can be in remote locations. The areas of fieldwork will vary depending on the employer and their remit. 

Geographers at work: Physical Geographers, Environmental Geographers 

Recommended College Courses: Physical Geography, Geographic Information Systems, Remote Sensing, Environmental Management, Quantitative Methods 

Skills: Land-use Planning, Resource Planning, Sustainability/Conservation, Surveying/Field Methods, Quantitative Methods, Physical Geography, Agricultural Science, Environmental Management 

Occupation Group: Life, Physical, and Social Science

Learn more about Soil Conservation Technician from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Department of Labor: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/conservation-scientists.htm

Written by Christopher Hinojosa


Soil management involves practices and techniques to improve soil quality, fertility, and sustainability, enhancing agricultural productivity and preserving ecosystem health.
Soil management involves practices and techniques to improve soil quality, fertility, and sustainability, enhancing agricultural productivity and preserving ecosystem health.