Tour Presentations

Segments 1-9

Welcome to this collection of training videos on NWCA soil sampling techniques. These brief segments walk through the procedures for sample collection and handling—a great refresher before hoing back into the field, or just to learn more about NWCA sampling. For more detailed training videos on NWCA sampling, click here.

Identifying the Plot Location

Learn how to pick an appropriate spot to sample.
Fill Out Your Labels

Filling out labels properly is simple, but it matters. Hot tip: fill out your labels in advance where it's clean and dry—like at the car or even the night before.
Soil Isotope Sampling

Tips on getting an accurate 10-cm sample with your syringe in real-world conditions.
Standard Core Depth Sampling

Real-world tips on using the metal rings you also use for bulk density samples.
Excavating Your Soil Pit—Thick Vegative Cap

Some sampling sites feature thick vegetation. Here are some pointers on working with that thick vegetative cap and re-filling the hole later."
Excavating the Site—Tools

Get your tools and techniques ready for excavation.
Preparing the Soil Face and Distinguishing Horizon Boundaries

Tips on differentiating among horizons and spotting redoxomorphic features. Tip: teamwork helps when preparing the soil face and recording observations.
Describing Horizons—Textures

Great recap of techniques for assessing organic vs. mineral soils and describing characteristics of soils.
Roots and Rock Fragments

Estimating and recording large debris rather than sending it to the lab..

Segments 10-17

More insights from Dr. Lenore Vasilas of USDA-NRCS and Gregg Serenbetz of US EPA.

Soil Matrix Color

“Tips on using Munsell Soil Color Charts to accurately identify soil color. Where do you start? Do you move through chroma or hue? It's all here.
Redoxomorphic Features

Differentiating among redoxomorphic features and their origins.
Additional Field Indicators

Masked sand grains, organic bodies and other features, mottles, splotches and more.
Soil Horizon Sampling

Sampling soil from individual horizons takes some finesse. Freshen up on technique here.
Bulk Density Samples

Collecting bulk density samples can present challenges in different soil types.
Sampling with an Auger

If you can't dig to 125 cm or cave-ins are a problem, it may be time for an auger.
Backfilling the Pit

A tidy exit helps your sampling site restore itself promptly.
Packing Soil Isotope Samples

Proper packing and handling of your soil isotope samples makes a difference to batch lab staff.