|PAGE UPDATED ON March 16th, 2015|

Announcements - In Reverse Chronological Order


You will be pleased to learn that the Maine Legislature passed a Joint Resolution Recognizing The Importance Of Soils To Maine’s Future Prosperity on March, 16th!

Three job opportunity announcements in Maine for a Soil Conservationist (Recent Graduate) GS-0457-5/7 FPL9 has been posted. The positions are located in Bangor, Houlton and South Paris.

MAPSS 2015 Annual Meeting is being held at Unity College Center For The Performing Arts on Wedsday, March 4th 2015. Download the conference Agenda, and registration form.Map #1and parking Map #2.

See you all there!

Its the International Year of Soils and the Soil Science Society of America is offering a 6 month trial membership for free.

The MAWS Winter Conference and Annual Meeting, is scheduled for Tuesday March 24, 2015, at Thorne Hall at Bowdoin College, in Brunswick, Maine! This is the same venue as last year! More details to follow. Please mark your calendar!

Job Vacancy Posting - Environmental Specialist III - Augusta

MAPSS is requesting news articles from its memmbers at this time. Please send all articles to Don Phillips.

MASE Meeting is Scheduled for Feb. 24.

A new link has been added to the left navigation pane: "Current Issues Before MAPSS". This link addresses continuing efforts by MAPSS on several fronts related to regulatory, scientific, or of long term interests to members of the soil science community.

The joint MAPSS - MAWS - MASE late summer field workshop was held at Mt. Blue State Park on Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014. Download the field workshop information, conference Agenda, and registration form.
Download the digital orthophoto with driving directions and the location of the registration area and afternoon panel discussion location: Map #1.

Thanks to all who contributed to the organization and staffing of this important workshop, especially to Dave Rocque, without whose enthusiasm and persistence this workshop would not take place.

The summer 2014 issue of The Lay of the Land is now available for downloading.

MAWS is hosted a workshop on August 1st, 2014: Wetland Functions & Values - 2014 Assessments and Updates.

Full and Associate Member directories were updated on May 16, 2014 by Gary Fullerton, Chris Dorion, and Matt Dorman. Please verify the accuracy of your data; if further changes are needed, please email web master Chris Dorion.

The winter 2014 issue of The Lay of the Land is now available for downloading.

The MAPSS Annual Meeting was held on March 18th, 2014 at the Wells Conference Center at the University of Maine in Orono. Download the Agenda and the Registration form.

The proposal from the MAPSS Technical Committee for adoption of the Connotative Soil Survey (CSS) and accompanying Explanation and Usage Guide was approved at the Annual Meeting of March 18th, 2014.

  • The Connotative Soil Survey and accompanying Explanation and Usage Guide are an “additional option” or “optional addition”, to be added to the current MAPSS Guidelines;

  • And that the current MAPSS Guidelines for Order I mapping ("High Intensity Soil Surveys"; i.e., Class A, B, C, D) will not change;

  • And the Order I mapping ("High Intensity Soil Surveys"; i.e., Class A, B, C, D) map will still need to be performed.

Please view the comparison chart for the two mapping styles for additional details.

Here is a sample of an original HISS style Class B High Intensity Soil Survey and the same soil map in the Connotative Soil Survey (CSS) style. Each file is ~ 4.5 M

Minimum size map units for wetland delineation: The following guidance is provided by U.S. ACOE Senior Project Manager Jay Clement. It evolved from the panel discussion at the September 4th, 2013 MAPSS field conference at Mt. Blue State Park. Jay Clement can be reached at the Maine Project Office, (207) 623-8367.

  • "Getting back to you and the group as promised on the question about mapping protocols. After discussing the question with Ruth Ladd and Paul Minkin at our MA headquarters, they confirm that there is no definitive guidance to fall back on in the '87 Corps Manual or the Regional Supplement. Similarly, there isn't any informal guidance to fall back on. And at least the New England states appear to all have variable requirements as to the size wetland that gets mapped."

  • "So some best professional judgment and common sense has to prevail here. Is the wetland just an isolated pocket or is it part of some larger pit/mound landscape. If it's the latter, the regional supplement does offer guidance as to when areas are wetlands and when they're not. A delineator could therefore make a call that a pit/mound landscape wasn't a wetland even though there might be 'pockets' of hydric soil, hydrology indicators, and wetland plants. Your map/plan would reflect that."

  • "But when all you're dealing with is a traditional landscape that happens to have some wetland 'pockets', there is technically no minimum threshold for mapping if an area meets all 3 parameters. Many of these folks are already identifying and mapping vernal pools or potential vernal pools down to pretty small sizes. Wetland mapping really shouldn't be much different. How it appears on a plan will undoubtedly be a function of the plan's scale. On a small scale map, small wetlands, drainages, vernal pools, etc will probably only be represented by a symbol, a dashed line (drainage), or a point. A larger scale map lends itself to greater detail in terms of depicting an actual boundary."

  • "However you make the call, document, document, document (so that third parties understand why you determined what you did). And when in doubt, contact the Corps and the DEP."

Coarse fragment descriptions in the National Soil Survey Handbook have been updated.
Please check out this link to coarse fragment descriptions.

Maine Catena Key Update (spring, 2008)

  • Boothbay is now limited to MWD
  • Pushaw added as an aquept (SPD) to the Boothbay catena
  • Ricker now limited to cryic areas
  • Knob Lock replaces Ricker in frigid areas
  • Moosabec replaces Waskish as sphagnofibrists in the Northeast
  • Meadowsedge replaces Rifle as Euic Frigid Typic Haplohemists in the Northeast
  • Do NOT use the Peru soil series in the Marlow catena; use Dixfield
  • Do NOT use any mesic soil series in Maine
  • In the old soil surveys, Buxton soils on a B-slope are now Lamoine soils

MOOSABEC soil series adopted in Maine

The MOOSABEC series has replaced the Waskish series. These are very poorly drained organic soils. For more information, visit the links in the left navigation column SOIL DATA and head to the OSD descriptions.

KNOB LOCK soil series adopted in Maine

"The Knob Lock series consists of very shallow and shallow, well drained to excessively drained organic soils on mountains and hills. They formed in thin organic deposits underlain in most places by a very thin mineral horizon over bedrock. TAXONOMIC CLASS: Dysic, frigid Lithic Udifolists" (Official Series Description)
Note that this soil series is in the frigid temperature regime. Ricker soils are now limited to the cryic temperature regime.
For more information, visit the links in the left navigation column SOIL DATA and head to the OSD descriptions.

MAPSS Display Board
MAPSS has overhauled the MAPSS display board. If you need it for a presentation, please contact Johanna Szillery, Education Chair.

Please use the link in the left navigation window "Past Events & Workshops - RESULTS (Write-ups, Comments, and Photos Albums are HERE)" to access MAPSS' archives of past workshops, meetings, and conferences.