NSCSS Benefits


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The purpose of this presentation is to show
the many benefits of membership in the
National Society of Consulting Soil Scientists,
Inc. (NSCSS).

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NSCSS Benefits

  1. 1. What Are the Benefits of Membership in the National Society of Consulting Soil Scientists?<br />Mark S. McClain<br />January 19, 2010<br />Consulting Soil Scientists of Carolina’s, Inc.<br />Soil Science Society of North Carolina<br />Raleigh, North Carolina<br />
  2. 2. Purpose<br /><ul><li>The purpose of this presentation is to show the many benefits of membership in the National Society of Consulting Soil Scientists, Inc. (NSCSS).</li></li></ul><li>Other Presentation Titles<br /><ul><li>“What’s in it for me?”
  3. 3. “What do I get for my 27 cents per day?”
  4. 4. I am actually surprised that “What Are the Benefits of Membership in the National Society of Consulting Soil Scientists?” is even a question by peer professionals.  </li></li></ul><li>Do you expect Quid pro Quo?<br /><ul><li>Quid Pro Quo is “something for something.”
  5. 5. Is this really the right question about an established organization that represents your profession?
  6. 6. Quid Pro Quo leaves the impression that one is expecting a parasitic relationship. What can I get out of this organization? What’s in it for me?
  7. 7. We become members not JUST because it is of benefit to our personal incomes.</li></li></ul><li>Let’s not just stand around, we need to promote our profession!<br />Mark S. McClain © 2010<br />
  8. 8. NSCSS<br />Founded in 1987, the Society supports the soil science profession from a private sector perspective; however, you do not have to be a consultant to be a voting member. Encouraging consulting as a career choice is particularly important to our members. <br />Mark S. McClain © 2010<br />
  9. 9. NSCSS Founded on a War Footing<br />NSCSS was founded on a war footing, to combat threats to the private enterprise aspects of the soil science profession. But a funny thing happened on the way to the forum, so to speak. We discovered that what truly attracted us about the Society wasn’t the shared threat, it was the opportunity of learning from each other. And of course we don’t learn just from other consultants but from all soil scientists. So we transformed the Society to better support this focus, and we changed the bylaws accordingly.<br />Mark S. McClain © 2010<br />
  10. 10. NSCSS Vision<br />“Advancing the profession by growing the business of soil science.”<br />Mark S. McClain © 2010<br />
  11. 11. NSCSS Mission Statement<br /><ul><li>To advance the discipline and practice of soil science by professionals,
  12. 12. To promote quality interaction between professional soil scientists and their communities,
  13. 13. To represent the diverse consulting, service and business interests of professional soil scientists,
  14. 14. To facilitate the exchange of business and soil science experiences within the Society, and
  15. 15. To foster professional and ethical conduct in the soil science discipline.</li></li></ul><li>17 Goals Support the Mission of NSCSS in Four Areas:<br />Technical Support & Communication<br />Business Development<br />Professional Growth<br />National Leadership<br />
  16. 16. Technical Support & Communication <br /><ul><li>Distribution of National Cooperative Soil Survey (NCSS) updates.
  17. 17. Sharing and formulation of standards and methods.
  18. 18. Exchange of information, new ideas, and practical solutions.</li></li></ul><li>Business Development<br /><ul><li>Minimizing business and professional liability.
  19. 19. Identifying new markets and expanding services for clients.
  20. 20. Assistance in contracting services and marketing techniques.
  21. 21. Sharing experiences in obtaining financing, legal matters, and promotions.</li></li></ul><li>Professional Growth <br /><ul><li>Education in Business Management.
  22. 22. Guidance in providing expert witness and professional testimony.
  23. 23. Announcement of training opportunities and conference presentations.
  24. 24. Encouraging students to select career paths in soil science.
  25. 25. Establishing college curriculum requirements for soil scientists and related majors. </li></li></ul><li>National Leadership <br /><ul><li>Promoting soil science technology and the profession.
  26. 26. Supporting initiation and improvement of state registration programs.
  27. 27. Support and enforcement of a code of professional and ethical conduct.
  28. 28. Elimination of unfair competition from taxpayer-supported entities.
  29. 29. Assist in national level policy formation.</li></li></ul><li>What Are the Benefits of Membership in the National Society of Consulting Soil Scientists?<br />Mark S. McClain © 2010<br />
  30. 30. To paraphrase NSCSS Founder James Brown…<br />We became members because we recognize that as individuals we have limited influence when it comes to political impacts to our profession.  As consulting soil scientists we have significantly more influence when we speak up.  But as a professional business organization we speak with a much larger and influential voice.<br />Mark S. McClain © 2010<br />
  31. 31. To paraphrase Phil Small:<br />“NSCSS empowers the individual to be an activist for their profession, not a lone position, but one of the entire society. NSCSS is a society of activists!”<br />One of the best sources of this activism is through the NSCSS Website.<br />www.nscss.org<br />Mark S. McClain © 2010<br />
  32. 32. From my perspective, the best means of communication are the NSCSS newsletter and website.<br />
  33. 33. A perspective to consider from Pierre Bordenave…<br /><ul><li>Membership in NSCSS costs 27 cents a day.
  34. 34. Let's see what 27 cents a day gets you: 
  35. 35. 1/10 of a cup of coffee
  36. 36. 14% of the daily cost of your cable or satellite TV
  37. 37. A part of a pack of gum
  38. 38. A single phone call
  39. 39. An eighth of a gallon of gas
  40. 40. A really cheap tip
  41. 41. 4 tea bags </li></li></ul><li>Questions…<br />How many organizations have provided thousands of dollars in matching support for state lobbying efforts to maintain their state licensing program?<br />How many organizations are committed to thousands of dollars in yearly scholarship awards?  <br />How many organizations step up and write letters of support for professional Soil Scientist’s licensing, registrations, and certifications to protect them and the public from Soil Pretenders? <br />
  42. 42. Questions…<br /><ul><li>How many organizations have members that take time out of their professional lives to call, write, and provide testimony when our profession is under fire? 
  43. 43. How many national organizations are there that directly represent Consulting Soil Scientist Professionals within SSSA, the NCSS, The Council of Soil Science Examiners, the Committee on Accreditation, and the list goes on....  </li></li></ul><li>Peer Support<br /><ul><li>The ability to call upon your peers for:
  44. 44. Professional support
  45. 45. Technical information
  46. 46. Business information
  47. 47. Teaming opportunities
  48. 48. Sometimes simply as a source of encouragement or a shoulder to cry on</li></li></ul><li>Public Directory<br /><ul><li>To support members in their efforts to maintain business visibility and provide accurate and accessible contact information.
  49. 49. NSCSS maintains a publicly available database. The member can login to update their contact information and control the level of detail available.  
  50. 50. A directory of private sector cooperators is posted  so that  NRCS State Soil Scientists can communicate meeting announcements and training opportunities directly to our members relying on National Cooperative Soil Survey Standards.</li></li></ul><li>Business Announcements<br /><ul><li>Providing a timely venue for business announcements.</li></li></ul><li>Training Announcements<br /><ul><li>A stated goal of NSCSS is the announcement of training opportunities and conferences.
  51. 51. We all need CEUs and PDHs.</li></li></ul><li>Business Insurance<br /><ul><li>NSCSS has negotiated attractive rates for professional errors and omissions insurance. </li></li></ul><li>Mentoring<br /><ul><li> Members start up, diversify, and expand their business activities with the support of their Society peers. Shared work examples are particularly valuable for pursuing new opportunities. </li></li></ul><li>Scholarships<br /><ul><li>The NSCSS Scholarship was established with the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) to encourage undergraduate students to major in soil science degree programs. The scholarship recruits top quality students into nationally recognized soil science programs to meet the expanding and diverse needs of this field. The NSCSS also encourages soil science degree graduates to pursue a career in the field of professional consulting soil science to meet the various public needs and practical applications of this science. </li></li></ul><li>Internships<br /><ul><li>NSCSS keeps track of members involved with providing private sector soil science internships, and alert them when we receive inquires from student intern candidates. </li></li></ul><li>Job Opportunities<br /><ul><li>We track and post private sector job opportunities that make specific mention of soil science qualifications.
  52. 52. For a broader posting of soil science job opportunities, see soil-science.info/jobs. </li></li></ul><li>Post your Résumé <br /><ul><li>NSCSS asks employers and recruiters what we can do to help them connect with our job seeking members in the market for employment. They never fail to suggest the same thing: post résumés on our website.
  53. 53. Members can use a résumé posting service and send us the link and we will post it.
  54. 54. A solid choice for an online résumé is LinkedIn, which is simply a great place for job seekers to tie into a growing network of professionals. Fill out your LinkedIn profile so the world can know your qualifications, career goals, and experience. </li></li></ul><li>Technical Communications from NCSS<br /><ul><li>Members who rely on National Cooperative Soil Survey (NCSS) standards are listed with their USDA-NRCS State Soil Scientists as cooperating private sector soil scientists. Whenever a member joins or changes address, NSCSS contacts their State Soil Scientist to assure the flow of technical communications from NCSS. Adherence to NCSS standards is a core value within NSCSS. Accordingly, our members see NCSS communications as particularly valuable. Our field descriptions of soil profiles, and our use of published soil survey interpretations on behalf of our clients, must adhere to technical standards established by NCSS. Membership in NSCSS supports our members’ continuing efforts to stay up-to-date with these standards. It also opens the door for them to become involved in revising those standards as the understanding of soil science advances: NCSS is dynamic, and there is a place at the table for consulting soil scientists. </li></li></ul><li>Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct Guidelines<br /><ul><li>The Society was established, in part, to formulate and to uphold a code of ethics for the profession. Our Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct Guidelines for Consulting Soil Scientists is the established basis for fulfilling that purpose. </li></li></ul><li>Professional Registration<br /><ul><li>SSSA's CPSS/SC program provides core proficiency certification, and NSCSS fully supports and encourages SSSA certification among our members. Our Professional Registration (RPSS) program builds on that core and addresses the gnarly aspects of professionalism that are particular challenges in soil science consulting. Knowing what is legal, what isn't, and what you can get sued for is part of that. But beyond the obvious litigation risks, there are professional conduct issues to prepare for. These often involve the tension between an expectation of advocacy from our client pool and the professional requirement to be scientifically objective. Structuring our contracts and communications to properly protect our clients' interests, yet preventing unreasonable expectations, all while avoiding conflicts of interests, is a skill set we require of our NSCSS registered professional soil scientists. </li></li></ul><li>Representation<br /><ul><li>We are joining our voices to be heard, particularly in the areas we have chosen to exercise national leadership in.
  55. 55. Promoting soil science technology and professional registry.
  56. 56. Supporting initiation and improvement of state registration programs.
  57. 57. Support and enforcement of a code of professional and ethical conduct.
  58. 58. Elimination of unfair competition from taxpayer-supported entities.
  59. 59. Assist in national level policy formation.
  60. 60. Consistent with this effort, NSCSS leaders are working with SSSA to establish Soil Science accreditation as a means of assuring college curriculum requirements consistent with private sector demands for soil science.</li></li></ul><li>Primary Benefit<br />YOU!<br />
  61. 61. What about these less than obvious benefits?<br /><ul><li>Social
  62. 62. Community
  63. 63. Networking
  64. 64. Fellowship</li></li></ul><li>Primary Benefits<br /><ul><li>For me one of the primary benefits is fellowship and friendship. The Greek word koinonia (κοινωνία) means to share things in common.
  65. 65. Isn’t our soil science profession that common ground? Note: pun intended!</li></li></ul><li>The Real Perspective…<br /><ul><li>“Ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country.”</li></ul> (President John F. Kennedy in January 1961)<br /><ul><li>Our “country” is the soil science profession!
  66. 66. How dedicated are you to promoting your profession?</li></li></ul><li>So, what’s next?<br />
  67. 67. NSCSS 23rd Annual Meeting<br /><ul><li>“Diverse Opportunities for Consulting Soil Scientists in a Challenging Economy”
  68. 68. March 3-6, 2010
  69. 69. Amelia Island, Florida and Cumberland Island, Georgia</li></li></ul><li>___________________________________________________________________________Mark S. McClainSoil Scientist/Soil Classifier & Terrestrial/Wetland EcologistCPSS/CPSC/CPESC/RPSS/PWSLicensed Soil Scientist in AL, IN, MN, MS, NC, and SC<br />204 Hunters Ridge, Canton, GA 30114Cell Phone: 765.212.7645(SOIL)E-mail: mmcclain1313@comcast.net<br />National Society of Consulting Soil Scientists, Inc. (NSCSS) <br />www.nscss.org<br />President-Elect (2009)<br />President (2010)<br />Director-at-Large (2009-2011)<br />Editor of Soil Profiles<br /> <br />&quot;We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.&quot; --Aldo Leopold<br />