History of MAPSS
Dick was one of the charter members of the professional soil scientist's organization in Minnesota.
The roots to the Minnesota Association of Professional Soil Scientists began about 1968 one evening during our annual workshop for Soil Conservation Service and University of Minnesota soil scientists. The discussion brought out the need to have an organization by which soil scientists could be certified and be recognized by other professionals such as engineers, etc.. The soil scientists in North Dakota were already organizing and were preparing legislation to establish a certification process in their state. All the soil scientists at the workshop agreed that we should proceed and each contributed $5 towards covering the initial costs of postage, etc.
Out of this idea began an organization called "Minnesota Association of Professional Soil Classifiers". There were about 50 soil scientists in Minnesota who would qualify as "Professional Soil Classifiers". We adopted a constitution and by-laws about 1970 or 1971. Soil scientists who became members paid an initial fee of $50.
This gave our organization some money to work with, particularly as we began the process of certification. MAPSC was certified as an organization by the Minnesota Secretary of State July 5, 1974. At a meeting of MAPSC held on October 26, 1974, the members decided to proceed with certification and registration. "A Proposal for Registration" was prepared and reviewed at the December 5, 1974 annual meeting, and was approved, with some minor modifications. The plans were to proceed with having a bill introduced with sponsors in both the house and senate. I recall there were several other miscellaneous bills introduced such as the state muffin to be the blueberry muffin. We decided not to follow through with our proposal, as it would not receive the attention and support it needed.
There was sufficient support to sponsor a summer tour each year to be held in different parts of the state for soil scientists to share their work with others. The first summer field trip was held in Kandiyohi County. The hosts were Allan Giencke, Party Leader for the Kandiyohi County Soil Survey and Lowell Hanson, Extension Soil Specialist with the University of Minnesota St. Paul. It was well attended and the interest has continued, so our summer tours are still a part of MAPSS.
In the early 1980s, many of the MAPSC members began to think we needed to expand our membership base and include soil scientists who work in other fields besides soil survey. A committee was formed in 1982 to study the issue. A report was made to the December 1982 annual meeting. It recommended the inclusion of soil scientists working in other disciplines. The thought was also that we might have more than on certification level: soil classification, research, teaching, fertility, management, etc. The membership approved the concept of broadening our membership base and be more inclusive. Thus, the name Minnesota Association of Soil Classifiers, was changed to Minnesota Association of Professional Soil Scientists, MAPSS, in 1983.
We never lost sight of our goal to become registered and certified. This finally occurred in 1997 when we became a part of the legislation which had been in place for engineers in Minnesota. Currently many of our members have become or are in the process of becoming licensed professional geoscientists with the Board of AELSLAGID.