NB_290_21_6 - NB 290-21-6 INV – 2021 National Resources Inventory Grazing Land (NRI-GL) On-Site Data Collection Mobile Devices
NB 290-21-6 INV – 2021 National Resources Inventory Grazing Land (NRI-GL) On-Site Data Collection Mobile Devices
National Bulletin: 290-21-6   Date: December 14, 2020
Subject: INV – 2021 National Resources Inventory Grazing Land (NRI-GL) On-Site Data Collection Mobile Devices

Action Required By:  January 8, 2021
Purpose.  To provide updated information for the NRI-GL On-Site data collection handheld devices.
Expiration Date.  September 30, 2021
Background.  This bulletin applies to all States except Alaska and the Caribbean Area. NRCS staff in the other 49 States perform field data collection for the NRI-GL data collection and have relied upon computer-assisted survey instrument (CASI) handheld mobile devices to collect this field data. States may reference NB290-21-5 for FY21 collection activities and timelines. Those mobile CASI devices currently utilize the Windows Mobile operating system. Due to the discontinuance of the Windows Mobile operating system, NRCS is switching to a new CASI mobile device that runs on the Android operating system. During FY20 State staff were kept apprised of the efforts underway that included the following: a mass National Office contract purchase of new CASI devices for States; development of the new Android-based software for data collection and plans for distribution/utilization; and the opportunity for States to comment on the distribution list which included who the new mobile devices would be sent to in each State and how many mobile devices each State would receive.
Explanation.  In FY20, NRCS acquired 150 Trimble TDC600 Android mobile devices. Beginning in January 2021, these new devices will be distributed to the persons in each State on the attached list unless State conservationists provide notification of change to Erik Suffridge, NRI-GL On-Site National Leader, Resource Inventory and Assessment Division (erik.suffridge@usda.gov) by January 8, 2021. (The time estimated to complete this task is less than 5 minutes.) In January, FPAC will begin distributing these devices to the State CEC points of contact for configuration as a USDA mobile device. Once complete, CEC will distribute these to the designated NRCS recipient in each State. Upon receipt of the Trimble TDC600 units, States will accept these devices into their equipment inventory in preparation to use them for NRI-GL field data collection. At the current time, it is not known whether the new Android-based NRI-GL data collection software will be ready and approved for use in FY21 or whether the software will be deployed in FY22. As such, States must keep and maintain their existing Windows-based CASI handheld devices in case they are needed in FY21. Once the new software and devices are approved for use, States will excess the old devices in-State using approved property disposal processes. Those old devices are not to be sent to Ames, Fort Worth, or to the National Office.

States may think of new and creative ways to utilize the new Trimble TDC600 devices outside of NRI-GL data collection. Such activities should only use CEC whitelisted apps with emphasis placed on field activities that use approved ESRI field mobile apps in concert with the NRCS GeoPortal. If so, States are asked to notify Erik Suffridge at erik.suffridge@usda.gov so that we can track the additional benefits of these nationally purchased units to the States. However, State conservationists are advised that the primary function of these units are for NRI-GL field data collection activities, and the devices must be used, maintained, and replaced at State expense, if necessary, for that primary purpose.

Contact.  Questions may be directed to Erik Suffridge, NRI-GL On-Site National Leader at erik.suffridge@usda.gov.      


Deputy Chief for Soil Science and Resource Assessment   

 Attachment - FY21 Android Handheld CASI Disbursement List for State Review   
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