The NAPT program operates as an activity of the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA). A NAPT Oversight Committee (SSSA S890) was established by SSSA to develop the program and oversee its operation. The objective of this committee is to develop program policies and technical guidelines for operating the NAPT.
As such, the Oversight Committee determines the sample exchange frequency and number of samples per exchange; specifications for material collection and preparation; selection of analytes to be tested and analytical methodologies performed; and specifications of statistical methods used to analyze the analytical data.
The Oversight Committee is also responsible for developing the program budget, recommending annual program fees, and developing promotional materials and workshops in cooperation with the NAPT coordinator. Other important roles of the NAPT Oversight Committee are to assist the SSSA in selecting the NAPT Coordinator who oversees daily operation of the program and a contract lab to prepare and distribute proficiency samples.
An important aspect of the NAPT Oversight Committee is the diversity of its members who are selected to represent the range of groups with an interest and/or stake in the quality of soil and plant analysis results.
Members of the NAPT Oversight Committee consist of:
- one representative each from the SSSA, the Soil and Plant Analysis Council (SPAC), and the Canadian Soil Science Society (CSSS)
- one representative from each of the regional research soil and plant analysis workgroups (NCERA-13, NEC-1012, SERA-6, WERA-103)
- one representative from state regulatory agencies that oversee soil/plant proficiency programs
- five representatives from the private laboratory sector.
Ex officio members consist of:
- the NAPT coordinator
- a representative from the NAPT contract laboratory (if separate from the NAPT coordinator)
- a representative from the SSSA staff
- the current SSSA Division S8 committee chair
- a representative from the NRCS .
Committee members serve 3-year terms with a maximum of two consecutive terms. The Committee meets annually at the SSSA meeting and by teleconference as the need arises throughout the year.
The success of the NAPT program depends on meeting the needs of laboratories and other clientele that participate in the program. The NAPT Oversight Committee welcomes your comments on the program and suggestions for improvement.
NAPT Coordinator, Grant Cardon
Dr. Grant Cardon, Associate Professor and Extension Soils Specialist, Utah State University Department of Plants, Soils and Climate, College of Ag Science has been the NAPT Coordinator since July 1, 2010. Laboratory functions are maintained at Utah State University and coordinated by John Lawley. The program provides laboratories with standard soil, plant, and water samples, summarizes the accuracy and precision of the analytical results, and provides detailed reports to each laboratory. The Coordinator maintains and enhances the NAPT Program through delivery of high quality, professional and scientific services to participant contract laboratories and to promote the program to a wider audience. The Coordinator receives support and guidance through the NAPT Oversight Committee and SSSA.