The Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS) is a nonprofit scientific and educational organization -- founded in 1943 -- that serves as an advocate for conservation professionals and for science-based conservation practice, programs, and policy. SWCS has over 3,000 members around the world. They include researchers, administrators, planners, policymakers, technical advisors, teachers, students, farmers, and ranchers. Our members come from nearly every academic discipline and many different public, private, and nonprofit institutions.
SWCS chapters throughout the United States and Canada conduct a variety of activities at local, state, and provincial levels and on university campuses. These chapters represent the grassroots element of the organization. Their grassroots work creates training and professional development opportunities for conservationists, takes on critical conservation issues at the local level, and educates local policy makers and opinion leaders regarding conservation problems and opportunities in their communities. Each chapter elects its own officers, organizes conservation forums, and formulates local recommendations on land and water conservation issues.
Our mission is to foster the science and art of natural resource conservation. Our work targets conservation of soil, water, and related natural resources on working land—the land used to produce food, fiber, and other services that improve the quality of life people experience in rural and urban communities. We work to discover, develop, implement, and constantly improve ways to use land that sustain its productive capacity and enhance the environment at the same time.
We pursue our mission through a combination of research, education, and advocacy. Our ongoing activities and special projects are designed to:
- Improve the practice of conservation by fostering the development of state-of-the-art conservation practices and systems.
- Improve conservation policy by bringing science and professional judgment to bear in shaping local, state, provincial, and federal policy.
- Enhance the capabilities of conservationists through training and professional development.
- Sustain the ethic and spirit of professionalism among conservationists through networking and mutual support.