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√ Niveau requis: 
√ Début du stage: 
√ Durée: 
5 6 months
√ Lieu: 
2 place Viala 34060 Montpellier cedex 2 FRANCE
√ Indemnité: 
√ Contact: 
Philippe Lagacherie > téléphone : +33 (0)4 99 61 25 78 >email : philippe.lagacherie@inrae.fr
√ Description: 

Can soil data collected by citizens improve soil property mapping?

The problem to solve :

Digital Soil Mapping (DSM) is a promising solution to provide decision-makers with the spatialized soil information they need. Nevertheless, the first tests carried out clearly show that the accuracy of the soil maps obtained is very strongly influenced by the density of soil observations made in the field. Densifying observations sufficiently to hopefully achieve the accuracy that users expect is currently impossible due to the high prospecting costs involved and the scarcity of soil specialists potentially available for this operation. One possible alternative would be to use the involvement of motivated citizens to collect soil observations. This type of participatory approach has proven its effectiveness in ecology. However, it should be checked whether this new source of information, despite its incompleteness and inaccuracy, could indeed improve the accuracy of the maps produced.

Objective :

Evaluate the added value and limitations of soil data resulting from a participatory approach


The envisaged approach consists of two steps:

  • Development of realistic scenarios for data collected by citizens. These scenarios will be developed taking into account the soil property determination quality tests carried out prior to the internship as part of the “ClésdeSols” project and after having experienced a full-scale experiment in soil data collection where citizens will be mobilized.
  • Tests of these data scenarios, used as input data for DSM models. The tests will be carried out on existing soil observation databases that will be degraded according to the scenarios developed. The DSM models will be those commonly used by the supervising teams.

Expected results :

  • Realistic data scenarios that can be reused later for CSMS model improvements;
  • Recommendations for a DSM approach using soil data from participatory science. The recommendations will focus on the data collection phase and the necessary adaptations of the DSM models to this new data source.

Scientifical and pedagogical interests :

  • Full scale experience of DSM, an innovative soil mapping method;
  • Field experience with a Permanent Centre for Environmental Education (CPIE)


The work is carried out at the Laboratoire d'étude des Interactions Sols - Agrosystèmes - Hydrosystèmes SupAgro - INRA - IRD de Montpellier under the responsibility of Philippe Lagacherie with the collaboration of Blandine Lemercier (AGROCAMPUS OUEST, Rennes). It will combine field work, digital processing under R and scientific writing.

Prerequis :

Taste of the field work, Knowledge of pedology. Strong knowledge of applied mathematics. Initiated to the R software. French speaker would be appreciated but not mandatory

Conditions :

Driver's license required.

Reimbursement for field trips.

A training allowance of €577.50 is provided.


Statut stage: