Dr. Richard Arnold Bio

Dr. Richard Arnold

Dick Arnold worked as a student trainee doing soil survey work from 1950 to 1952, then worked full time from 1952 to 1955 before moving to Cornell University as a Soil Technician, where he worked on soil surveys and did graduate work, completing a M.S. in 1959. Dick and his wife Helen moved back to Iowa State University, where he was a Research Assistant doing soil surveys and course work, graduating with a Ph.D. in  963.

The Arnolds moved to Ontario Agricultural College in Guelph, Ontario, where Dick
taught Physical Geology and Soil Genesis courses.  In 1966, they moved to Ithaca, New York, where he was an Associate Professor and later Professor of Soil Science in the Agronomy Department of Cornell. He taught courses in Soil Survey, Soil Genesis, Regional Studies, and various Special Topics and mentored numerous graduate students. He was the New York representative to the National Cooperative Soil Survey and worked on a number of committees, both regionally and nationally.

The Arnolds spent a sabbatical leave in Venezuela in 1972, where Dick worked with people in soil survey. While at Cornell, he worked with a USAID-sponsored program, TROPSOIL, which dealt with improving Soil Taxonomy to foster soil management transfer to tropical regions. In late 1979, he worked for the Soil Conservation Service in Washington, D.C. as Director of Soil Correlation and Classification. In 1980, he was selected as Director of the Soil Survey Division, a position he held until 1996. During his tenure with NRCS, Dr. Arnold was also involved in the AID-sponsored Soil Management Support Services that worked with soil scientists in many developing countries to assist them in better understanding and interpreting their soil resources.  He was active in both the Soil Science Society of America and the International Soil Science Society (now IUSS), holding several positions and serving as a member of various committees. At one time, he served as Special Liaison with the Russian and Former Soviet Soil Science societies to maintain scientific contacts.  From 1996 to 2000, he served as Special Assistant to the Chief, and later the Deputy Chief of Technology, dealing mainly with international interests and global change.

After retirement, he was a Fulbright Scholar to Russia, served on an advisory group to the Director of the Soil Survey, and worked with scientists globally to assist them with current issues in soil science.  He and his wife, Helen, moved to West Lafayette, Indiana in 2007 to enjoy retirement and their five grandchildren