Frank C. Watts, Soil Survey Project Leader, retired September 3, 2003 , after more than 36 years of service with three agencies of the USDA: the Plant Pest Control Division in Kentucky , the Forest Service in Missouri , and Natural Resources Conservation Service (since 1968).  A native of Kentucky , Frank earned his B.S. degree in soil science from Murray State College, Murray Kentucky in 1966.  This was followed with an M.S. degree in soil science from Murray State University in 1968.  He had postgraduate work at the University of Missouri at Columbia and Cornell University at Ithaca , New York . He was first employed as a project member of the Hardin County soil survey team in June of 1968 and worked on several other county soil surveys in Kentucky before being transferred to Florida in 1970.  Frank contributed to 16 published soil surveys in Florida and was project leader for six counties.  He was also detailed to Montana in 1988 to work on the Liberty County soil survey. During his career he compiled seven soil survey manuscripts and edited several others.


In addition to his assigned soil survey duties, Watts was continually involved in many diverse soil related activities.  He was the primary leader in the establishment of Myakka fine sand as Florida 's Official State Soil.  He led an investigation, which compared field determined soil hydraulic conductivity values with laboratory core methodology demonstrating that the core methods consistently recorded higher values than the field piezometer method.  Watts contributed to site index studies for several species of pine on Lakeland soils of western Florida .  He was instrumental in developing methodology to interpret soil morphological properties in determining depth to seasonal high water tables and in developing hydric soil indicators as an aid in the determination of jurisdictional wetland boundaries. He assisted with the celebration of the Soil Survey Centennial.  As president of the Florida Association of Professional Soil Classifiers (now the Florida Association of Environmental Soil Scientists) in 1988, Watts organized the first hydric soil workshop in the southeast which has continued as an annual event.  He has written 45 soil related articles and was instrumental in developing the Hydric Soils of Florida Handbook, which has been revised through three editions.


Watts has received nine Certificates of Merit and eight Certificates of Appreciation from the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service.  He has received plaques for his leadership in establishing Myakka Fine Sand as the Official Florida State Soil from the Soil and Water Conservation Society, Florida Association of Environmental Soil Scientists, and the Department of Soil and Water Science, University of Florida .  Frank is a Certified Professional Soil Scientist/Soil Classifier in ARCPACS and a Certified Professional Wetland Scientist by the Society of Wetland Scientists.  He is a member of the Soil and Water Conservation Society, SSSA, ASA, Organization of Professional Employees of the USDA, National Association of Retired Federal Employees, Society of Wetland Scientists, and the Florida Association of Environmental Soil Scientists.