Getting Started with Seeds of Success 2024

Welcome to the Seeds of Success (SOS) program! Before the collection season begins, there are several tasks that must be completed to ensure collectors and support staff have access to program communications, training, and data collection tools. Familiarize yourself with the Technical Protocol and other resources on the SOS website and follow these steps at the beginning of each collection season

Step 1: Ensure that your agency coordinator knows you are planning on collecting seed

Ensure that your agency coordinator knows you are planning on collecting seed and submitting it for cleaning, storage, and tracking through the SOS program.

Agency Coordinators:

  • BLM/National Coordinating Office - Sarah Hill,
  • NPS - Katie Vinzant,
  • USFWS - Kelly Thomas,
Step 2: Sign up for the monthly SOS collector call

At least one person from every active collection team must attend the meeting. If the meeting falls during a time when the team is in the field, a call-in option is available. Collector calls are the first Tuesday of every month at 12 noon – Eastern, 11 am – Central, 10 am – Mountain, 9 am – Pacific, and 8am – Alaska.

Register for the collector call

Step 3: Sign up for the SOS email list

Notes from the collector call and regular communications are sent out over this email list. As a two-way list, you can also post articles, jobs, or questions to the group to try to crowd source solutions to seed collection questions. An archive of previous posts is also available.

Subscribe to the SOS email list

OR send an e-mail to with the following information in the body of the message (not the subject): SUBSCRIBE. You will then receive an e-mail that you will need to reply to confirm your subscription. After you confirm your subscription, another e-mail will be sent with instructions on how to use the list.

Review the SOS Archives

Step 4: Sign up for a training

Collectors and support staff must attend a training session hosted by the SOS National Coordinating Office. As the program has grown over the last few years some program elements have changed and attending a training is the best way to ensure all participants understand the SOS program. Three training types are available from the National Office, additional regional training is encouraged.

View available training dates and register

Abbreviated Virtual “SOS Updates” training (2.5 Hours), March 7 
For leads and support staff who have participated in SOS in the past. This will provide an overview of the program, outline the digital data collection process in detail, and highlight recent changes to the SOS Protocol. 

Full Virtual Training (2 days), Multiple Dates in 2024

For collectors and support staff new to seed collection and the SOS program. This training provides an overview of the program, detailed information about planning collections, collecting techniques, post collection drying, storage and shipping, and a full digital data collection training. 

BLM NTC In Person Training (3 days), April 30-May 2, Boise Idaho

The content of the in-person training mirrors the virtual training option and has opportunities for hands on learning and field experience. This  course is free for BLM employees and those under BLM  contracts/agreements. There is a fee for outside organizations, including  FWS/ NPS employees and partners. All those outside of the BLM will have to arrange their own travel and accommodations. Contact Sarah Hill for more information about registering for this training,

Step 5: Sign up for the SOS geoplatform group and digital data collection

As of 2024, all SOS data collection will happen digitally through the SOS geoplatform using Survey123 and Field maps. Access will only be granted for all active 2024 collectors, team managers, and support staff. Users must sign up for access using the link and following the process below. Once they have completed the registration process, users will be added to a testing group, and after successfully completing the preseason points, they will be added to their regions group.

Request access for the SOS geoplatform group and digital data collection

Do I need to create a Geoplatform account?

Decision tree graphic showing whether or not you need to sign up for GeoPlatform Access.

Registration Process

Registration process for signing up for GeoPlatform.
Step 6:  Develop your target species list and send to Sarah Hill at the National Office by April 30.

Knowing what species people plan on collecting, and corresponding collection size is an essential tool for the National Office when coordinating seed cleaning.

Download the Target species list template 

Keep in mind the following weight limits for collections going to the Bend Seed Extractory.

The following genera will be limited to 5 lbs incoming weight:

  • Achnatherum – all species other than A. hymenoides, A. lemmonii, A. speciosum
  • Aristida – all species
  • Chilopsis linearis
  • Hespirostipa – all species
  • Muhlenbergia – all species

The follow species will be limited to 10 lbs incoming weight:

  • Juniperus – all species
  • Prosopsis glandulosa