George Nelson Coffey (January 17, 1875 - October 4, 1967) was a pioneering American soil scientist (pedologist). Born in North Carolina, he studied geology and chemistry at the University of North Carolina. After graduating, he conducted surveys and wrote reports for the Bureau of Soils. Coffey was instrumental in developing a better soil classification system for the Bureau, though his ideas, influenced by Russian soil scientist Vasily Dokuchaev, were opposed by many within the Bureau (Dokuchaev and Coffey were vindicated in the long run). In 1909, he was named President of the American Society of Agronomy. Coffey is perhaps best known for publishing the first national soil map of the U.S. in the Bureau's bulletin in 1912. However, he had resigned from the Bureau by then and went to work for the Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station (later merged into the Ohio State University). After briefly moving to the University of Illinois, Coffey left academia and government and returned to Ohio to pursue a career in business.