SWES Faculty: Janick Artiola

Janick Artiola

I have been associated with the SWES department for many years, first as a student (1974-1981) and then as a professional faculty since 1987. I came as an M.S. student here at the department, then called Soils, Water & Engineering, and left in 1981 after completing a Ph.D. and a postdoc. I spent six years as a university laboratory director and a private consultant before returning to the SWES Department as the laboratory director of the Soil, Water & Plant Testing Laboratory (SWPAL), located next the main office. This later became the Water Quality Laboratory (WQL) located at the Environmental Research Laboratory next to the Tucson Airport. The (SWPAL) WQL closed last year after 27 years of operation. The SWES service unit analyzed soil, water, plant tissue, and waste samples for UA faculty, other universities, and agencies. I was also involved in training and advising graduate students and are rearchers on chemical and physical analyses methods and data interpretation. Throughout these years I was fortunate to collaborate with laboratory managers such as Drs. Mehdi Ali,Tina Hayden, and Atasi Ray-Maitra, who managed and trained numerous graduate students and part-time laboratory assistants. My duties also include teaching and co-teaching Advance

Analysis of Soils (SWES405/505); two undergraduate Environmental Science program capstone courses: Environmental Monitoring and Characterization (ENVS 430/530) and Summer Camp (ENVS 461/561); the freshman colloquium course ENVS 195A; and more recently the graduate student seminar ENVS 696a, and Reclamation of Salt-affected Soils (ENVS 401/501). I have conducted research on the impact of biosolids land application to Arizona soils, focusing on the fate of nitrates, carbon, and molybdenum in alkaline soil, how water quality affects carbon in alkaline soils, and the revegetation of flue gas desulfurization waste impoundments. I am also interested in the production, characterization, and use of biochar (charcoal) as a soil amendment in alkaline soils from Arizona. Biochar is produced from any organic residue, including forest, agricultural, animal, and yard wastes. Each type of biochar has unique properties, with varying sizes and complex internal structures andchemistry. Charcoal can exist in soils for hundreds to thousands of years, making this material ideal for long-term storage of carbon. Biochar can benefit alkaline soils by increasing soil moisture capacity and plant resistance to drought and by reducing nutrient losses.

Mesquite biochar can remove (sorb) from wastewater organic contaminants such as benzene, atrazine and TCE. However, large scale production of biochar remains a challenge.As an Extension Water Quality Specialist, I have co-authored several UA Extension publications aimed at providing Arizona residents/consumers and private well owners with information on water sources, water quality, and home treatment options. I regularly co-present workshops for Arizona’sprivate well owners invarious counties. I am also a member of and contributor to the UA-Superfund Research Core Translation team.Throughout this time, I have had the honor and privilege to serve on numerous graduate students committees in SWES and other UA departments. I have also had the privilege to work and collaborate with several outstanding SWES research faculty and staff and to participate in numerous and varied, research and extension projects.