Fall 2013 GRASP Seminar: Ted Zobeck, U.S. Department Of Agriculture (USDA), "Wind Erosion And Dust Emissions Processes And Study Methods"

Presenter: Ted Zobeck

Event Dates:
  Friday October 18, 2013 from 11:00am to 12:00pm

Introduction and Context Setting will be provided by Dr. Daniel Koditschek, University of Pennsylvania.

Humanity's growing need to instrument the desert represents a new opportunity for robotics to impact society. Sand and dust storms have emerged as a growing worldwide menace, impacting increasingly large human populations on nearly every continent, damaging habitation, disrupting transportation, threatening agriculture, human health and life, as well as a permanently altered “desertified” environment. Soil erodibility is a key determinant of spatio-temporal wind erosion patterns, but few metrics – and still less empirical data – have been developed to map out erodibility at the landscape scale over the days-to-weeks timescales of chief relevance. Empirical studies at the ~ acre/day scales are presently underway in several geographical regions, but there is growing evidence that far more data at still higher spatiotemporal resolution will be required to adequately inform emerging theoretical models. Continuing advances in satellite remote measurement technology respond in some measure to these needs, but it is clear that the heterogeneous theory (e.g. the dust chemistry and flux) associated with desertification models is only poorly constrained by such coarse grained measurements. An emerging new generation of field-portable systems (e.g., miniaturized wind tunnels and in situ wind erosion apparatus or portable spectroradiometers or laser particle counters) can provide information at the requisite spatial and temporal scale.

Presenter's Biography:

Dr. Ted M. Zobeck is a Research Soil Scientist in the United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Wind Erosion and Water Conservation Research Unit of the Cropping Systems Research Laboratory at Lubbock, TX. Dr. Zobeck has over 30 years experience in investigations on the on-site and off-site effects of wind erosion and its effect on airborne dust emissions and transport, soil properties and productivity related to wind erosion, and the effects of cropping systems on soil health and selected soil properties (such as aggregation, compaction, water management, and carbon sequestration) needed to optimize productivity and develop sustainable agricultural systems. Ted has served as associate editor for three internationally respected journals associated with soil management, including the Soil Science Society of America Journal and is currently Co-Editor-in-Chief for the Elsevier journal Aeolian Research.   He has authored or co-authored over 170 publications, including co-editing SSSA Special Publication 60 titled Soil and Water Conservation Advances in the United States.  Ted is a Past Chair of SSSA Div S-6, Soil & Water Management and Conservation, a Fellow of SSSA, and currently the President of the International Society for Aeolian Research.