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Fulbright Scholar, noted soil scientist named endowed professor in Tech PSS

Fulbright Scholar, noted soil scientist named endowed professor in Tech PSS

A nationally-recognized expert in land-use planning and a Fulbright Scholar has been selected as the B.L. Allen Endowed Professor of Pedology in Texas Tech University’s Department of Plant and Soil Science, according to officials within the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. David Weindorf, who joins the highly successful agricultural academic unit after serving six years at Louisiana State University, officially stepped into his new teaching and research post on Sept. 1.

“It is an honor to rejoin the Texas Tech family and to follow in the footsteps of Drs. B.L. Allen and Wayne Hudnall. I’m proud to continue the legacy of excellence in arid soils teaching and research they established over their distinguished careers,” Weindorf said.

In the past, Weindorf has focused his research efforts on the development of applications for new technologies in field soil survey, land use management/planning, remote sensing, environmental quality assessment, compost science and international translational soil taxonomy.

The Austin native indicated that he’s particularly interested in the development of new applications for portable x-ray fluorescence (PXRF) spectrometry. The device, which provides elemental analysis of soils on site in less than 60 seconds, has the potential to revolutionize the way soil scientists evaluate soils in the field.

“Previously, we had to go to the field, collect samples, and return to the lab for extensive labwork. While these new techniques do not replace labwork, they can help us to refine our sampling techniques in the field and provide us with quality data that enhances our overall analytical capabilities” Weindorf said.

Weindorf and his research team have published more than a dozen different research papers with the technology on applications from gypsum quantification and diagnostic subsoil horizons, to spatial variability assessment of heavy metals and soil textural determination.

One of his primary goals here at Texas Tech is to strengthen collaborative research efforts using new technologies such as PXRF, visible near infrared diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (VisNIR DRS), electromagnetic induction, and remote sensing techniques. Simultaneously, Weindorf will work to engage students with these new techniques, preparing them to enter the workforce with applied knowledge on the latest techniques in soil survey and environmental quality assessment.

“These instruments give scientists powerful new tools to use in the field and will be excellent new tools in the toolbelt of the modern field scientist” Weindorf said. Also, Weindorf will work to enhance international collaborative research and student exchange opportunities for the department. Weindorf has active research collaborations in Spain, Italy, Romania, Haiti and China.

Weindorf joins Texas Tech’s faculty after serving as an associate professor and assistant professor of soil classification/land use at LSU. Prior to that he served as an assistant professor of soil science at Tarleton State University. In addition, he served as coach of the intercollegiate soils judging teams at Tarleton State and LSU.

He received his bachelor’s degree in range management, a master’s degree in soil science, and doctorate in agronomy from Texas Tech. Awards for Weindorf include: USDA-NRCS National Cooperative Soil Survey’s Eagle Award (2012); LSU Gamma Sigma Delta’s Agricultural Teacher Honor Role (2011); Fulbright Scholar at Universitatea de Ştiinţe Agricole şi Medicină Veterinară in Cluj-Napoca, Romania (2011); Sedberry Award for Outstanding Graduate Teacher in the LSU College of Agriculture (2010); and LSU Gamma Sigma Delta’s Teaching Award of Merit (2010).

Weindorf is a member the Soil Science Society of America and is a licensed Texas Professional Geoscientist. He is editor of the journal Soil Horizons, and serves on the editorial boards of Pedosphere and SOIL. Previously, he served on the editorial board of Louisiana Agriculture. Weindorf is past president and board member of the Professional Soil Scientists Association of Texas, as well as past president and board member of the Texas Section of the American Society of Agronomy.

Written by Norman Martin

CONTACT: Richard Zartman, Department Chair and Leidigh Professor of Soil Physics, Department of Plant and Soil Science, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2838 or richard.zartman@ttu.edu

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