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Zartman selected as new Department of Plant & Soil Science chairman

Zartman selected as new Department of Plant & Soil Science chairman

A longtime professor and a national leader in agronomy research has been named the new chairman of Texas Tech University’s Department of Plant and Soil Science today (March 28), according to officials with the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resource. Richard Zartman will step into the new post on June 1.

“I’m honored and deeply humbled to be selected department chair,” said Zartman, who currently serves as the department’s associate chairman and Leidigh Professor of Soil Physics.

In the past, Zartman has focused his research efforts on evaluating the infiltration and distribution of water in playa lake ecosystems. In addition, his research has been funded by the U.S. Department of Defense to determine the fate of the bioterrorist agent ricin in the natural and human-modified environments. His classroom duties have included teaching courses in urban soils, soil physical properties and geostats.

“Rick Zartman brings commanding credentials and vast experience to a key leadership position,” said John Burns, dean of Tech’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. “We believe he’ll move the department forward in these challenging times.”

Zartman joined Texas Tech’s faculty in 1974 as an assistant professor of soil physics and was named a full professor in 1991. He was named associate chair in 1998 and served as interim chairman of the department during the fall of 2000.

Awards for Zartman include CASNR’s Outstanding Researcher Award (2003, 2006) and Texas Tech President’s Excellence in Teaching Award (2001). He was named a member of the university’s Teaching Academy in 2003.

Zartman earned a bachelor’s degree in agronomy from The Ohio State University, and his doctorate in soil physics with a minor in math is from the University of Kentucky. He is a member of the American Society of Agronomy, International Soil Science Society, and Soil and Water Conservation Society of America.

Texas Tech’s department of plant and soil science has some 30 active faculty members engaged in teaching, research and service across a number of cutting-edge fields, including regional and global plant production and environmental challenges. In the past the faculty has been awarded an average of $4 million in research grant awards each year.

The department, which has more than 230 students, offers two bachelor’s degrees: Environmental Crop and Soil Sciences, and Horticultural and Turfgrass Sciences. It also has master’s degrees in crop science, plant protection, horticulture, and soil science, along with a doctorate in plant and soil science.

Written by Norman Martin

CONTACT: John Burns, Dean, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2808 or john.burns@ttu.edu

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