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Samuel J. Traina

Samuel J. Traina
(209) 228-7964
S&E 1 Bldg., RM 311F
  • Ph.D., 1983 — University of California, Berkeley
  • B.S., 1978 — University of California, Berkeley
Research Interests: 

Using a wide range of analytical methods (infra-red spectroscopy, electron microsocpy, x-ray absorption spectroscopy and mass spectroscopy), Professor Traina's group studies:

  • Chemical transformations of pollutants in soils, surface and ground water
  • Linkages between chemical form or speciation of particular pollutants and their relative toxicities in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems
  • Roles of geoparticle surfaces and bacteria in pollutant fate

Current projects include the study of:

  • Contaminants at Department of Energy waste sites (Cr, Pu and U)
  • Role of Fe(II) and HSe- in transformations of nitroaromatic pesticides in wetlands
  • Fate of pharmaceuticals in the surface waters of National Parks
Media Contact: 

The Sierra Nevada and San Joaquin Valley regions of California are legendary for their scenic beauty, natural resources, physical and biological diversity, and cultural heritage. They also are increasingly recognized as central to the state's economic future – the area of fastest population growth and development. Managing change in these regions will require a thorough understanding of a wide range of natural and cultural phenomena that have shaped and will continue to define their character for generations to come.

Traina heads an innovative research institute focused on the multidisciplinary and collaborative study of these phenomena. His personal expertise lies in the study of the natural environment, especially soils, sediments and water. He understands the chemistry of contamination and can explain the process of remediation, which is often required as part of site abandonment or development. More broadly, he can also provide useful perspective on the environmental and ecological effects of growth and development.

Traina earned B.S. and Ph. D. degrees in soil resource management and chemistry from UC Berkeley. He joined the UC Merced faculty in 2002. Previously, he was a professor at the Ohio State University.