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Joanne M. Tirocke

Joanne M. Tirocke
Biological Science Technician (Plant)
Forest and Woodland Ecosystems
1221 South Main Street
Moscow, ID 83843
United States
Current Research

My work supports the research of Research Soil Scientist Dr. Debbie Dumroese. Current efforts are focused on evaluating soil properties and recovery following slash pile burning, a common way to remove excess biomass after harvest. An alternative to slash burning is pyrolysis which produces a char product which has potential as a soil amendment. Debbie's field trials are investigating the effect of biochar amendments on the physical, chemical and biological properties of forest soils and in the recovery of decommissioned forest roads. As part of ongoing studies, I also analyze soils and vegetation from the Long Term Soil Productivity (LTSP) sites in Region 1 (Priest River EF), Region 4 (Council RD) and Region 6 (Umpqua NF) to enhance their respective long term data sets and evaluate soil condition over time. We continue to examine decomposition under different site conditions and management practices. In 2012., we collaborated with the Northern Research Station to install a number of urban field sites which will characterize microbial processes in these unique forest fragments. My analytical work produces data for University of Idaho graduate students working with the Inland Forest Tree Nutrition Cooperative (IFTNC) and pursuing forest nursery studies, and also supports the research of other FWE, GSD and AWAE scientists.

Past Research

My past work was directed by Research Plant Pathologist Dr. Paul Zambino and involved the greenhouse cultivation of various Ribes species and inoculation of their leaves with White Pine Blister Rust (WPBR). I assisted Paul with his research on the preservation and storage of WPBR spores and his research of Armillaria root rot and his efforts to induce fruiting of differrent Armillaria cultures. My graduate thesis work focused on mycorrhizal inoculations of pine seedlings in a bare root nursery while my graduate research assistantship focused on wetland soil response to management.

Research Interest

I find soil fascinating, not just it's physical and chemical properties but the fact that it is alive with organisms that cycle and recycle nutrients.

Why This Research Is Important

When the soil is viewed as a living entity, we can understand that there are conditions necessary to keep it functioning, healthy and productive.  By studying the soil and the impacts that certain management activities or practices have on it and its recovery, we can help sustain the productivity of the forests.  Forest soil is highly heterogeneous and it has the ability to support diverse populations of microorganisms that function together to sustain the flora growing in and above it.

  • Rutgers College, New Brunswick, NJ, B.A., Linguistics, 1992
  • Michigan Technological University, Houghton, B.S., Biological Sciences, 1998
  • Michigan Technological University, Houghton, M.S., Forestry Sciences, 2001
Professional Experience
  • RMRS Station Safety Council,  Member,  2006 - Current
  • Moscow Lab Safety ,  Committee Member,  2002 - Current
  • Cadre ll Safety Engagement,  Presenter,  2011 - 2011
Awards & Recognition
  • RMRS Team Safety Award, 2010
    Awarded to Moscow Lab Safety Committee
Featured Publications
Other Publications
Research Highlights

Restoring abandoned mine soil with organic amendments

Year: 2017
Restoring abandoned mine sites with no environmental hazard or chemical contamination can be expensive because of the inhospitable (hot, dry) environment. However, the large number of abandoned mine sites located across the west make it imperative to begin restoration activities to help shade strea...