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John Tatarko

Soil Scientist


John Tatarko

Soil Scientist, PhD

USDA-ARS Rangeland Resources and Systems Research Unit

2150 Centre Avenue, Bldg. D. Suite 200

Fort Collins, CO 80526

Phone: 970-492-7320




Stephen F. Austin State University           B.S.                      Agriculture           1976

Texas Tech University                             M.S.                      Soil Science         1980

Kansas State University                          Ph.D.                     Soil Science         1991



Soil Scientist with research emphasis on wind erosion.  Lead Scientist for the NP216 (Agricultural System Competitiveness and Sustainability) project titled “Modeling soil and soil-plant interaction responses to wind and extreme precipitation and temperature events under different management strategies.”  Research focuses on improving algorithms in the Wind Erosion Prediction System (WEPS) for temporal changes in the state of surface conditions and within-field variability for improved simulation of wind erosion.  In WEPS, the major components that determine the surface state of erodibility are the surface roughness, residue cover, aggregate size distribution and stability, soil moisture, and crusting. We test WEPS algorithms against measured data from field sites and evaluate within-field variability by measuring the spatial changes of surface wind friction velocities. This research will improve the WEPS robustness and expand its utility to larger areas for NRCS and other users.  Specific interests include temporal soil properties that influence wind erosion; biomass removal effects on soil loss by wind; and spatial variability of wind erosion.



He, Y., D.R. Presley, J. Tatarko, H. Blanco-Canqui.  2018. Crop residue harvest impacts wind erodibility and simulated loss in the Central Great Plains.  Global Change Biology and Bioenergy. 10:213-226.

Gonzales, H.B., M.E. Casada, L.J. Hagen, J. Tatarko, R.G. Maghirang, C.J. Barden. 2018. Porosity and drag determination of a single row vegetative barrier (Maclura pomifera)Trans. ASABE. 61(2): 641-652. 

Tatarko, J., L. Wagner, F. Fox. 2019. The Wind Erosion Prediction System and its Use in Conservation Planning. In: O. Wendroth, R.J. Lascano, L. Ma, editors, Bridging Among Disciplines by Synthesizing Soil and Plant Processes, Adv. Agric. Syst. Model. 8. ASA, CSSA, and SSSA, Madison, WI. doi:10.2134/advagricsystmodel8.2017.0021

Gu, C., X. Mu, P. Gao, G. Zhao, Y. Sun, J. Tatarko, X. Tan. 2019. Influence of vegetation restoration on soil physical properties in the Loess Plateau, China.  J. Soils and Sediments.  19:716-728.

Gonzales, H.B., J. Tatarko, M. E. Casada, R. G. Maghirang, L. J. Hagen, C. J. Barden. 2018. Dust reduction efficiency of a single-row vegetative barrier (maclura pomifera). American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, 61: 1907-1914;

Díaz-Nigenda, E.,  J. Tatarko, H. Morales-Iglesias ,Z. Hernández Méndez, W.  Vázquez Morales  and A. Alatorre-Ibargüengoitia . 2018. Measurement and Modeling Air Quality Impacts of Dust Emissions from Unpaved Roads in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas. Geosciences 2018, 8, 284; doi:10.3390/geosciences8080284

Webb, N. P., J. W. Van Zee, J. W. Karl, J. E. Herrick, E. M. Courtright, B. J. Billings, R. Boyd, A.  Chappell, M. C. Duniway, J. D. Derner, J. L. Hand, E. Kachergis, S. E. McCord, B. A. Newingham, F. B. Pierson, J. L. Steiner, J. Tatarko, N. H. Tedela, D. Toledo, and R. S. Van Pelt. 2018. Enhancing wind erosion monitoring and assessment for U.S. Rangelands. Rangelands 39:85—96 doi 10.1016/j.rala.2017.04.001

Li, J., T.  Kandakji, J. A. Lee, J. Tatarko , J. Blackwell III , T. E. Gill, J.  D. Collins. 2018. Blowing dust and highway safety in the southwestern United States: Characteristics of dust emission “hotspots” and management implications.  Science of the Total Environment 621: 1023–1032

He, Y., D. Presley and J. Tatarko. 2017. Liquid N and S fertilizer solutions effects on the mass, chemical, and strength properties of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum) residue.  Trans. American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers

Gonzales, H., M. Casada, L. Hagen, J. Tatarko, R. Maghirang. 2017. Sand transport and abrasion within simulated standing vegetation. Trans. American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers.

Tatarko, J., S.J. van Donk, J.A. Ascough II, and D.G. Walker.  2016.  Application of the WEPS and SWEEP models to non-agricultural disturbed lands. Heliyon. 2: e00215.

Webb, N.P., J.E. Herrick, J.W. Van Zee, E.M. Courtright, C.H. Hugenholtz, T.M. Zobeck, G.S. Okin, T.E. Barchyn, B.J. Billings, R. Boyd, S.D. Clingan, B.F. Cooper, M.C. Duniway, J.D. Derner, F.A. Fox, K.M. Havstad, P. Heilman, V. LaPlante, N.A. Ludwig, L.J. Metz, M.A. Nearing, M.L. Norfleet, F.B. Pierson, M.A. Sanderson, B.S. Sharratt, J.L. Steiner, J. Tatarko, N.H. Tedela, D. Toledo, R.S. Unnasch, R. S. Van Pelt, L. Wagner. 2016. The National Wind Erosion Research Network: Building a standardized long-term data resource for aeolian research, modeling and land management. Aeolian Research. 22:23-36. 

Blanco-Canqui, H., J. Tatarko, A.L. Stalker, T.M. Shaver, and S.J. van Donk.  2016. Impacts of Corn Residue Grazing and Baling on Wind Erosion Potential in a Semiarid Environment. Soil Science Society of America Journal 80:1027-1037 doi: 10.2136/sssaj2016.03.0073

Meeks, J.C., L.E. Wagner, R.G. Maghirang, J. Tatarko, and N. Bloedow.  2015.  Fugitive Dust Emissions from Off-road Vehicle Maneuvers on Military Training Lands. Trans. American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers 58: 49-60. 

Li, H., J. Tatarko, M. Kucharski, and Z. Dong.  2015. PM2.5 and PM10 emission from agricultural soils by wind erosion.  Aeolian Research. 19:171-182. doi:10.1016/j.aeolia.2015.02.003. 

Nelson, R., J. Tatarko, and J.C. Ascough II.  2015. Soil erosion and organic matter variations for central Great Plains cropping systems under residue removal. Trans. American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers 58:415-427.

Sharratt, B.S., J. Tatarko, J. Abatzoglou, F. Fox, and D. Huggins.  2015.  Implications of climate change on wind erosion of agricultural lands in the Columbia Plateau. Weather and Climate Extremes 10:20-31.  doi:10.1016/j.wace.2015.06.001.

Blanco-Canqui, H., R.B. Ferguson, V.L. Jin, M.R. Schmer, B.J. Wienhold, and J. Tatarko.  2014. Can Cover Crop and Manure Maintain or Improve Soil Properties after Stover Removal from Irrigated No-Till Corn?  Soil Science Society of America Journal 78:1368-1377.  DOI: 10.2136/SSSAJ2013.12.0550.

Li, J., G.S. Okin, J. Tatarko, N.P. Webb, J.E. Herrick.  2014.  Consistency of wind erosion assessments across land use and land cover types: a critical analysis. Aeolian Research.   15:253-260. 

Retta, A., L.E. Wagner, and J. Tatarko.  2014.  Military vehicle trafficking impacts vegetation and soil bulk density at Fort Benning, Georgia. Trans. American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers 57:1043-1055.

Tatarko, J., M.A. Sporcic, E.L. Skidmore. 2013. A history of wind erosion prediction models in the United States Department of Agriculture prior to the Wind Erosion Prediction System. Aeolian Research. 10:3-8.

Zobeck, T.M., M. Baddock, R.S. Van Pelt, J. Tatarko, V. Acosta-Martinez. 2013. Soil property effects on wind erosion of organic soils. Aeolian Research.  10:43-51.

Retta, A., L.E. Wagner, J. Tatarko, and T.C. Todd.  2013. Evaluation of bulk density and vegetation as affected by military vehicle traffic at Fort Riley, Kansas. Trans.  American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers 56:653-665.

Blanco, Humberto, J. Holman, A. Schlegel, J. Tatarko, T. Shaver.  2013.  Replacing fallow with cover crops in a semiarid soil: Effects on soil properties.  Soil Science Society of America Journal 77:1026–1034. 

Evers, B.J., H. Blanco-Canqui, S. Staggenborg, J. Tatarko.  2013.  Dedicated Bioenergy Crop Impacts on Soil Wind Erodibility and Organic Carbon in Kansas. Agronomy Journal 105:1271-1276.  

Diaz, E.N., Tatarko, J., Jazcilevich, A.D., Garcia, A.R., Caetano, E., and Ruiz-Suarez, L.G. 2010. A modeling study of Aeolian erosion enhanced by surface wind confluences over Mexico City. Aeolian Research 2:143-157.

Tatarko, J. and N.A. Stefonick.  2007.  Wind erodibility of biosolids - amended soils: A Status Report.  Water Environment Federation.  12:12-15.

van Donk, S. J., L.E. Wagner, E.L. Skidmore, and J. Tatarko.  2005.  Comparison of the Weibull model with a wind speed distributions for stochastic wind generation.  Trans. American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers.  48:503-510. 

Lui, L.Y., E.L. Skidmore, E. Hasi, L. Wagner, and J. Tatarko. 2005. Dune sand transport as influenced by wind directions, speed and frequencies in the Ordos Plateau, China. Geomorphology. 67:283-297.

Coen, G.M., J. Tatarko, T.C. Martin, K.R. Cannon, T.W. Goddard, and N.J. Sweetland.  2003.  A method for using of WEPS to map wind erosion risk assessment of Albert soils. Environmental Modeling and Software.  19:185-189. 

Tatarko, J. 2001.  Soil aggregation and wind erosion: processes and measurements. Annals of Arid Zone 40: 303-322.

Skidmore, E.L. and J. Tatarko.  1990.  Stochastic wind simulation for erosion modeling.  Trans.  American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers 33: 1893-1899.

Lyles, L. and J. Tatarko.  1988. Soil wind erodibility index in seven north central states.  Trans.  American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers 31: 1396-1399.

Lyles, L. and J. Tatarko.  1987.  Precipitation effects on ridges created by grain drills.  Journal  Soil and Water Conservation  42: 269-271.

Lyles, L. and J. Tatarko.  1985.  Wind erosion affects soil texture and organic matter.  Journal  Soil and Water Conservation 41: 191-193.

Lyles, L., J. Tatarko, and J.D. Dickerson.  1984.  Windbreak effects on soil water and wheat yields.  Trans. American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers 27: 69-72.

Lyles, L. and J. Tatarko.  1982.  Emergency tillage to control wind erosion: Influences on winter wheat yields.  Journal  Soil and Water Conservation 37: 344-347.