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John Tatarko
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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.  Research focuses on improving algorithms in the Wind Erosion Prediction System (WEPS) model 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.



Schnarr, C., Schipanski, M., and Tatarko, J. 2022. Crop residue cover dynamics for wind erosion control in a dryland, no-till system. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, 77(3), 221-229.

Weeks, J. J., G.M. Hettiarachchi, E. Santos, J. Tatarko. 2021. Potential human inhalation exposure to soil contaminants in urban gardens on brownfields sites: A breath of fresh air? Journal of Environmental Quality 1-9, DOI: 10.1002/jeq2.20208

Tatarko, J., M. Kucharski, H. Li, Huiru Li. 2020.  PM2.5 and PM10 emissions by breakage during saltation of agricultural soils. Soil & Tillage Research 208: 104902,

Van Pelt, R. S., J. Tatarko, T.E. Gill, C. Chang, J. Li, I. G. Eibedingil and M. Mendez. 2020. Dust emission source characterization for visibility hazard assessment on Lordsburg Playa in Southwestern New Mexico, USA. Van Pelt et al. Geoenvironmental Disasters, 7:34 Geoenvironmental Disasters

Weltz, M. A., Chi-Hua Huang, B. A. Newingham, J. Tatarko, S. K. Nouwakpo, and T. Tsegaye. 2020. A strategic plan for future USDA Agricultural Research Service erosion research and model development.Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 75(6):137A-143A

Gonzales, H. B., J. Tatarko, M. E. Casada, R. G. Maghirang, L. J. Hagen, C. J. Barden 2020. Computational fluid dynamics simulation Of airflow through standing vegetation. American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, 62(6): 1713-1722,

Jarrah, M., S. Mayel, J. Tatarko, R. Funk, K. Kuka. 2020. A review of wind erosion models: Data requirements, processes, and validity.   Catena 187: 104388;

Tatarko, J., Kucharski, M., Li, H., Li, H. 2020. PM2.5 and PM10 emissions by abrasion of agricultural soils. Soil & Tillage Research.  200:104601

Rakkar, M.K., H. Blanco-Canqui, J. Tatarko. 2019. Prediction of soil wind erosion potential under different corn residue management scenarios. Geoderma. 353:25-34.

McMaster, G. S., D.A. Edmunds, R. Marquez, S.D. Haley, G.W. Buchleiter, P.F. Byrne, T.R. Green, R.H. Erskine, N.P. Lighthart, H. Kipka, F.A. Fox, L.E. Wagner, and J. Tatarko, M. Moragues, J.C. Ascough II. 2019. Winter wheat phenology simulations improve when adding responses to water stress. Agronomy Journal. 111: 2350-2360

Fick, S. E., N.  Barger, J. Tatarko and M.C. Duniway 2019. Induced biological soil crust controls on wind erodibility and dust (PM10) emissions. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 45, 224–236; DOI: 10.1002/esp.4731

Webb, N.P., E. Kachergis, S. W. Miller, S. E. McCord, B. T. Bestelmeyer, J. R. Brown, A. Chappell, B. L. Edwards, J. E. Herrick, J. W. Karl, J. F. Leys, L. J. Metz, S. Smarik, J. Tatarko, J. W. Van Zee, G. Zwicke. 2019. Indicators and benchmarks for wind erosion monitoring, assessment and management. Ecological Indicators 110:105881

Ma, L., Derner, J. D., Harmel, R. D., Tatarko, J., Moore, A. D., Rotz, C. A., Augustine, D. J., Boone, R. B., Coughenour, M. B., Beukes, P. C., van Wijk, M. T., Bellocchi, G., Cullen, B. R., and Wilmer. H. 2019. Application of Grazing Land Models in Ecosystem Management: Current Status and Next Frontiers. Advances in Agronomy 158:173-216.

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 ProcessesAdvances in Agricultural Systems Modeling. 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.  Journal Soils and Sediments.  19:716-728.

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). Transactions American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. 61(2): 641-652. 

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.  Transactions 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. Transactions 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. Transactions 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. Transactions 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. Transactions 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. Transactions 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.  Transactions 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 modelingTransactions American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. 33: 1893-1899.

Lyles, L. and J. Tatarko.  1988. Soil wind erodibility index in seven north central statesTransactions 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 yieldsTransactions 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.