Joanne M. Tirocke
Biological Science Technician (Plant)
1221 South Main Street
Moscow, ID 83843
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.
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.
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.
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, BA Linguistics, 1992
- Michigan Technological University, Houghton, BS Biological Sciences, 1998
- Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MS Forestry Sciences, 2001
- 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 & Products
- Page-Dumroese, Deborah; Jurgensen, Martin; Abbott, Ann; Rice, Tom; Tirocke, Joanne; Farley, Sue; DeHart, Sharon. 2006. Monitoring Changes in Soil Quality from Post-fire Logging in the Inland Northwest.
- Rippy, Raini C.; Stewart, Jane E.; Zambino, Paul J.; Klopfenstein, Ned B.; Tirocke, Joanne M.; Kim, Mee-Sook; Thies, Walter G. 2005. Root diseases in coniferous forests of the Inland West: potential implications of fuels treatments.
Publications & Products
- Han, Han-Sup; Page-Dumroese, Debbie; Han, Sang-Kyun; Tirocke, Joanne. 2006. Effects of slash, machine passes, and soil moisture on penetration resistance in a cut-to-length harvesting.