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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Hero T. Gollany

Soil Scientist

Educational Background:

Dr. Hero Gollany received her BS degree in Soil Science from the University of Minnesota in 1984 , MS in Agronomy (Soil Physics/Management) in 1986 and PhD in Agronomy (Soil Biochemistry/Chemistry) in 1992 from South Dakota State University.

Research Program: Soil Chemistry

Current Research Projects:

My research focuses on impacts of farming systems on soil chemical and physical properties, biogeochemical processes that influence carbon and nitrogen dynamics and cycling, and studying interactions within the soil-water-plant-air continuum using process based models.

  • Cropping System Impact on Soil Nitrogen and Carbon

Several decades of wheat-fallow rotation with intensive tillage has resulted in reduced soil organic matter and soil organic carbon in the Pacific Northwest dryland region. Recent work has indicated that management practices that decreased tillage and residue incorporation reduced soil organic matter losses, and even increased soil organic carbon to a limited extent. As part of an ARS project known as GRACEnet, I am measuring soil organic carbon and greenhouse gases under various field conditions to determine the most effective agricultural practices which maximize soil organic carbon and minimize net greenhouse gas emissions. The primary goal of this project is to reverse the loss of soil organic matter over the last century to improve soil properties and productivity, and secondary benefits, if any, to mitigate greenhouse gases effect.

  • Predicting Residue Removal Viability using the CQESTR model

Concern about declining fossil fuel supplies has enhanced interest in using crop residues for bioenergy production; however, maintaining soil organic carbon is vital for maintaining soil productivity and environmental quality. As part of an ARS project known as REAP  (Renewable Energy Assessment Project), I am using CQESTR to predict and evaluate the effect of residue removal on soil organic carbon. Soil organic carbon is recognized as one of the six limiting factors for sustainable biomass for biofuel production. My goal is to predict from climate, initial soil organic carbon content, past management, tillage practices and cropping system, how much crop residue can be sustainably harvested without jeopardizing soil organic carbon stocks and associated physical, chemical and biological processes.

Other Research Interests:

A brief listing of recent peer-reviewed published studies and reviews, and some that are currently on-going:


Last Modified: 6/20/2012
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