Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development, University of California, Merced
Samuel Traina received a B.S. in Soil Resource Management and a Ph.D. in Soil Science from the University of
California, Berkeley. He extended his education and training through a postdoctoral study at the
University of California, Riverside.
The National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency have funded Dr. Traina's work in environmental chemistry. This work has focused on the fate
and transport of contaminants in natural environments with an emphasis on surface- chemical
reactions in soils and sediments. Particular effort has been placed on the use of noninvasive
spectroscopy (i.e. synchrotron-based x-ray absorption spectroscopy and aqueous vibrational
spectroscopy) to elucidate the surface speciation of contaminants on natural nano-particles. His
current research is examining the isotopic composition and surface chemical properties of black
carbon particles produced during the combustion of biomass and fossil fuels. He has served as a
member of the Earth Resources Committee, a standing committee of the National Research Council and
holds the Ted and Jan Falasco Chair in Earth Sciences and Geology at UC Merced.
Professor Traina served as the Founding Director of the Sierra Nevada Research Institute at UC
Merced. Prior to that he was at Ohio State University where he served as a faculty member from
1985-2002. During that period he was Chair of the Environmental Science Graduate Program and
Co-Director and Co-PI of an NSF-funded Environmental Molecular Science Institute.