Dr. Trabalka brings more than 31 years of experience to SENES, including both individual and team research as well as project and program management within multidisciplinary environmental programs, deriving from his tenure at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). His professional interests and experience are primarily in the biogeochemistry and effects of environmental pollutants (particularly radionuclides but also organic chemicals), and are extremely varied, ranging from protection of human health and the environment at contaminated sites to anthropogenic effects on global element cycles and climate. His definitive study of radiation effects on fish populations from a contaminated natural environment has been widely cited. His research on the biogeochemistry of the transuranic elements included extensive environmental sampling and long-term, manipulative field experiments, as well as laboratory and microecosystem studies utilizing Pu-237 as a surrogate for environmental plutonium, and led to unique insights into the environmental chemistry of plutonium.

Critical analyses and reviews of complex issues requiring extensive technical integration and synthesis have been a particular interest. These have covered a wide range: effects of ionizing radiation on aquatic organisms, biogeochemistry of transuranics and xenobiotics, anthropogenic effects on the global carbon cycle, and origins and implications of environmental releases from the Kyshtym (MAYAK) site in the Russian Urals. His diverse background and experience not only in the environmental sciences but also in nuclear technology and waste management has led to involvement in critical reviews for U.S. federal agencies and international organizations. He was cited for his service as both the editor of and a major contributor to the 1985 state-of-the-art report "Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and the Global Carbon Cycle" for the U.S. Department of Energy. He served on the NCRP committee that produced the 1991 report: Effects of Ionizing Radiation on Aquatic Organisms (Report No. 109), and as an advisor to the committee that produced the 2001 report: Scientific Basis for Evaluating the Risks to Populations from Space Applications of Plutonium (Report No. 131). He also has testified before the U.S. Congress.

Dr. Trabalka also played a major role in the development and strategic planning for the ORNL remedial action effort, a major undertaking designed to deal with a diverse legacy of contaminated inactive facilities, research areas, and waste disposal sites, and for major waste management programs, particularly for transuranic (TRU) wastes, needed to meet complex new regulatory, technical, and economic challenges. In addition, he participated directly in development of in situ vitrification technology for remediation of buried solid radioactive and mixed wastes. He also led the ORNL TRU Waste Historical Survey, which was established to assemble and evaluate detailed historical information, including data from nondestructive examination and assay, on the origins and characteristics of waste in ~4000 stored containers to facilitate processing and disposal of these materials in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico.

NIOSH Conflict or Bias Disclosure Form

E-mail Dr. Trabalka at: jrt@senes.com