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Prof. Donald Sparks: “Frontiers and Advances in Environmental Soil Chemistry”

In 2015, Dr. Donald L. Sparks, Professor of Plant and Soil Science, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Delaware, received the American Chemical Society’s Geochemistry Division Medal for his highly influential and transformative work in geochemistry, environmental chemistry, and soil chemistry; his outstanding record as an educator and mentor; and his service to the geochemical community. To celebrate and honor Prof. Sparks’ life-long research interests and achievements, researchers who share this scientific sphere with Prof. Sparks were invited to submit papers for an article collection in Geochemical Transactions. This collection highlights important challenges in environmental geochemistry and soil chemistry and will introduce current advances in these areas.

The Guest Editors’ aim was to bring together a series of research articles exemplifying recent developments in state-of-the-art experimental and numerical approaches toward understanding mineral-water interfaces. We see this is an excellent opportunity, both to honor Prof. Sparks’ enduring accomplishments in Environmental Geochemistry and Soil Chemistry and to share new developments in the field.


Guest Editors: Young-Shin Jun (Washington University in St. Louis,, Mengqiang Zhu (University of Wyoming,, and Derek Peak (University of Saskatchewan,

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This is an exciting time to be a researcher in the area of soil and environmental geochemistry. The major issues that we face globally, such as climate change, soil and water contamination, energy conservation, land degradation, air quality, and environmental sustainability all provide rich opportunities for advancing scientific frontiers. The advances in analytical techniques that enable one to explore reactivity and processes on natural materials over a wide range of spatial and temporal scales, as well as powerful modeling and data analytics tools, provide unique opportunities to address and provide solutions to the environmental challenges we face.  I would be deeply honored and grateful to have you contribute to this special issue."

Prof. Donald Sparks