Tom Wanzek is a Senior Staff Scientist based in Oregon with significant academic research experience focused on soil characterization, ecosystem restoration, and the fate and transport of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in soil systems.
Tom has a diverse background in soil science and environmental research, leading and supporting projects funded by the Strategic Environmental Research and Development program (managed by the US Department of Defense) and the US Departments of Energy and Agriculture. Such projects include determining the extent and magnitude of contamination of soils with heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, and emerging contaminants, specifically PFAS. As a result of this work, he brings expertise in PFAS fate and transport, soil biogeochemical cycling processes, macro-scale soil investigations using x-ray-computed tomography, and remediation of impacted soils using biochar-based technologies. Throughout such investigations, Tom accurately communicates highly technical content to stakeholders, funding agencies, and multidisciplinary teams.
Specific to the environmental impacts of PFAS, Tom offers research and development experience elucidating retention mechanisms of PFAS from aqueous-film-forming foams (AFFFs) in saturated soil systems, and he develops user-friendly tools to estimate soil sorptive capacity for PFAS. He also has research experience measuring and modeling PFAS air-water interface partitioning coefficients, PFAS partitioning into nonaqueous-phase liquids (NAPLs), and environmental impacts of NAPL+PFAS microemulsions. In addition, he develops analytical methods to qualify and quantify PFAS on different mass spectrometer platforms and uses non-target and semi-quantitative analyses to help identify PFAS sources.