Education, Honors, Awards

  • Keynote Speaker, Saudi Environmental Society, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, 1997
  • Faculty Advisor Award, Northern Arizona University, 1996
  • Fulbright Academic Specialist, University of Qatar, Doha, Qatar, 1994
  • Faculty Fellows, Northern Arizona University, 1989-90
  • National Science Teachers Association Search for Excellence in Science Education, Arizona winner, Energy Education, 1984
  • Danforth Foundation Associate, 1980-85
  • University of Missouri, Columbia, Environmental Chemistry Institute, 1973
  • University of California, Irvine, Postdoctoral Research Associate, 1971-72
  • University of California Regents Fellowship, 1970-72
  • University of California, Santa Barbara, Ph.D., Inorganic Chemistry, 1971
  • Penn State University, B.S., Chemistry, 1967

Professional Experience

  • Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry, James Madison University (2008 – present)
  • Head, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, James Madison University (2008-2012)
  • National Science Foundation, Chemistry Program Officer (2004-2006)
  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities/Minority Institutions Environmental Technology Consortium, various responsibilities (1990-2008)
  • Northeastern University, Chemistry Department and Barnett Institute of Chemical Analysis and Materials Science, Visiting Professor (1995)
  • Tabbin Institute for Metallurgical Studies, Cairo, Egypt, Visiting Professor (1992)
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory, Environmental Chemistry Group, Visiting Scientist (1992, 1993)
  • Professor of Chemistry and Environmental Science, Northern Arizona University, 1987 - 2008
  • Director, Ralph M. Bilby Research Center, Northern Arizona University (1981-1990)
  • Director, Environmental Science Program, Northern Arizona University (1978-1982)
  • Associate Professor of Chemistry, Northern Arizona University (1975-87)
  • Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Northern Arizona University (1972-1975)

Research Interests

  •  Biogeochemistry of environmental arsenic; fate and behavior of trace metals in the environment

Research Description

My research is best described as the use of modern analytical chemistry instrumentation to answer questions about the fate of trace chemical substances in the environment. Atomic spectroscopy is used to measure metal concentrations in soil and water samples, and chromatography is used to identify, and quantify, organic substances in the environment.

The projects I have worked on fall under one of two general categories: water chemistry issues, and the impact of energy production on the environment. All my research projects involve collecting field samples that are returned to the laboratory for analysis by the appropriate instrumental technique.

Advanced mathematical analysis of the chemical data is often required before meaningful statements of environmental quality can be made. This requires my students to be proficient in multivariate statistics, as well as analytical chemistry.

Selected Publications

  •  Foust, Jr., R. D., Brandstrom, M., Evans, G., Nez, P., Waupoose, D. and Hillman, E., “Source Identification for Groundwater Arsenic in the Verde Valley, Central Arizona, USA,” In Arsenic in soil and groundwater environments: biogeochemical interactions (Eds, Bhattacharya, P., Mukherjee, A. B. and Loeppert, R. H.) Trace Metals and other Contaminants in the Environment, 9, 85-100 (2007).
  • Evans, G., J. Evans, A. Redman, N. Johnson and R. D. Foust, Jr., “Unexpected Beneficial Effects of Arsenic on Corn Roots Grown in Culture,” Environ. Chem. 2005, 2, 167-170.
  • Foust, Jr.,  R. D., P. Mohapatra, A. M. Compton and J. Reifel, “Surface Water and Groundwater Arsenic Concentrations in the Verde Valley in Central Arizona,” Applied Geochemistry, 19 (2004) 251-255.
  • Foust, Jr., R. D. , M. S. Costanza-Robinson, A. M. Compton-Obrien, R. C. Prince, I. J. Pickering and G. N. George, “Biogeochemical Transformations of Arsenic in Montezuma Well, Arizona:  A Model Study for the Behavior of Arsenic in the Environment,” 7th Intern. Conf. on the Biogeochem. Of Trace Elements, Upsala, Sweden, 2003.
  • Kuhn,J. U.,  K. Givler and R. D. Foust, Jr.,  “Determination of Atmospheric Lead Deposition Sources at a Coal-Fired Power Plant Through Isotope Ratio Measurements,” 2000 International chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies, Honolulu, Hawaii, December, 2000.
  • Crabill, C., R. Donald, J. Shelling, R. Foust and G. Southam, "The Impact of Sediment Fecal Coliform Reservoirs on Seasonal Water Quality in Oak Creek, AZ," Wat. Res., 33, 2163-2171(1999).
  • Kneisel, E. A. ,  N. A. Ciszkowski, W. J. Bowyer, F. S. Walker, T. G. Huntsberger and R. D. Foust, Jr., “Identifying Clay Sources of Prehistoric Pottery Using Atomic Spectroscopy,” Microchemical Journal 56, 40-46 (1997).
  • Foust, Jr., R. D., “Static Headspace-Gas Chromatography, Theory and Practice” by B. Kolb and L. S. Ettre, reviewed in J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1997, 119, 12029.
  •  Clancy, K. M. , R. D. Foust, T. G. Huntsberger, J. G. Whitaker and D. M. Whitaker “ A Technique for Using Micorencapsulated Terpenes in Lepidopteran Artificial Diets,", Journal of Chemical Ecology, 18, 543-560 (1992).
  • Foust, Jr., R.D., J.R. Ambler and L.D. Turner. "Trace Element Analysis of Pueblo II Kayenta Anasazi Sherds," In Archaeological Chemistry IV, R.O. Allen, Ed., American Chemical Society Advances in Chemistry Series, American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, 125-143 (1989).

Books Authored

  • Foust, Jr., R.D., J. Byrkit and C. Avery, "Environmental Quality in the Sedona/Verde Valley Area," Background Report for Sedona Forum VII, The Sedona Academy, Sedona, AZ, pp. 1-219, 1991.
  • Foust, Jr., R.D.,  and Bill W. Tillery, "Arizona Energy Activities," Educational Programs Division, Arizona Public Service Company, Phoenix, AZ, pp. 1-380, 1985.
  • Foust, Jr., R.D. (ed.), "Arizona Energy Guide," Educational Programs Division, Arizona Public Service Company, Phoenix, AZ, pp. 1-402, 1978.

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