USDA-ARS-NWISRL Go to USDA homepageGo to ARS homepageNWISRL homepage Shoshone Falls Rafters
(The menu functions but all the links are broken. This is a work web page that I created and last updated in 2008. The background ARS symbol is in 3D when viewed with cyan/red anaglyph glasses.)

James A. Foerster

--- Biological Science Technician ---

USDA - Agricultural Research Service
NW Irrigation & Soils Research Lab.
3793 North  3600 East
Kimberly, ID  83341

Jim Foerster, 2005

Research Accomplishments


  1. Sojka, R.E., G.A. Lehrsch, S.J. Kostka, J.L. Reed, A.C. Koehn, and J.A. Foerster.  2009.  Soil water measurements relevant to agronomic and environmental functions of chemically treated soil.  Journal of the ASTM International. 6(1):1-20.
  2. Ross C., R.E. Sojka, J.A. Foerster.  2003.  Scanning electron micrographs of PAM coating on soil particles from treated irrigation furrows.  J. Soil Water Conserv. 58(5):327-331.
  3. Sojka R.E., D. Morishita, J.A. Foerster, M. Wille.  2003.  Weed seed transport and weed establishment as affected by PAM in furrow-irrigated corn.  J. Soil Water Conserv. 58(5):50-57.
  4. Lentz R.D., R.E. Sojka, J.A. Foerster.  1996.  Estimating Polyacrylamide Concentration in Irrigation Water.  J. Environ. Qual. 25:1015-1024.
  5. Sojka R.E., R.D. Lentz, J.A. Foerster.  1994.  Software Utilizing Imhoff Cone Volumes to Estimate Furrow-Irrigation Erosion.  J. Soil Water Conserv. 49(4):400-406.


  • Member of a team effort to develop a method to accurately measure the concentration of polyacrylamide in irrigation water runoff.
  • Assisted in organizing and executing the PAM conference "Managing Irrigation-Induced Erosion and Infiltration with Polyacrylamide" on May 6-8, 1996.
  • Assembled the PAM "mini-poster" used to convince the members of the congressional budget hearings of the importance of funding ARS research.
  • Use my photography skills with still and video cameras to visually document experimental apparatus, field setups, and results of treatments.
  • Instructed other technicians, and scientists, in the use of computer software and digital image editing.



Bachelor of Science Degree from the College of Agriculture with a Horticulture Major
North Dakota State University, Fargo, North Dakota, 1981

Certified Novell Administrator, 1998 (The Certified Novell Administrator (CNA) certification is the first credential for network administrators working with Novell's NetWare software.)



USDA - ARS - Pacific West Area
NW Irrigation & Soils Research Lab. 
Kimberly, Idaho 

December 1991 to December 2018.
Supervisor:  Dr. Robert E. Sojka, Soil Scientist

Biological Science Technician (Retired!)

  • Assists in the planning and design of experiments
  • Assists in conducting experiments and the collection, compilation, summarization, tabulation, and analysis of data
  • Assists supervisor in written and verbal reporting of experimental results
  • Manages experimental resources and maintains safe and orderly workplace
Instrument experience
  • PC computer operation, assembly, mainenance, and upgrading
  • Nikon Super CoolScan 4000 film scanner (digitizes 35mm film - slides and negatives)
  • Nikon CoolScan LS-10 film scanner (digitizes 35mm film - slides and negatives)
  • Various HP flatbed scanners (digitizes photos)
  • Polaroid ProPalette 7000 film recorder (creates slides for slide presentations)
  • Montage FR2 film recorder (creates slides for slide presentations)
  • Codonics NP-1600 dye-sublimation photo quality printer (creates photographs without a wet lab)
  • HP DesignJet 5000 large format printer (3.5'x8' poster presentations)
  • HP DesignJet 750 large format printer (3'x8' poster presentations)
  • Xerox Phaser 7300 color printer
  • Tektronics Phaser 560 color laser printer
  • Various HP LaserJet laser printers
  • HP PaintJet XL300 color inkjet printer
  • Various digital cameras
  • Nikon N90 camera with SB-25 flash & MF-26 camera back
  • Sony Handycam Hi8 video camera
  • Snappy digital image capture module
  • Sony VTRs (Hi-8 & Super VHS)
  • Audio/video dubbing console
  • Video projector
  • Slide projector
  • Overhead projector
  • PC Video Hyperconverter 1024 (computer VGA to NTSC video converter)
  • HTS Tracker System V satellite receiver
  • E6 film developing
  • Dohrmann DC-180 carbon analyzer
  • Spectonic 21D spectrophotometer
  • Sorvall RC-5B Superspeed centrifuge
  • Weight scales (connected some to computers for instant storage of weight data)
  • Ejkelkamp Penetrologger penetometer (measures soils resistance to penetration to a depth of 80cm)
  • Handheld penetrometers (Geotester & Soiltest CL-700)
  • MasterFlex peristaltic pumps
  • Vacuum filtration
Computer software experience
  • Web page design (work related examples):
    • The web page you are now looking at.
    • Manuscript converted to web page "Potential Use of Polyacrylamide (PAM) in Australian Agriculture to Improve Off- and On-site Environmental Impacts and Infiltration Management." (includes slide show)
    • Posters converted to web pages:
      1. "Irrigation Increases Carbon in Agricultural Soils"
      2. "Use of PAM to Control Erosion From Raised Beds Under Sprinkler Irrigation"
      3. "Polyacrylamide Removes Microorganisms and Nutrients from Surface Water"
      4. "Scanning Electron Micrographs of Polyacrylamide-Treated Soil in Irrigation Furrows"
      5. "Irrigated Agriculture Decreases Soil Microbial Genetic Diversity"
      6. "Runoff Weed Seed, Sediment, Infiltration and Weed Establishment as Affected by PAM in Furrow-Irrigated Corn"
      7. "The Instantaneous Wetting Effect on Erosion From Irrigated Furrows"

  • Novell Netware 4.11 (Network Operating System software)
  • Corel WordPerfect (Word Processor)
  • Corel Quattro Pro (Spreadsheet)
  • Corel PhotoPaint (Digital Bitmap Image Editing)
  • Corel Draw (used to create 3'x8' poster presentations)
  • DeltaGraph (scientific graphing of data and slide show presentations)
  • Golden Software Surfer (contouring, gridding, and surface mapping)
  • Microsoft PowerPoint (slide show presentations)
  • TableCurve 2D (curve fitting graphing of data)
  • SAS (Statistical Analysis Software)
  • TurboCAD (precision drawing and drafting)
  • Generic CAD (precision drawing and drafting)
  • HP Deskscan flatbed scanning (digitizes photos)
  • Nikon Control film scanning (digitizes 35mm film - slides and negatives)
  • 2003, USDA Certificate of Merit for Superior Technical Support of his supervisor's program and timely assistance to several other SY's and the NWISRL location administrative staff and website.
  • 2000, USDA Certificate of Merit for Superior Performance of Assigned Duties at the NWISRL.
  • 1999, USDA Certificate of Merit for Superior Performance of Assigned Duties at the NWISRL.
  • 1996, USDA Certificate of Merit for Exemplary Support of Special Activities of the NWISRL.
  • 1995, USDA Certificate of Merit for Outstanding Performance in Support of Team Research and Location Activities.
  • 1993, USDA Certificate of Merit for High Quality Soil Science Research Support in a Diverse Program.
  • Film and Digital Photography
  • Digital image editing ( click here for an example )
  • Web page design; personal web page examples (for more information email: Jim )
    • The House of Six Cats! web site. (The card trick is an example of my Perl programming experience. Many of the images are examples of my digital image editing experience.)
    • Web site for Dusty, my cat, Dusty's Place (more examples of my digital editing experience).
    • My Yellowstone image gallery web site (even more examples of my digital image editing experience).
  • Network Administration
    • I'm a Certified Novell Administrator
    • Novell IntraNetware 4.11 Network Operating System administration
    • Novell Web Server administration (version 3.5)
    • Perl script programming (beginner experience; see the card trick at "The House of Six Cats!" )


USDA - ARS - South Atlantic Area
Citrus and Subtropical Products Research Laboratory
Winter Haven, Florida

February 1987 to November 1991
Supervisor: Robert A. Baker, Supervisory Research Chemist

Biological Laboratory Technician (Biochemistry)

  • Assist in the design of experiments on enzymatically peeling and segmenting grapefruit and oranges, storage procedures, and antimicrobial studies.
  • Give demonstrations to industry personnel of enzymatically peeling and segmenting grapefruit and oranges.
  • Citrograph 1989 cover, with my hands.
    Freshly peeled fruit and my hands Freshly peeled fruit and my hands.

  • Photograph experimentally prepared food products for slide presentations at technology conferences.
  • Packaged, freshly peeled fruit Packaged, freshly peeled fruit.
  • Conduct sensory evaluation tests on flavor and texture variations of experimental food products.
  • Prepare chemicals for experiments.
  • Organize and inventory laboratory materials.
  • Clean and organize laboratory glassware and other apparatus.
  • Transfer fungal cultures to new media under sterile hood using sterile procedures.
  • Acquire, compile, store, and interpret data with the use of statistical analysis and computers.
  • Assist other laboratory personnel with the operation of laboratory equipment and computer software.
Instrument experience
  • IBM PC XT computer and associated hardware
  • pH meters
  • centrifuges
  • rotovap
  • Spectronic 20
  • weight scales
  • vacuum ovens for vacuum infusion and vacuum desiccation
  • Hewlett Packard 8452A UV/VIS Spectrophotometer
  • Instron tension/compression measurement instrument
  • Supervac vacuum bag sealer
  • refractometers
  • autoclave
  • Perkin-Elmer 8500 gas chromatograph
  • thin layer chromatography
  • open column chromatography
  • Polaroid Palette Plus film recorder for making presentation slides
Computer software experience
  • Lotus 123 (spreadsheet & graphs)
  • Quattro (spreadsheet & graphs)
  • Multimate (word processor)
  • Q & A (word processor & database)
  • WordPerfect (word processor)
  • HP 8452A Spectrophotometer operation software
  • DR Graph (graphs)
  • Energraphics (graphs)
  • Slide Write Plus (graphs for slide presentations)
  • 1990, USDA Certificate of Merit for Superior Performance of Official Duties
  • 1989, USDA Certificate of Merit for Superior Performance of Official Duties
  • 1988, USDA Certificate of Merit for Superior Performance of Official Duties