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Joseph Gardella



  • Higher Ed: Science 


Biographical Sketch 2011

Joseph A. Gardella, Jr. is the John and Frances Larkin Professor of Chemistry at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York (aka UB). He also serves as the Director of the UB/Buffalo Public Schools Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Partnership (UB/BPS ISEP). Joe has been on the faculty at UB since 1982. Joe was born and raised in Detroit Michigan, and completed a dual degree program in Chemistry (B.S.) and Philosophy (B.A.) from Oakland University in Rochester Michigan., a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh and postdoctoral research in Physical Chemistry at the University of Utah. He served as a visiting scientist/program officer at the National Science Foundation Chemistry Division in 1989-90. From 1999-2005, he was Associate Dean for External Affairs in the College of Arts and Sciences and he was responsible for coordinating and leading the College's programs in working with industry, community, government and elementary and secondary schools. From 1996-2006, he was the Director of the UB Materials Research Instrumentation Facility, managing ca. $9M of shared research instrumentation. As a Faculty Fellow in the Institute for Local Governance and Regional Growth from 2005-2006, he pursued policy studies in regional science and environmental policy and public participation. More info is at:

Professor Gardella's research interests are in quantitative analysis and surface chemistry, broadly applied to the study of environmental effects at polymer surfaces and tissue engineering with synthetic biomaterials. His work and that of his Ph.D. students has resulted in some 240 publications and a similar number of invited talks worldwide. His work is funded by the National Science Foundation, Office of Naval Research, National Institutes of Health and industry. Besides his research interests, he has long standing interests in curriculum development for scientists and non- scientists. He was a senior member of UB's Undergraduate College, a group of faculty that developed a new general education program with a major emphasis on innovative science and laboratory courses for non-science majors. He served as Chair of the Undergraduate College Curriculum Committee for three years, which was responsible for faculty input on all phases of development of the curriculum. He is presently a member of the UB Honors College Council. At UB, he has been involved in environmental programs of all types. As the Chair of the UB Environmental Task Force in the mid 1990's he was involved in a variety of public service and policy projects, including student environmental auditing of Buffalo City Hall, and a funded project in developing field environmental analysis studies for access for community groups and local governments. He was part of the planning for the Environment and Society Institute, and served on the founding Steering Committee.

Professor Gardella has been active in program development in undergraduate research, interdisciplinary studies, service learning and other academic reform areas. He is the UB representative to the Western New York Service Learning Coalition (WNYSLC, Gardella was co-PI on the Community Linked Interdisciplinary Research (CLIR) program, funded by the Hewlett Foundation at UB, to develop and sustain course based public service research as a means to increase the participation of undergraduates in integrative research or scholarly activity. He is also the Co-PI on the Professional Science Masters program in CAS, funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, developing innovative masters programs in the sciences. He served as Program Director and Principal Investigator of the NIH funded Research Institute in Biomedical Materials Science and Engineering (RIBSE) (, a summer interdisciplinary undergraduate research program

In the community, Joe currently serves as a volunteer or appointed advisor on a variety of community service projects, including the Buffalo Pest Management Board, he chairs the City of Buffalo Environmental Management Commission, serves on the Seneca Babcock Good Neighbor Committee and the Solid Waste Advisory Board of the City of Buffalo. He is a member of the Chemical Committee and Chair of the Steering Committee of the US Army Corp of Engineers Lake Ontario Ordnance Works Restoration Advisory Board (LOOW RAB). He serves the statewide Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter as Chair of the Toxics Committee. He serves as a member of the Special Education Parent Advisory Committee (SEPAC) for the Buffalo Public Schools, completing eight years as Chair in 2009. He is Chair and a member of the Board of Directors of Parent Network of WNY, an organization founded to support parents of special needs children. He has been a member of the Buffalo Public Schools Superintendent's Advisory Group, the Parent Forum organizational panel, the Buffalo Public School Board's Program Committee, and the Ad-Hoc Environmental Advisory Council and is past President of School 84 Parents Teachers and Friends.

He has been recognized locally and nationally for his work in all areas of academic endeavor. Most recently, he was named a fellow of the Society for Applied Spectroscopy (2010) and recently, also a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2007) and the AVS, the Technology Society (American Vacuum Society) (2004), for his research accomplishments. He has been awarded the National Science Foundation Award for Special Creativity twice (2009-2011 and 1991-1993). He has been awarded a 2005 National Science Foundation Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM), the 72nd Jacob Schoellkopf Medal of the Western New York American Chemical Society (2002), the 2003 Ernest Lynton Award for Faculty Public Service, three SUNY Chancellor's Medals for Excellence in Teaching (1996), Faculty Service (2004) and Scholarly and Creative Work (2005), and has been a fellow of the Exxon Education Foundation (1989-91) and Lawrence M. Gelb Foundation (1986-89). He was the awarded the second Distinguished Chemistry Alumni Award at Oakland University in 1998.

He has a real life besides this stuff, which includes his wife, Carol Kizis, his daughter, Claire Seung Hee, and son, Joseph Jee Yoon. They all enjoy traveling, reading, gardening and other important pursuits which do not involve academic politics. They reside in North Buffalo, where they enjoy the weather.


Analytical and surface chemistry, polymer, environmental chemistry, biomaterials, tissue engineering, surface and thin film science of semiconductors, service learning, community based environmental analysis, science for non-science majors, middle/high school teacher professional development, undergraduate scholarship and research. 


1. R. E. Goacher, S. Hegde, H. Luo and J. A. Gardella, Jr., "Diffusion of Mn in GaAs Studied by Quantitative Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry", Journal of Applied Physics, 2010, 106, 044302 DOI: 10.1063/1.3200961.
2. R. E. Goacher and J. A. Gardella, Jr., "Analysis of C60+ and Cs+ sputtering ions for depth profiling gold/silicon and GaAs multilayer samples by time of flight secondary ion mass spectrometry", Applied Surface Science, 2010, accepted, in press. DOI: 10.1016/ j.apsusc.2009.09.045.
3. Sarah A. Burns, Robert Hard, Wesley L. Hicks, Jr., Frank V. Bright, David Cohan, Lynn Sigurdson, Joseph A. Gardella, Jr., "Quantitative studies of protein drug release and biocompatibility of biodegradable polymer drug delivery membranes", Journal of Biomedical Materials Research, 2010 94A (1), 27-37, DOI: 10.1002/jbm.a.32654.
4. S. A. Burns, P. L. Valint, Jr. and J. A. Gardella, Jr., "Determination of Critical Micelle Concentration of Aerosol-OT Using Time- of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry Fragmentation Ion Patterns", Langmuir, 2009, 25(19),11244-11249.DOI: 10.1021/la902343r.
5. D. D. Wells, H. K. Moon and J. A. Gardella, Jr. ""Time of flight secondary ion mass spectrometric determination of molecular weight distributions of low polydispersity poly (dimethyl siloxane) with polyatomic primary ions", J. American Society of Mass Spectrometry, 2009, 20, 1562-1566.
6. Jinxiang Yu, Christine M. Mahoney, Albert J. Fahey, Wesley L. Hicks, Jr., Robert Hard, Frank V. Bright, and Joseph A. Gardella, Jr., "Phase Separation at the Surface of Poly(ethylene oxide)-Containing Biodegradable Poly(L-lactic acid) Blends", Langmuir, 2009, 25(19), 11467-11471. DOI: 10.1021/la901239v.
7. T. M. Milillo and J. A. Gardella, Jr., "Spatial Analysis of Time of Flight -Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometric Images by Ordinary Kriging and Inverse Distance Weighted Interpolation Techniques", Analytical Chemistry, 2008, 80, 4896-4905.
8. L. Chen, D. J. Hook, P. L. Valint, Jr. and Joseph A. Gardella, Jr. "X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy studies of water-induced surface reorganization of amphiphilic poly (2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate-g-dimethylsiloxane) copolymers using cryogenic sample handling techniques", J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A 2008 26(4), 616-23.
9. R. M. Goacher, H. Luo and J. A. Gardella, Jr., "Formation of High Mass Cluster Ions from Compound Semiconductors Using Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry with Cluster Primary Ions", Analytical Chemistry, 2008 80, 3261-3269.
10. Joseph A. Gardella Jr., Heather M. Maciejewski and Mara B. Huber, "Service Learning in urban, high needs schools: Building from science education to the University at Buffalo/Buffalo Public Schools Partnership", Chapter 9 in Civic Service: Service Learning with Government Partners, David Redlawsk and Thomas Rice, Editors, Jossey Bass, 2009, pp. 98-122.