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Research

I am an agronomist, a scientist who develops and evaluates cropping systems used to produce plants that provide humans with food, fiber, fuel, and feed for livestock. This work requires knowledge of crop physiology and breeding, soil, weather and climate, and ecology. There are many interesting challenges ahead in the field of agronomy, and I'm pleased that our department is moving forward to address them.

My specific expertise is in agricultural meteorology, which can be roughly defined as the study of how cropping systems are affected by weather and climate, and how cropping systems themselves affect weather and climate.

My research group uses microwave remote sensing, other remote sensing techniques, in situ measurements, and mathematical models to learn about the movement of water and energy among the soil, crops, and the atmosphere. Currently we are using the observations recorded by two microwave remote sensing satellites, the European Space Agency's Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) and NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP), to monitor liquid water stored in soil ("soil moisture") and vegetation ("crop water") in the U.S. Corn Belt.

 

Satellites looking down on Iowa cropland.