Water for Food

Water for Food to host seminar on monitoring water use and drought using multi-satellite imaging


Chris Hain


Lincoln, Nebraska, July 9, 2015—The Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska will host “Monitoring Water Use and Drought Using Multi-Satellite Imaging,” at 1:30 p.m., July 10 at Hardin Hall auditorium on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln East Campus. The seminar is free and open to the public.

The seminar will be presented by:
Martha Anderson, research physical scientist, Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory, USDA-Agricultural Research Service
Christopher Hain, assistant research scientist, Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, University of Maryland

Dr. Martha Anderson is a research physical scientist for the USDA-Agricultural Research Service in the Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory in Beltsville, Md. She received her Ph.D. in astrophysics from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis in 1993, with a dissertation on cosmic-ray acceleration in galactic supernova remnants. Her interests in environmental issues then steered her toward postgraduate research in Earth observation using satellites, and led her to international collaborations in monitoring water resources around the world. Her research interests focus on mapping water, energy and carbon-using observations from space-based sensors. She served as a member of the Landsat Science Team from 2006 to 2011, and recently co-edited a book, Remote Sensing of Drought: Innovative Monitoring Approaches. Dr. Anderson developed a remote-sensing algorithm (ALEXI) that predicts partitioning in the surface energy budget based on time-changes in surface temperature, which is currently being applied daily over the continental U.S. using GOES imagery. An ancillary technique (DisALEXI) disaggregates regional flux estimates to finer spatial scales using high-resolution surface temperature and vegetation cover data. Developed the remote sensing-based Evaporative Stress Index (ESI) reflecting standardized anomalies in actual-to-potential evapotranspiration (http://hrsl.ars.usda.gov/drought). Current interests are in exploring means by which multi-scale satellite imagery can be combined effectively to map drought and evapotranspiration at local to continental scales.

Dr. Christopher Hain is an assistant research scientist for the Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center (ESSIC) at the University of Maryland, College Park. He received his B.S. in meteorology from Millersville University in 2004 and his M.S. and Ph.D in atmospheric science from the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 2007 and 2009. He is also currently a visiting scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) in College Park, Md. His research interests include thermal infrared remote sensing with applications in surface energy balance modeling, soil moisture retrieval, hydrologic data assimilation and drought monitoring. He has played a significant role in the development of the Atmosphere Land Exchange Inverse (ALEXI) model in ongoing collaboration with scientists at the USDA-ARS Hydrology and Remote Sensing Lab. ALEXI is currently used to monitor continental evapotranspiration, soil moisture and drought. He also actively works on finding synergistic relationships between soil moisture retrievals from thermal infrared and microwave methods, while showing the benefit of these two soil moisture methodologies in an EnKF dual data assimilation framework. Dr. Hain actively collaborates with a number of national and international scientists in the field of hydrology, land-surface interactions and water resources.


The Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska was founded in 2010 by the Robert B. Daugherty Charitable Foundation to address the global challenge of achieving food security with less stress on water resources through improved water management in agricultural and food systems. We are committed to ensuring a water and food secure world while maintaining the use of water for other human and environmental needs.

The University of Nebraska has invested in four interdisciplinary, university-wide institutes — including the Water for Food Institute — that leverage talent and research-based expertise from across the University of Nebraska system to focus on complex state, national and global challenges.

Learn more at waterforfood.nebraska.edu.

Writer: Dana Ludvik

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