Why    What    How

Motivated by the need to sustainably and equitably support a growing world population, we study the physical underpinnings that make the soil a habitable environment. Our research blends fundamental environmental and soil physics with agroecological and environmental applications. Inclusivity and equity are the basis for the topics we study, how we treat one another, and how we engage with our community.

Recent Publications

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Long-Term Impact of Cover Crop and Reduced Disturbance Tillage on Soil Pore Size and Soil Water Storage

Araya, S.A. et al.
SOIL, 8, 177–198, 2022

Published on March 17, 2022

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Confronting the water potential information gap

Novik, K.A. et al.
Nature Geoscience, 15, 158-164, 2022

Published on March 11, 2022

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Synergy between compost and cover crops in a Mediterranean row crop system leads to increased subsoil carbon storage

Rath, D. et al.
SOIL, 8, 59–83, 2022

Published on January 20, 2022

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No-tillage sorghum and garbanzo yields match or exceed standard tillage yields

Mitchell, J.P. et al.
California Agriculture, 75(3), 112–120, 2022

Published on January 06, 2022

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Intercropping with Guiera senegalensis in a semi-arid area to mitigate early-season abiotic stress in A. hypogea and P. glaucum

Bayala, R. et al.
J. Agronomy & Crop Sci., 2021

Published on November 03, 2021

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An overlooked local resource--Shrub-intercropping for food production, drought resistance and ecosystem restoration in the Sahel.

Bright, MBH, et al.
Agricul., Ecosys. & Env., 319, 107523, 2021

Published on October 26, 2021

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Advances in soil moisture retrieval from multispectral remote sensing using unoccupied aircraft systems and machine learning techniques.

Araya, S.A., et al.
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci.,, 25, 2739–2758, 2021

Published on May 25, 2021

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Physics-informed neural networks with monotocnicity constraints for Richardson-Richards equation--Estimation of constitutive relationships and soil water flux density from volumetric water content measurements.

Bandai, T. and T.A. Ghezzehei
Water Resources Research, 57(2), e2020WR027642, 2021.

Published on February 01, 2021

Full List of Publications

Updates & News

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January 01, 2022

Nitrogen Management Grant

New grant from California Dept. of Agriculture, Fertilizer Research & Education Program to test a novel nitrogen management strategy at Kearney Fied Station.

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November 08, 2021

Our lab at 2021 SSSA Meeting

Toshi and Yulissa represented our lab and presented their research results at the Soil Science Society of America Annual Meeting, in Salk Lake City.

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October 06, 2021

New USDA Water Grant

Our lab is part of a new grant for securing a climate resilient water future for agriculture & ecosystems through innovations in measurement, management & markets.

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September 20, 2021

NSF Training Grant

New training grant on Convergence of Nano-engineered Devices for Environmental and Sustainable Applications

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August 10, 2021


Our Boosting Representation of African-Americans in the Geosciences (BRAAG) proposal funded

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March 26, 2021

UFWH Best Poster Award

Touyee Thao's poster at the 2021 Universities Fighting World Hungder Symposium UFWH2021 was selected as one of four best posters.

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Areas of Interest

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Flow & Transport

Dynamic soil properties, such aggregation and disaggregation cycles and tilagge, and associated effects on flow and tranport in soils.

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Machine Learning & AI

Physics-informed Neural Networks for modeling soil water dynamics and application of Machine Learning in soil and environmental problems.

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Physical factors that control biogeochemical processes including effects of soil structure and wetting-drying cycles on soil respiration.

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Conservation tillage, inter-cropping of native shrubs and food crops, and applications of organic amendments on water and nutrient use efficiency.


ESS 110 Hydrology & Climate

Basics of the hydrological cycle and the global climate system. Fundamentals of surface water hydrology, hydrometeorology, evaporation, precipitation, statistical and probabilistic methods, unit hydrograph and flood routing.


ESS 112 Subsurface Hydrology

Hydrologic and geologic factors controlling the occurrence and use of groundwater on regional and local scales. Physical, mathematical, geologic and engineering concepts fundamental to subsurface hydrologic processes. Introduction to ground-water flow and transport modeling, with emphasis on model construction and simulation.


ES 228 Environmental Modeling

An advanced study of modeling environmental sciences. The first half of the course a survey of common modeling approaches of environmental phenomena. In the second half, student work on individual projects that involve modeling environmental systems or processes. Often students work on problems related to their thesis/dissertation area. (Graduate Only).


For Prospective Students

Like what you see here? We would love to hear from you if you have interest to join our lab as a student or to collaborate with us. You can find out about admission and degree requirements and offerings by visiting the websites of the Graduate Division and Environmental Systems Graduate Program (links are below).