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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Biochar co-compost improves nitrogen retention and reduces carbon emissions in a winter wheat...

Gao, S. et al.
GCB-Bioenergy, 2023

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How does soil structure affect water infiltration? A meta-data systematic review

Basset, C. et al.
Soil & Tillage Res., 2023

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Forward & inverse modeling of water flow in unsaturated soils with discontinuous hydraulic conduc....

Bandai, T & Ghezzehei, T.A.
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 2022

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Artificial soils reveal individual factor controls on microbial processes.

Del Valle, I. et al.
mSystems, 2022

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Dairy Manure Co-composting with Wood Biochar Plays a Critical Role in Meeting Global Methane Goals

Harrison, B.P. et al.
Env. Sci. & Tech.,

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

Araya, S.A. et al.

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Confronting the water potential information gap.

Novik, K.A. et al.
Nature Geoscience,

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Synergy between compost & cover crops in a Mediterranean row crop system leads to increased subsoil...

Rath, D. et al.

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

Mitchell, J.P. et al.
California Agriculture,

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Intercropping with Guiera senegalensis in a semi-arid area to mitigate early-season abiotic stress...

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

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

Bright, MBH, et al.
Agricul., Ecosys. & Env.,

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Advances in soil moisture retrieval from multispectral remote sensing using unoccupied aircraft systems...

Araya, S.A., et al.
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci.,,

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Physics-informed neural networks with monotocnicity constraints for Richardson-Richards equation...

Bandai, T. & T.A. Ghezzehei
Water Resour. Res.,

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Root uptake under mismatched distributions of water and nutrients in the root zone.

Yan, J. et al.

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Modeling Near-surface Water Redistribution in a Desert Soil.

Luo, Y. et al.
Vadose Zone Journal,

Updates & News

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May 12, 2023

Touyee Thao earned PhD

Celebrating Dr. Touyee Thao's remarkable PhD completion and his upcoming role as a USDA Research Scientist. Proud of his achievements and wishing him continued success!

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December 16, 2022

Hooding of Toshi & Manisha

Dr. Toshiyuki Bandai and Dr. Manisha Dolui successfully graduate with PhDs and move on to postdoctoral positions. Congratulations to both on their remarkable achievements!

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December 05, 2022

Toshi defended his dissertation.

Today, Toshiyuki Bandai accomplished a significant milestone by successfully defending his PhD dissertation. Congratulations, Toshi, on a remarkable achievement!

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December 02, 2022

Manisha defended her dissertation

Manisha Dolui, who was advised by Prof. Asmeret Asefaw Berhe until May 2022, successfuly defended her Ph.D. dissertation. Congratulations Dr. Dolui.

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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 290 Nano Fabrication

This course will provide a survey of top-down and bottom-up techniques to fabricate nanoscale structures and devices, including but not limited to optical and electron lithography, nano imprinting, physical and chemical vapor deposition, and self-assembly. State-of-the-art methods for the characterization of fabricated structures and devices will also be introduced, including electron and scanning probe microscopy approaches.


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).