Vadose Zone Hydrology

Vadose zone hydrology deals with hydrological processes in the vadose zone, the zone between the soil surface and the groundwater table. Our research covers water flow in soils and segments, water conservation in dryland agriculture, transport and leaching of nutrients and contaminants, transport of inorganic particles ans pathogens. We also investigate spatial and temporal distribution of water in soils and how to measure and quanitify water in soils.


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David Brown

My research group measures, models and explains the spatial variability of soil properties and processes with applications to precision agriculture and phenomics. We make extensive use of GIS, remote sensing, digital terrain modeling, spatial statistics, and soil sensors.


Colin Campbell, Decagon Devices

My current research focuses on water availability to plant processes in the soil/plant/atmosphere and its role in plant species progression and dormancy along with water conservation. Paramount to this effort is the conversion of sensor measurements to actionable information, so these projects include interdisciplinary collaboration between ecology, agriculture, environmental biophysics, and bioinformatics. The goal of this work is to provide stakeholders with better understanding upon which to base critical environmental decision-making.


Doug Cobos, Decagon Devices

Through my “day job” at Decagon Devices, my research is primarily applied instrumentation development to improve biophysical observations. But, I sometimes get the chance to use those instruments to conduct basic research on biophysical interactions in the soil-plan t-atmosphere continuum.

Flury 2012

Markus Flury

Dr. Flury’s research interest is in the area of flow and transport in porous media, particularly in the vadose zone. Specific areas include: (1) Characterization of water flow and solute transport in the vadose zone, (2) colloid and colloid-facilitated contaminant transport through the vadose zone, (3) soil physical instrumentation and their applications, (4) sustainable use of soil resources.

James Harsh

My research group is concerned with the soil-plant-microbial interface. We are studying how microorganisms on mineral and root surfaces enhance the weathering of minerals and supply of nutrients to living organisms while inhibiting denudation of the soil. We are also looking at how composts can be designed for use as components in soil remediation and stormwater filtering to sequester toxic metals and metalloids.


William Schillinger

My cropping systems research and extension program is mainly focused in low-precipitation (less than 12 inch annual) farming areas. Research interests include: best management practices to reduce wind erosion, increased cropping intensity, alternative crops, and water use efficiency in cropping systems.

Zhenqing Shi

Dr. Zhenqing Shi is an adjunct faculty at CSS and now is a professor at the South China University of Technology in Guangzhou, China. His current research focuses on the interactions of heavy metals with soil and soil components with both theoretical and experimental approaches.