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David J. Brown

David Brown
Associate Professor of Soil Science

405 Johnson Hall
PO Box 646420
Pullman, WA  99164-6420 USA
Phone 509-335-1859
FAX 509-335-8674

Curriculum Vitae (pdf)


PhD/MS Soil Science/Biometry, University of Wisconsin–Madison, 2002
MS Geography, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, 1997
BS/BA Electrical Engineering/Rhetoric, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 1988

Research Interests

My research group is focused on measuring, modeling and explaining the spatial variability of soil properties and processes at hillslope to regional scales.  In pursuing this research, we make extensive use of digital terrain modeling, optical remote sensing, spatial statistics, and proximal soil sensing techniques (e.g. VisNIR spectroscopy).

Current Projects

My general interests lie in precision agriculture, proximal soil and crop sensing, soil biogeochemistry, and spatial statistics. Specific projects include:

  • Site-Specific Climate-Friendly Farming (Project Director for a large, multi-institution, collaborative project funded by USDA-NIFA, 2011-2016)
  • Soil dimensions of field phenomics (pilot project with WSU wheat breeders)
  • Precision orchard management (working to obtain support)


My instructional responsibilities include: (1) an undergraduate course on world agricultural systems (SoilS/CropS 360) taught every fall; (2) a graduate-level Environmental Spatial Statistics course (SOILS/STAT 508) taught every spring.

Selected Publications (since 2010)

Piaskowski, J.L., D.J. Brown,  and K.G. Campbell. 2015. Soluble stem carbohydrates in spring wheat: NIR calibration and prediction of drought response. Agronomy Journal. (In Press)

Gasch, C., T. Hengl, B. Gräler, H. Meyer, T. Magney, and D.J. Brown. Spatio-temporal interpolation of soil moisture, temperature, and electrical conductivity in 3D+T: the Cook Farm data set. Spatial Statistics (In Press). doi:10.1016/j.spasta.2015.04.001

Poggio, M., D.J. Brown*, and R.S. Bricklemyer. 2015. Development and testing of a VisNIR penetrometer for in situ soil characterization. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture,115:12-20. DOI:10.1016/j.compag.2015.05.002

Bruner, E.A., P.A. Okubara, R. Abi-Ghanem, D.J. Brown, and C.L. Reardon. Use of pressure cycling technology for cell lysis and recovery of bacterial and fungal communities from soil. BioTechniques 58(4): 171-U123. DOI: 10.2144/000114273

Nocita, M., A. Stevens, B. van Wesemael, M. Aitkenhead, M. Bachmann, B. Barth, E. Ben Dor, D.J. Brown, M. Clairotte, A. Csorba, P. Dardenne, J.A.M. Demattê, V. Genoty, C. Guerrero, M. Knadel, L. Montanarella, C. Noonx, L. Ramirez-Lopez, J. Robertson, H. Sakai, J.M. Soriano-Disla, K.D. Shepherd, B. Stenberg, E.K. Towett, R. Varga, and J. Wetterlind. 2015. Soil Spectroscopy: An Alternative to Wet Chemistry for Soil Monitoring. Advances in Agronomy, 132:139-159. DOI:10.1016/bs.agron.2015.02.002

Lugumira, J.S., D.J. Brown*, P.E. Dennison, M.K. Hansen, and L.A. Vierling. 2014. Delineating dambo catenary soil-landscape units using aerial gamma-ray and terrain data: a comparison of classification approaches. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 35(24): 8272-8294. DOI:10.1080/01431161.2014.979302

Totman, M.E., M.E. Swanson, T.M Rodgers, P.A. McDaniel, R.A. Rupp, and D.J. Brown. 2014. Soil organic carbon stocks in the forests of Mount Rainier National Park, Washington USA. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 78: S270-S280. doi: 10.2136/sssaj2013.08.0374nafsc

Bricklemyer, R.S., D.J. Brown*, P.J. Turk, and S.M. Clegg. 2013. Improved intact soil core carbon determination applying regression shrinkage and variable selection techniques to complete-spectrum laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS). Applied Spectroscopy, 67(10): 1185-1199.

Bricklemyer, R.S., D.J. Brown*, J. Barefield, and S.M. Clegg. 2011.  Intact soil core total, inorganic and organic carbon measurement using laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS). Soil Sci. Soc. of Am. J., 75(3): 1006-1018.

Ge, Yufeng, C.L.S. Morgan, S. Grunwald, and D.J. Brown. 2011.  Comparison of Soil Reflectance Spectra and Calibration Models Obtained Using Multiple Spectrometers, Geoderma, 161(3-4): 202-211.

Brown, D. J. *, E.R. Hunt, R.C. Izaurralde, K.H. Paustian, C.W. Rice, B.L. Schumaker, and T.O. West. 2010. Soil Organic Carbon Change Monitored Over Large Areas. EOS, 91(47): 441-442.

Bricklemyer, R.S., and D.J. Brown*. 2010.  On-the-go VisNIR: Potential and limitations for mapping soil clay and organic carbon.  Comput. Electron. Agr., 70(1): 209-216. doi:10.1016/j.compag.2009.10.006


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