The effects of increasing water constraint on vegetation growth: Insights from novel remote sensing observations from plot to globe

Department of Hydrology and Atmospher Sciences

4 pm, Thursday, March 11, 2021
Contact the department for zoom details or subscribe to the seminar email list

William Smith
UA Assistant Professor, School of Natural Resources and the Environment


Climate warming is profoundly altering water availability from region to globe and these changes are impacting ecosystem functioning in complex ways, potentially resulting in strong feedbacks to future climate that are currently not well understood. Remote sensing observations present a powerful tool for high spatiotemporal monitoring of ecosystem functioning and vegetation-drought dynamics across spatiotemporal scales. In this talk, I will explore vegetation responses to a changing hydroclimate from plot to globe with a focus on novel remote sensing observations including solar-induced fluorescence, hyperspectral reflectance, and structural traits. Specifically, I will present results from: 1) a UArizona / USDA-ARS long-term, rainfall manipulation initiative; 2) a synthesis of more than 30 eddy flux tower sites distributed across the western US including a gradient of UArizona / USDA-ARS sites; 3) multi-sensor satellite observations at the global scale and spanning the last four decades.


Dr. Bill Smith is a terrestrial ecosystem ecologist with a specialization in multi-scale remote sensing techniques. Bill received his MS in the Graduate Degree Program in Ecology at Colorado State University, his PhD in the Numerical Terradynamic Simulation Group at the University of Montana, and is currently an assistant professor in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Arizona. His lab’s research focuses on understanding the complex responses of the terrestrial biosphere to rising atmospheric CO2, climate, and land-use change across temporal and spatial scales through the integration of remote sensing observations, field network data, and ecosystem process models. He is currently a member of the NASA ABoVE and NASA SMAP Science Teams.