Hi, I'm Al Dutcher, and I'm a Extension Agricultural Climatologist with the Nebraska State Climate Office (NSCO) and the School of Natural Resources.
My main research and service interests have to do with crop-climate relationships, soil-moisture monitoring, drought monitoring, climate forecasting, precipitation distributions, and thermal tracking of crop and insect development.
These issues have real-world impacts as follows: temperature sensor changes can affect load function equations used by utilities for billing customers; precipitation distribution (on the landscape) will affect crop stress and yield functions; accurate soil moisture assessment at the beginning of the cropping season can be used to determine the degree of risk for potential drought damage; proper weather station siting will give a more accurate representation of weather conditions; thermal tracking of crop and insect development will allow for more accurate evapotranspiration forecasts and timely insecticide applications.
In the past, I've worked on similar kinds of projects: soil moisture modeling, evapotranspiration modeling, weather broadcasting, drought monitoring, surface weather observation siting, impacts of sensor changes on temperature functions, and impacts of precipitation distributions on crop yields.
I've b the state climatologist since 1991, first as a staff person, and since 2006 as faculty. From 1989 to 1991, I was an operations climatologist with the UNL-based High Plains Regional Climate Center.