Thomas J. Jackson is a research hydrologist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service Hydrology and Remote Sensing Lab in Beltsville, Maryland. He received a Ph.D. degree from the University of Maryland in 1976 in Civil Engineering and joined ARS in 1977.
His research involves the application and development of remote sensing technology in hydrology and agriculture. His current research focuses on the use of passive microwave techniques in hydrology, in particular the global mapping of soil moisture. These studies have ranged from small-scale controlled condition field experiments utilizing truck-mounted radiometers, to large scale multi temporal aircraft mapping, and most recently satellite investigations. These investigations contributed to the design of a soil moisture satellite that was recently approved for launch by NASA later this decade.
Dr. Jackson is a principal investigator for projects sponsored by nearly every nation with an Earth satellite program. These include the Japanese National Aerospace Development Agency, Canadian Space Agency, European Space Agency, Indian Space Research Organization, and several NASA programs.
He has received three awards for outstanding papers, been named the ARS Engineer of the Year and in 2002 was the ARS Distinguished Scientist of the Year. In 2003 he received the Department of Agriculture's Plow Honor Award for Maintaining and Enhancing the Nation's Natural Resources and Environment. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and currently serves on the Administrative Committee of the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society. He is also a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and recently received the AGU Hydrology Award for his contributions to the remote sensing of soil moisture.