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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

WALTER J. RAWLS

Supervisory Hydrologist

Dr. Walter Rawls, Research Leader
Research Hydrologist

Walter Rawls, Ph.D.
USDA-ARS (retired)

Bldg. 007, Rm. 104, BARC-West
Beltsville, MD 20705-2350 USA
Voice: (301) 504-7490
Fax: (301) 504-8931
walterrawls@hughes.net



Research Interests:

  • Development of methods and concepts for estimating soil water properties and Green-Ampt infiltration parameters based on readily available soil, climate and agronomic information.
  • Utilizing fractal principles to describe macropores and to predict the hydraulic conductivity based on soil properties.
  • Scaling soil hydraulic properties for use in hydrology and precision farming.


Education:

  • 1966 B.S. (Civil Engineering) Virginia Polytechnic Institute of Technology
  • 1968 M.S. (Civil Engineering) Virginia Polytechnic Institute of Technology
  • 1976 Ph.D. (major, Hydrology, minor, Water Resources) Georgia Institute of Technology

Professional Experience:

  • 1966-1967: Virginia Polytechnic Institute of Technology; Research Assistant
  • 1969: USDA-ARS, Tifton, GA; Hydraulic Engineer
  • 1971-1974: USDA-ARS, Boise, ID; Hydrologist
  • 1975-1976: USDA-ARS, Beltsville, MD; National Program Staff
  • 1976-Present: USDA-ARS, Beltsville, MD; Hydrologist

Awards:

  • 1976: American Geophysical Union ROBERT E. HORTON Award.
  • 1990: USDA Unit Award for Superior Service, for development of new generation of erosion technology.
  • 1997: American Society of Agricultural Engineers Hancor Soil and Water Engineering Award.
  • 2001: Fellow in the American Society of Agricultural Engineers.
  • 2004: Fellow in American Society of Agronomy.


Professional Service:

  • USDA representative, U.S. National Committee on Scientific Hydrology.
  • U.S. representative on the International Hydrologic Program (UNESCO) work group which developed urban hydrology standards for developing countries.
  • Served on numerous professional committees for the American Society of Civil Engineers and American Society of Agricultural Engineers.
  • USDA Agricultural Research Service representative on the Vice President Al Gore's Clean Water Act Initiative; and co chaired the watershed workgroup. This work resulted in the Clean Water Action Plan that was released by President Clinton in 2000. (1999-2000)
  • Associate Editor, Applied Engineering in Agriculture. (1994-1996)
  • Associate Editor Transactions of the American Society of Agricultural engineers. (1988 - 1994)
  • ARS representative to the U.S. Water Resources Council, Hydrology Committee which set flood frequency estimation standards for the U.S. (1976-1981)
  • ARS representative on the Hydrology Subcommittee and Interagency Committee on Water Data. (1975-1987)


Selected Publications:(please contact the author to determine reprint availability)

( view author's publications/interpretive summaries/technical abstracts since 1999)

Jeppson, R. W., W. J. Rawls, W. R. Hamon, and D. L. Schreiber. 1975. Use of axisymmetric infiltration model and field data to determine hydraulic properties of soils. Water Resources Research, 11(1):127 138.

Brakensiek, D. L., H. B. Osborn, and W. J. Rawls. 1979. (Editors and Coordinators). Field manual for research in agricultural hydrology. USDA Agricultural Handbook 224, Revised, 547 pp. February 1979.

Rawls, W. J., D. L. Brakensiek and K. E. Saxton. 1982. Estimation of soil water properties. Trans. Amer. Soc. of Agric. Engin. 25(5):1316 1320, 1328.

Rawls, W. J. and D. L. Brakensiek. 1982. Estimating soil water retention from soil properties. Amer. Soc. of Civil Engin., J. of Irrig. and Drain. 108(IR2): 166 171.

Rawls, W. J., D. L. Brakensiek, and B. Soni. 1983. Agricultural management effects of soil water processes: Part I - Soil water retention and Green ampt infiltration parameters. Trans., Amer. Soc. of Agric. Engin. 26(6): 1752 1753.

Rawls, W. J., D. L. Brakensiek, and M. R. Savabi. 1989. Infiltration parameter for rangeland soils. J. Rangeland Management. 42(2) 139 142.

Rawls, W. J. and D. L. Brakensiek. 1989. Estimation of soil retention and hydraulic properties. Book chapter in Unsaturated Flow in Hydrologic Modeling, edited by Morel-Seytoux. p275-300.

Rawls, W. J., J. J. Stone and D. L. Brakensiek. 1989. Chapter 4 Infiltration. USDA Water erosion prediction project model documentation. NSREL Report #2, National Soil Erosion Laboratory, W. Lafayette, IN. p 4.1-4.12.

Rawls, W. J., T. J. Gish and D. L. Brakensiek. 1991. Estimation of soil water retention from soil properties - a review. Advances in Soil Sciences 16:213-235.

Rawls, W. J., J. R. Ahuja and D. L. Brakensiek. 1992. Estimating soil hydraulic properties from soils data. Workshop on Indirect Methods for Estimating the Hydraulic Properties of Unsaturated Soils, Riverside, CA, Proceedings p. 329-341.

Rawls, W. J., L. R. Ahuja, D. L. Brakensiek and A. Shirmohammadi. 1992. Chapter 5. Soil water movement and infiltration. Handbook of Hydrology. Editor D. R. Maidment. McGraw Hill.

Brakensiek, D. L. , W. J. Rawls, S. D. Logsdon and W. M. Edwards. 1992. Fractal description of macroporosity. Soil Sci. Soc. Amer. J. 56:1721-1723.

Rawls, W. J., D. L. Brakensiek, and S. D. Logsdon. 1993. Predicting saturated hydraulic conductivity utilizing fractal principles. Soil Sci. Soc. Amer. J. 57:1193-1197.

Rawls, W. J. and D. L. Brakensiek. 1995. Utilizing fractal principles for predicting soil hydraulic properties. J. Soil & Water Conservation 50(5):463-466.

Rawls, W. J. (ed & coordinator). 1996. Chapter on Infiltration. Hydrology Handbook. ASCE Manuals and Reports on Engineering Practice No. 28.

Rawls, W. J., D. L. Brakensiek and S. D. Logsdon. 1996. Estimation of Macropore Properties for No Till Soils. Transactions ASAE. 39(1):91-95.

Giménez, D. Perfect, E., Rawls, W.J. and Pachepsky, Ya. A. 1997. Fractal models for predicting soil hydraulic properties: a review. Engineering Geology 48: 161-183.

Rawls, W.J., Goldman, D., Van Mullen, J.A. and Ward, T.J. 1997. Infiltration, Chap. 3, pp. 75-124. In: Hydrology Handbook, ASCE Manuals and Reports on Engineering Practice No. 28, second edition, ASCE, New York, NY. (Book Chapter)

Rawls, W. J., Giménez, D. and Grossman, R. 1998. Use of soil texture, bulk density, and the slope of the water retention curve to predict saturated hydraulic conductivity. Transactions American Society of Agricultural Engineers 41(4):983-988.

Crawford, J. W., Rawls, W. J. and Pachepsky, Ya. A. 1998. Integrating processes in soils using fractal models. Geoderma, 88:103-109.

Ahuja, L. R., Rawls, W. J. and Nielson, D. 1999. Chapter - Determining soil hydraulic properties and their field variability from simpiler measurements. Soil Sci. Soc. Amer. Irrigation Monograph, #90. Chapter 38: 1207-1235.

Giménez, D., W. J. Rawls, Ya.A. Pachepsky and J. P. C. Watt. 2000. Prediction of the pore size distribution factor from soil textural and structural parameters. Soil Science 166(2): 79-88.

Pachepsky, Ya. A., A.D. Benson and W. J. Rawls. 2000. Simulating scale dependent solute transport in soils with the fractional advective-disperson equation. Soil Science Society of America Journal 6: 671-678.

Pachepsky, Ya. A., Timlin, D. J. and W. J. Rawls. 2001. Soil water retention as related to topographic variables. Soil Science Society of America Journal 65(6): 1787-1795.

Pachepsky, Ya. A., W. J. Rawls and D. Giménez.. 2001. Soil water retention as affected by scale comparison of field and laboratory data. Soil Science Society of America Journal 65(2): 460-462.

Rawls, W. J. Infiltration properties. 2002 In Encyclopedia of Soil Science. Rattan Lal, Ed. Marcel Decker pp. 689-692.

Rawls, W. J. and Ya. A. Pachepsky. 2002. Using Field Topographic Descriptors to Estimate Soil Water Retention, Soil Science, vol. 167, no. 6. pp. 423-435.

Rawls, W.J., J. C. Ritchie, Ya. A. Pachepsky, T. M. Sobecki and H. Bloodwort. 2003. Effect of Soil Organic Carbon on Soil Water Retention. Geoderma, 116: 61-76.

Tomasella, J, Ya. A. Pachepsky, S. Crestana and W. J. Rawls. 2003. Comparison of two approximation techniques to develop pedotransfer functions of water retention of Brazilian soils. Soil Science Society of America J. 67: 1085-1092.

Rawls, W. J., A Nemes, and Y. A. Pachepsky. 2004 Effect of soil organic carbon on soil hydraulic . properties. in Development of pedotransfer functions in soil hydrology Elsevier Development in Soil science vol. 30. . chapter 6 pp. 95-111.

Nemes, A. and W. J. Rawls. 2004. Soil texture and particle-size distribution as input to the estimation of soil hydraulic properties. in Development of pedotransfer functions in soil hydrology Elsevier Development in Soil science vol. 30- chapter 4 pp. 47-64

Rawls, W. J. Pedotransfer functions for the United States. 2004. Chapter in Development of pedotransfer functions in soil hydrology. in Development of pedotransfer functions in soil hydrology. Elsevier Development in Soil science vol. 30. chapter 23 pp. 437-446.



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Last Modified: 3/15/2010