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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Douglas J. Hunsaker (Doug)

Acting Research Leader


Water Management and Conservation Research Unit

USDA-ARS-U.S. Arid-Land Agricultural Research Center



Douglas J. Hunsaker (Doug)

Arid-Land Agricultural Research Center

21881 North Cardon Lane

Maricopa, AZ 85238


fax 520-316-6330


Agricultural Engineer



PhD, Irrigation Engineering, University of Arizona, 1995

MS, Agricultural Engineering, Oregon State University, 1984

BS, Agricultural Engineering, Oregon State University, 1982


Research Interests:

Primary research focus is on crop evapotranspiration monitoring and irrigation management for increased water use efficiency in irrigated agriculture. Past research has been on 1) spatial variability effects of soil/irrigation on crop water use and yield, 2) design and management for applying light, frequent level basin irrigation, 3) effects of carbon dioxide enrichment on crop evapotranspiration and yield, and 4) nitrogen fertigation management for surface irrigation systems. Additional past research includes development of crop water requirements and crop coefficients for southwestern U.S. crops, including alternative crops such as lesquerella.


Current research will focus on developing near-real time irrigation scheduling methods utilizing remote sensing for assessing spatially distributed basal crop and water stress coefficients and crop evapotranspiration.


Research Projects:

Remote Sensing for Crop and Water Management in Irrigated Agriculture



Key Publications (last 10 years):

Hunsaker, D.J., P.J. Pinter, Jr., T.R. Clarke, G.J. Fitzgerald, and A.N. French. 2006. Performance of crop coefficients inferred from NDVI observations for estimating evapotranspiration and irrigation scheduling of wheat. In: World Environmental and Water Resources Congress, Omaha, NE, May 21-25, 2006.

Hunsaker, D.J., E.M. Barnes, T.R. Clarke, G.J. Fitzgerald, and P.J. Pinter, Jr. 2005. Cotton irrigation scheduling using remotely sensed and FAO-56 Basal Crop Coefficients. Transactions of the ASAE 48(4):1395-1407.

Adamsen, F. J., D. J. Hunsaker, and H. Perea. 2005. Border strip fertigation: Effect of injection strategies on distribution of bromide. Transactions of the ASAE 48(2):529-540.

French, A.N., G. Fitzgerald, D. Hunsaker, E. Barnes, T. Clarke, S. Lesch, R. Roth, and P. Pinter, Jr. Estimating spatially distributed cotton water use from thermal infrared imagery. 2005. In: World Water and Environmental Resources Congress, Anchorage, AK, May 15-19, 2005.

Hunsaker, D.J., P.J. Pinter Jr., and B.A. Kimball. 2005. Wheat basal crop coefficients determined by normalized difference vegetation index. Irrigation Science 24(1):1-14.

Fitzgerald, G.J., Pinter, P.J., Hunsaker, D.J., Clarke, T.J. 2005. Multiple shadow fractions in spectral mixture analysis of a cotton canopy. Remote Sensing of Environment, 97:526-539.

Hunsaker, D.J., P.J. Pinter Jr., E.M. Barnes, and B.A. Kimball. 2003. Estimating cotton evapotranspiration crop coefficients with a multispectral vegetation index. Irrigation Science 22(2):95-104.

Barnes, E.M., and Hunsaker. D.J. 2003. Irrigation Water Requirements, pp. 549-551. In: Heldman, D.R. (ed.), Encyclopedia of Agriculture, Food, and Biological Engineering, Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York, 1184 p.

Zerihun, D., C. A. Sanchez, K. L. Farrell-Poe, F. J. Adamsen, and D. J. Hunsaker. 2003. Performance indices for surface N-fertigation. Irrigation and Drainage Engineering 129(3):173-183.

Hunsaker, D.J., P.J. Pinter Jr., G.J. Fitzgerald, T.R. Clarke, B.A. Kimball, and E.M. Barnes. 2003. Tracking spatial and temporal cotton ET patterns with a normalized difference vegetation index. In: Irrigation Association Tech. Conf., San Diego CA, Nov. 18-20, 2003, p. 126-137.

Fitzgerald, G.J., D.J. Hunsaker, E.M. Barnes, S.M. Lesch, T.R. Clarke, R. Roth, and P.J. Pinter Jr. 2003. Estimating cotton water use from multispectral aerial imagery. In: Irrigation Association Tech. Conf., San Diego CA, Nov. 18-20, 2003, p. 138-148.

Abbasi, F., Simunek, J., van Genuchten, M.Th., Feyen, J., Adamsen, F.J., Hunsaker, D.J., Strelkoff, T.S., and Shouse, P. 2003. Overland water flow and solute transport: model development and field-data analysis. J. Irrig. and Drain. Eng., ASCE 129(2):71-81.

Abbasi, F., Adamsen, F.J., Hunsaker, D.J., Feyen, J., Shouse, P. and van Genuchten, M.Th. 2003. Effects of water depth on water flow and solute transport in furrow irrigation: Field data analysis. J. Irrig. and Drain. Eng., ASCE 129(4):237-246.

Hunsaker, D.J., P.J. Pinter Jr., and H. Cai. 2002. Alfalfa basal crop coefficients for FAO-56 procedures in the desert regions of the southwestern U.S. Transactions of the ASAE 45(6): 1799-1815.

Rice, R.C., Hunsaker, D.J., Adamsen, F.J., and Clemmens, A.J. 2001. Irrigation nitrate movement evaluation in conventional and alternative furrow irrigated cotton. Trans. ASAE.

Hunsaker, D.J. Kimball, B.A., Pinter Jr., P.J., Wall, G.W., LaMorte, R.L., Adamsen, F.J., Leavitt, S.W., Thompson, T.L., Matthias, A.D., and Brooks, T.J. 2000. CO2 enrichment and soil nitrogen effects on wheat evapotranspiration and water use efficiency. Agric.& Forest Meteorol. 104: 85-105.

Nakayma, F.S., Hunsaker, D.J., and Nelson, J.H. 2000. Water management of new crops for commercialization in arid environments. J. of Arid Land Studies 10:61-64.

Martin, E.C., Hunsaker, D.J., Barnes, E.M. and Waller, P.M. 2000. Growing crops in the desert. Resource Magazine, 7(11):7-8.

Hunsaker, D.J. Basal crop coefficients and water use for early maturity cotton. 1999. Trans. ASAE 42(4):927-936.

Grossman-Clarke, S., Kimball, B.A., Hunsaker, D.J., Long, S.P., Garcia, R.L., Kartschall, T., Wall, G.W., Pinter, P.J., Jr., Weschsung, F. and LaMorte, R.L. 1999. Effects of elevated atmospheric CO2 on canopy transpiration in senescent spring wheat. Agric. For. Meteorol. 93:95-109.

Hunsaker, D.J., Clemmens, A.J., and Fangmeier, D.D. 1999. Cultural and irrigation effects on infiltration, soil roughness, and advance in furrowed level basins. Trans. ASAE 42(8):1753-1762.

Hunsaker, D.J., Clemmens, A.J. and Fangmeier, D.D. 1998. Cotton response to high frequency surface irrigation. Agric. Water Mgmt. 37:55-74.

Hunsaker, D.J., Nakayama, F.S., Dierig, D.A. and Alexander, W.L. 1998. Lesquerella seed production: Water requirement and management. Industrial Crops and Products 8:167-182.

Kimball, B.A., Pinter, P.J., Jr., Wall, G.W., Garcia, R.L., Hunsaker, D.J. and LaMorte, R.L. 1997. Effects of elevated CO2 on cotton and wheat as determined from FACE experiments. J. Agric. Meteorol. 52(5):787-796.

Hunsaker, D.J., Kimball, B.A., Pinter, P.J., Jr., LaMorte, R.L. and Wall, G.W. 1996. CO2 enrichment and irrigation effects on wheat evapotranspiration and water use efficiency. Trans. ASAE 39(4)1345-1355.

Pinter, P.J., Jr., Kimball, B.A., Garcia, R.L., Wall, G.W., Hunsaker, D.J. and LaMorte. 1996. Free-air CO2 enrichment: Responses of cotton and wheat crops, pp. 215-249. In Koch, G.W. and Mooney, H.A. (eds.) Carbon Dioxide and Terrestrial Ecosystems, Academic Press, San Diego, 443 p.


Last Modified: 9/19/2007