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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Mary Susan. Moran (Susan)


 Dr. M. Susan Moran, Hydrologist

USDA Southwest Watershed Research Center, 2000 E. Allen Rd., Tucson, Az. 85719

Phone: 520-670-6380 X171, email:


Education:        Ph.D., Soil and Water Science, 1990, Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, Az.

                        M.A., Geography, 1982, U.C.S.B., Santa Barbara, Ca.

                        B.A., Geography, 1976, S.D.S.U., San Diego, Ca.



2006-present: Hydrologist, USDA Southwest Watershed Research Center, Tucson, AZ

2000-2005:      Research Leader, USDA Southwest Watershed Research Center, Tucson, Az.

1991-present: Adjunct Professor, U.A. Dept. of Soil, Water and Env. Sci., Tucson, Az.

1984-1999:      Physical Scientist, USDA U.S. Water Conservation Lab., Phoenix, Az.


Research Interest:   Research is concentrated on arid and semiarid regions with a broad focus on the impact of global change on natural resources management and a specialized focus on the application of remote sensing to agricultural research.  


Professional Service:

Fellow: Amer. Society of Agronomy (ASA) & Amer. Assoc. for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

Senior Member: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

Associate Editor: J. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology

Editorial Board: J. Remote Sensing of Environment


Recent Publications(full list and pdf available at


Moran, M.S., R.L. Scott, T.O. Keefer, M. Hernandez, G.S. Nearing, W.E. Emmerich, G.B. Paige, M.H. Cosh and P.E. O’Neill, Partitioning evapotranspiration in semiarid grassland and shrubland ecosystems using time series of soil surface temperature, Agric. For. Meteorol. 149:59-72, doi: 10.1016/j.agrformet.2008.07.004. 2009.

Moran, M.S., B. Hutchinson, S.E. Marsh, M.P. McClaran and A. Olsson, Archiving and distributing three long-term interconnected geospatial data sets, Trans. Geoscience and Remote Sensing 47:59-71. 2009.

Verhoest, N.E.C., H. Lievens, W. Wagner, J. Álvarez-Mozos, M.S. Moran, and F. Mattia, On the soil roughness parameterization problem in soil moisture retrieval of bare surfaces from Synthetic Aperture Radar, Sensors 8:4213-4248; doi: 10.3390/s8074213. 2009.

Moran, M.S., D.C. Peters, M.P. McClaran, M.H. Nichols and M.B. Adams, Long-term data collection at USDA experimental sites for studies of ecohydrology, Ecohydrology 1:377-393. 2008.

Holifield Collins, C.D., W.E. Emmerich, M.S. Moran, M. Hernandez, R.L. Scott, R. Bryant, D.M. King, and C.L. Verdugo, A remote sensing approach for estimating distributed daily net carbon dioxide flux in semiarid grasslands. Water Resour. Research. Vol. 44, W05S17, doi:10.1029/2006WR005699. 2008.

Peters-Lidard, C.D., D.M. Mocko, J.A. Santanello, Jr. M.A. Tischler, M.S. Moran, M.E. Garcia and Y. Wu, The role of precipitation uncertainty for soil property estimation using soil moisture retrievals in a semi-arid environment, Water Resour. Res. Vol. 44, W05S18, doi:10.1029/2007WR005884. 2008.

Thoma, D.P., M.S. Moran, R. Bryant, M.M. Rahman, C.D. Holifield Collins, T.O. Keefer, R. Noriega, I. Osman, S.M. Skirvin, M.A. Tischler, D.D. Bosch, P.J. Starks and C.D. Peters-Lidard, Appropriate scale of soil moisture retrieval from high-resolution radar imagery for bare and minimally vegetated soils, Rem. Sens. Env. 112 :403-414. 2008.

Rahman, M.M., M.S. Moran, D.P. Thoma, R. Bryant, C.D. Holifield Collins, T. Jackson, B. J. Orr and M. Tischler, Mapping surface roughness and soil moisture using multi-angle radar imagery without ancillary data, Rem. Sens. Env. 112:391-402. 2008.

Bryant, R., M.S. Moran, D.P. Thoma, C.D. Holifield-Collins, S. Skirvin, M.M. Rahman, K. Slocum, P. Starks, D. Bosch and   M.P. Gonzalez-Dugo, Measuring surface roughness to parameterize radar backscatter models for retrieval of surface soil moisture, IEEE Geosci. & Rem. Sens. Letters 4:137-141. 2007.

Rahman, M.M., M.S. Moran, D.P. Thoma, R. Bryant, E.E. Sano, C.D. Holifield-Collins, S. Skirvin, C. Kershner and B. J. Orr, A derivation of roughness correlation length for parameterizing radar backscatter models, Intl. J. Rem. Sens. 1-18, doi: 10.1080/01431160601075533. 2007.

Thoma, D.P., M.S. Moran, R. Bryant, M. Rahman, C.D. Holifield-Collins, S. Skirvin, E.E. Sano and K. Slocum, Comparison of four models for determining surface soil moisture from C-band radar imagery, Water Resour. Res. 42:1-12. 2006.

González-Dugo, M.P., L. Mateos, M.S. Moranand R. Bryant, Canopy temperature variability as an indicator of crop water stress severity, J. Irrig. Science 24:233-240. 2006.

Tischler, M., M. Garcia, M.S. Moran, C. Peters-Lidard, S. Miller, D. Goodrich, D. Mocko, D. Thoma, S. Kumar and J. Geiger, A GIS framework for surface-layer soil moisture estimation combining satellite radar measurements and land surface modeling with soil physical property estimation, J. Environ. Modeling and Software 22:891-898. 2006.

Moran, M.S., C.D. Peters-Lidard, J.M. Watts, and S.A. McElroy, Estimating soil moisture at the watershed scale with satellite-based radar and land surface models, Canadian J. Rem. Sens. 30:805-826. 2004.

Last Modified: 12/9/2009