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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Earle R Hunt (Ray)

Research Physical Scientist

photo of Ray Hunt
E. Raymond Hunt, Jr. (Ray), Ph.D.
Research Physical Scientist
USDA-ARS Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory
Bldg. 007, Rm. 104, BARC-West
Beltsville, MD 20705-2350 USA
Voice: (301) 504-5278
Fax: (301) 504-8931


Research Interests: (click here to see a list of current research projects)

  • Estimation of canopy water content using shortwave infrared reflectance
  • Nitrogen management in precision agriculture with remote sensing
  • Development of new spectral vegetation indices based on biophysical principles
  • Application of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAV's) as an alternative platform for agricultural remote sensing


  • 1978 B.S. (Botany) Ohio University, Athens, OH
  • 1981 M.S. (Botany) University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
  • 1984 Ph.D. (Botany) University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Professional Experience:

  • 1984-1986: University of California at Los Angeles, Laboratory of Biomedical and Environmental Sciences, Los Angeles, CA; Postdoctoral Research Associate
  • 1986-1989: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA; Member of the Technical Staff and Postdoctoral Research Associate
  • 1989-1995: University of Montana, School of Forestry, Missoula, MT; Research Assistant Professor
  • 1995-1999: University of Wyoming, Department of Botany, Laramie, WY; Assistant Professor
  • 1999-Present: USDA-ARS Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory, Beltsville, MD; Research Physical Scientist


  • 2005: Equal Employment Opportunity/Civil Rights Award, USDA-ARS Beltsville Area
  • 2008: Excellence in Technology Transfer Award, Federal Laboratory Consortium
  • 2009: Technology Transfer Award, USDA-ARS Beltsville Area
  • 2013: Outstanding Associate Editor Award, Agronomy Journal
  • 2014: Best Paper Award, Remote Sensing
  • 2014: Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy

Professional Service:

  • 2007-2013: Associate Editor, Agronomy Journal
  • 2009-present: Associate Editor, Remote Sensing Letters
  • 2014-2017: Associate Editor, Journal of Applied Remote Sensing
  • 2014-present: Associate Editor, International Journal of Remote Sensing
  • 2017-present: Editorial Board, Remote Sensing of Environment

Selected Publications: (Ordered chronologically.  Please contact the author to determine reprint availability.)

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

Hunt, E. R., Jr., Cavigelli, M., Daughtry, C. S. T., McMurtrey, J. E., III, and Walthall, C. L., Evaluation of digital photography from model aircraft for remote sensing of crop biomass and nitrogen status. Precision Agriculture 6:359-378, 2005.

Hunt, E. R., Jr., Daughtry, C.S.T., Kim, M.S., and Parker Williams, A.E., Using canopy reflectance models and spectral angles to assess potential of remote sensing to detect invasive weeds. Journal of Applied Remote Sensing 1(013506):1-17, 2007.

Yilmaz, M.T., Hunt, E.R., Jr., Goins, L.D., Ustin, S.L., Vanderbilt, V.C., and Jackson, T.J., Vegetation water content during SMEX04 from ground data and Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper imagery. Remote Sensing of Environment 112:350-362, 2008.

Yilmaz, M.T., Hunt, E.R., and Jackson, T.J., Remote sensing of vegetation water content from equivalent water thickness using satellite imagery. Remote Sensing of Environment 112:2514-2522, 2008.

Serbin, G., Hunt, E. R., Jr., Daughtry, C. S. T., McCarty, G. W., and Doraiswamy, P. C., An improved ASTER index for remote sensing of crop residue. Remote Sensing 1:971-991, 2009.

Hunt, E. R., Jr., Hively, W. D., Fujikawa, S. J., Linden, D. S., Daughtry, C. S. T., and McCarty, G. W., Acquisition of NIR-green-blue digital photographs from unmanned aircraft for crop monitoring. Remote Sensing 2: 290-305, 2010.

Hunt, E. R., Jr. and Linden, D. S., US Patent 7,911,517, Device and method for acquiring digital color-infrared photographs for monitoring vegetation. March 2011.

Wang, L., Hunt, E. R., Jr., Qu, J. J., Hao, X., and Daughtry, C. S. T., Estimating dry matter content of fresh leaves from the residuals between leaf and water reflectance. Remote Sensing Letters 2:137-145, 2011.

Hunt, E. R., Jr., Daughtry, C. S. T., Eitel, J. U. H., and Long, D. S., Remote sensing of leaf chlorophyll content using a visible waveband index. Agronomy Journal 103:1090-1099, 2011.

Hunt, E. R., Jr., Hively, W. D., McCarty, G. W, Daughtry, C. S. T., Forrestal, P. J., Kratochvil, R. J., Carr, J. L., Allen, N. F., Fox-Rabinovitz, J. R., and Miller, C. D., NIR-green-blue high resolution digital images for assessment of winter cover crop biomass. GIScience and Remote Sensing 48:86-98, 2011.

Hunt, E. R., Jr., Li, L., Yilmaz, M. T., and Jackson, T. J., Comparison of vegetation water contents derived from shortwave-infrared and passive-microwave sensors over central Iowa. Remote Sensing of Environment 115:2376-2383, 2011.

Stern, A., Hunt, E.R., Jr., and Doraiswamy, P.C., Changes of crop rotation in Iowa determined from the USDA-NASS cropland data layer product.  Journal of Applied Remote Sensing 6: 063590, 2012.

Hunt, E.R., Jr., Doraiswamy, P.C., McMurtrey, J.E., III, Daughtry, C.S.T., Perry, E.M., and Akhmedov, B., A visible band index for remote sensing of leaf chlorophyll content at the canopy scale. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation 21: 103-112, 2013.

Wang, L., Hunt, E.R., Jr., Qu, J.J., Hao, X., and Daughtry, C.S.T.,  Estimation of fuel moisture content combining vegetation water index and dry matter index.  Remote Sensing of Environment 129: 103-110, 2013.

Hunt, E.R., Jr., Wang, L., Qu, J.J., and Hao, X., Remote sensing of fuel moisture content from canopy water indices and the normalized dry matter index. Journal of Applied Remote Sensing 6 (1): 061705, 2012.

Serbin, G., Hunt, E.R., Jr., Daughtry, C.S.T., and McCarty, G.W., Assessment of spectral indices for crop residue cover estimation.  Remote Sensing Letters 4 (6): 552-560, 2013.

Wang, C., Hunt, E.R., Jr., Zhang, L., and Guo, H., Phenology-assisted classification of C3 and C4 grasses in the U.S. Great Plains and their climate dependency with MODIS time series. Remote Sensing of Environment 138: 90-101, 2013.

Stern, A.J., Doraiswamy, P.C., and Hunt, E.R., Jr., Comparison of different MODIS data product collections over an agricultural area. Remote Sensing Letters 5 (1): 1-9, 2014.

Hunt, E.R., Jr. and Daughtry, C.S.T., Chlorophyll meter calibrations for chlorophyll content using measured and simulated leaf transmittances.  Agronomy Journal 106 (3): 931-939, 2014.

Hunt, E.R., Jr., Daughtry, C.S.T., Mirsky, S.B., and Hively, W.D., Remote sensing with simulated unmanned aircraft imagery for precision agriculture applications. IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observation and Remote Sensing 7 (11): 4566-4571, 2014.

Friedman, J.M., Hunt, E.R., Jr., and Mutters, R.G., Assessment of leaf color chart observations for estimating maize chlorophyll content by analysis of digital photographs. Agronomy Journal 108(2): 473-480, 2016.

Hunt, E.R., Jr., Daughtry, C.S.T., and Li, L., Feasibility of estimating leaf water content using spectral indices from WorldView-3’s near-infrared and shortwave infrared bands. International Journal of Remote Sensing 37(2): 388-402, 2016.

Beeson, P.C., Daughtry, C.S.T., Hunt, E.R., Jr., Akhmedov, B., Sadeghi, A. M., Karlen, D. L., and Tomer, M. D.  Multispectral satellite mapping of crop residue cover and tillage intensity in Iowa. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 71 (5): 385-395, 2016.

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Last Modified: 12/1/2016
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