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Michele Reba's Additional Information
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Background Information

Dr. Reba began her career researching montane hydrology with emphasis on snow at the USDA-ARS Northwest Watershed Research Center in Boise, ID in 2009.  In 2011, she shifted her focus to water quantity and quality for agriculture in the Lower Mississippi River Basin as the sole scientist at a newly established worksite of the National Sedimentation Laboratory (Oxford, MS) located on campus at Arkansas State University, Jonesboro, AR (located 150 miles away).  Dr. Reba quickly established a wide network of collaborators and stakeholders that served as the foundation for growth of the research program.  In May of 2014, the Delta Water Management Research Unit was established, and Dr. Reba was the first, and for over a year, sole scientist at the newly established unit.  The funding and scope of the unit has expanded and Dr. Reba is Lead Scientist of the three-scientist unit.  Dr. Reba has gained national and emerging international recognition for her research, with over 50 published manuscripts. 

She has established strong collaboration with regional producers, several of whom received the first ever payment for carbon credits for rice production practices in the world.  Invitations to serve on advisory panels include the US Sustainable Rice Platform Steering Committee, a multi-state irrigation initiative, and Field to Market GHG emissions calculations for rice. Her stature in edge-of-field research led to an invitation to address the National Academy of Sciences and the establishment of two new NRCS-CEAP watersheds that Dr. Reba leads.  She has made 16 invited presentations, and 47 of her 58 total presentations were at the national or international level. Dr. Reba has attracted extramural funding from USDA-NRCS, Cotton Inc., Kelloggs, Ducks Unlimited, and multiple subcontracts with university partners and other competitive funding programs.  


Personal Research

Dr. Reba’s personal research is foundational to the preservation of water quantity and water quality for agriculture in the Lower Mississippi River Basin.

  1.  Quantify changes in irrigation water use, water quality, greenhouse gas emissions, and crop water productivity as a result of implementing innovative production practices at the plot, field, and farm scale. Field-rugged sensors are deployed to measure water use, collect water samples for water quality analysis, and measure field-integrated (eddy covariance) and point-scale GHG emissions. Yield is used to determine productivity, but return on investment, grain and fiber quality components are also analyzed.
  2. Evaluate practices and technologies for managed recharge of the declining Mississippi River Valley Alluvial Aquifer. Select locations for managed recharge will be identified by proximity to surface water sources, soil type and land owner participation.  Initial designs for infiltration galleries will be tested at these select locations and instrumented to determine infiltration rates, groundwater level response in the surrounding area, and water quality of both source water and infiltrated water. 
  3. Develop an improved understanding of nutrient and sediment transport, transformation and the hydrology of the humid irrigated landscape. Samples are collected with grab-, passive-, and automated sampling of water at multiple locations in two systems.  Samples are analyzed in the laboratory for sediment and nutrients to determine annual, seasonal, and spatial variability.


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Dr. Reba is involved in the following projects:


Lower Mississippi River Basin Long-Term Agroecosystem Research (LMRB LTAR)

Mississippi river Basin Healthy Watershed Initiative (NRCS MRBI)





1995, B.S., Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Michigan

2002, M.S., Forest Engineering and Civil Engineering, Oregon State University

2009, Ph.D., Civil Engineering, University of Idaho


Honors and Awards





Dr. Reba’s Google Scholar profile