- Contact Information
- My Story
- Publications & Presentations
- Expertise & Interests
- Courses Taught
|Title||Geography and Spatial Science Mission Area Leader|
316 Hardin Hall
3310 Holdrege Street
I joined UNL as a research assistant professor in 2006 and led the GIScience program at the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC) for six years. I have also been a faculty fellow with the Center for Advanced Land Management Information Technologies (CALMIT). I worked on a range of research projects that analyzed satellite-based Earth observations to incorporate information about vegetation health, soil moisture, and evapotranspiration into drought monitoring, both in the United States and internationally. In March 2012, I became an assistant professor in the School of Natural Resources (SNR), where I teach remote sensing courses, maintain my current research program, and expand my remote sensing work through new collaborations within SNR and UNL.
My selection of a career path in the field of remote sensing stems from interests in agriculture and natural resources that I developed growing up in small-town Nebraska, and during my academic training in environmental geography and GIScience. The remote sensing perspective from satellites and aircraft offers a unique vantage point to study key ecological and environmental patterns and processes across the landscape. As a result, my primary research focus has been to apply remote sensing as a tool to acquire critical information needed to better understand and address agricultural, environmental, and natural resource issues.
My current remote sensing research is centered on three predominant themes:
- classifying and mapping land use/land cover (LULC) patterns of agricultural landscapes,
- characterizing vegetation dynamics such as phenology and biophysical characteristics, and
- drought monitoring and early warning.
I have been involved in a number of remote sensing projects that investigate how new types of satellite observations and innovative modeling techniques can improve drought monitoring systems. My research has been funded by various federal agencies including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NASA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). A prime example is the development of the Vegetation Drought Response Index, or VegDRI, online at http://vegdri.unl.edu/, which integrates satellite, climate, and biophysical data to depict drought-related vegetation stress across the United States.
I have also collaborated with NASA scientists to apply soil moisture and groundwater information from land surface models, which integrate satellite-based gravity information, into the operational USDM. Weekly maps from this project are published on the NDMC's website: http://drought.unl.edu/MonitoringTools/NASAGRACEDataAssimilation.aspx. I am also working with USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists to develop remote sensing-based drought indices related to evapotranspiration for drought assessments. These new tools are being increasingly adopted by state-of-the-art drought monitoring systems, such as the USDM, and attempts are underway to extend them to other parts of the world. In addition to monitoring, I have worked with faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Nevada-Reno to use historical remote sensing observations, climate data, and bird surveys, to better understand the impact of drought and heat waves on avian populations over the United States. This study is one of the few to focus on the ecological impacts of these natural hazards. It provided new insights into both the positive and negative impacts that droughts and heat waves can have on bird population dynamics, which can be used for natural resource and wildlife management.
I edited a book, "Remote Sensing of Drought: Innovative Monitoring Approaches," that includes contributions from leading remote sensing scientists around the world. They summarize cutting-edge remote sensing tools that are applicable to drought monitoring, food security and water scarcity. I also provide technical guidance for drought-related topics as a member of the NASA soil moisture active passive (SMAP) applications working group and the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) drought definitions and indices study team.
My research associated with characterization of agriculture-related LULC patterns and vegetation dynamics has involved projects such as classification of irrigated cropland, and estimation of crop phenology from both close range and satellite. I had the privilege to host and work with Dr. Toshihiro Sakamoto, a Japanese visiting scientist at SNR from the National Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences (NIAES). We worked on developing new satellite-based methods to estimate critical crop stage dates for corn and soybeans. These dates can be used to detect inter-annual, local variations in crop phenology across large regions such as the U.S. Corn Belt, to better understand the interplay between climate, phenology, and crop yields. This work was also extended to develop cost-efficient digital camera methods to capture field-level crop phenology information, as well as satellite-based approaches, to estimate gross primary productivity (GPP) on crops in collaboration with Carbon Sequestration Program faculty at UNL. I have also worked with USGS scientists to develop methods to rapidly classify and map irrigated cropland across the United States (http://earlywarning.usgs.gov/Usirrigation/). This improved LULC data helps various water resource management and environmental modeling efforts.
Outreach and education on the use of remote sensing and GIS for drought-related applications has been a major component of my work over the past six years. I have presented the use of these geospatial technologies to students and scientists from various disciplines - at national conferences and international workshops - in countries such as Argentina, China, Mali and Turkey. In addition, I have been involved in hands-on technical training with scientists from Canada, the Czech Republic and India. I also serve as the co-advisor for the Geography Student Organization (GSO) and Gamma Theta Upsilon (GTU) geographic honor society at UNL. My teaching responsibilities include remote sensing courses offered at UNL such as Introduction to Remote Sensing, Digital Image Analysis, Applications of Remote Sensing in Agriculture and Natural Resources, and special topics.
|Wardlow, B.D. and S.L. Egbert, 2009. A comparison of MODIS 250-m evi and ndvi data for crop mapping in the U.S. Central Great Plains. International Journal of Remote Sensing, In press.|
|Wardlow, B.D., M.J. Hayes, M.D. Svoboda, T. Tadesse, and K.H. Smith, 2009. Sharpening the Focus on Drought – New Monitoring and Assessment Tools at the National Drought Mitigation Center. Earthzine, In press.|
|Brown, J.F., B.D. Wardlow, T. Tadesse, M.J. Hayes, and B.C. Reed, 2008. The vegetation drought response index (VegDRI): a new integrated approach for monitoring drought stress in vegetation. GIScience and Remote Sensing, 45(1):16-46.|
|Gu, Y., E. Hunt, B.D. Wardlow, J.B. Basara, J.F. Brown, and J.P. Verdin, 2008. Evaluation and validation of modis ndvi and ndwi for vegetation drought monitoring using Oklahoma mesonet soil moisture data. Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1029/2008GL035772.|
|Tadesse, T., B. Wardlow, and M. Hayes, 2008. The application of data mining for drought monitoring and prediction. Data Mining Applications for Empowering Knowledge Societies, Idea Group Publishers, New York, NY, pp. 280-291.|
|Tadesse, T., M. Haile, G. Senay, C. Knutson, and B.D. Wardlow, 2008. Building integrated drought monitoring and food security systems in sub-Saharan Africa. Natural Resources Forum, 32, 265-279.|
|Wardlow, B.D. and S.L. Egbert, 2008. Large-area crop mapping using time-series MODIS 250 mndvi data: an assessment for the U.S. Central Great Plains. Remote Sensing of Environment, 112:1096-1116.|
|Gitelson, A.A., B.D. Wardlow, G.P. Keydan, and B. Leavitt, 2007. Green leaf area index estimation in crops using MODIS 250 meter data. Geophysical Research Letters, 34, L20403, doi:10.1029/2007GL031620.|
|Wardlow, B.D., S.L. Egbert, and J.H. Kastens, 2007. Analysis of time-series MODIS 250-meter vegetation index data for crop discrimination in the U.S. Central Great Plains. Remote Sensing of Environment, 108, 290-310.|
|Albright, T., A. Pidgeon, C. Rittenhouse, M. Clayton, C. Flather, P. Culbert, B. Wardlow, and V. Radeloff, 2009.. Effects of drought on avian community structure. Global Change Biology, In review.|
- BS - Northwest Missouri State University, Geography (1994)
- MS - Kansas State University, Geography (1996)
- PhD - University of Kansas, Geography (2005)
- Applied Climate and Spatial Science
- Center for Advanced Land Management Information Technologies, UNL
- National Drought Mitigation Center
- Water For Food Global Institute
Remote Sensing, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Land Use/Land Cover Characterization, Vegetation-Climate Interactions, Drought Monitoring, Biogeography, Landscape Ecology, Remote Sensing/GIS Applications for Agricultural and Natural Resource Management/Monitoring
|Undergraduate Majors||Bachelor of Science in
Bachelor of Arts in
Master of Arts in Geography
Master of Science in Natural Resource Sciences
including specializations in
Doctor of Philosophy in Geography
Doctor of Philosophy in Natural Resource Sciences
including specializations in
|Course Number||Course Title||Fall Even Years||Fall Odd Years||Spring Even Years||Spring Odd Years||Summer Session||Cross Listing|
|GEOG 418||Introduction to Remote Sensing||X||X||GEOG/NRES 418/818|
|GEOG 419||Applications of Remote Sensing in Agriculture and Natural Resources||X||X||AGRO/GEOG/GEOL 419/819, NRES 420/820|
|GEOG 420||Remote Sensing III - Digital Image Analysis||GEOG 420/820|
|GEOG 427||Introduction to the Global Positioning System (GPS)||X||X||X||X||GEOG/NRES 427/827|
|GEOG 818||Introduction to Remote Sensing||X||X||GEOG/NRES 418/818|
|GEOG 819||Applications of Remote Sensing in Agriculture and Natural Resources||X||X||AGRO/GEOG/GEOL 419/819, NRES 420/820|
|GEOG 820||Remote Sensing III - Digital Image Analysis||GEOG 420/820|
|GEOG 827||Introduction to the Global Positioning System (GPS)||X||X||X||X||GEOG/NRES 427/827|
|NRES 418||Introduction to Remote Sensing||X||X||GEOG/NRES 418/818|
|NRES 420||Applications of Remote Sensing in Agriculture and Natural Resources||X||X||AGRO/GEOG/GEOL 419/819, NRES 420/820|
|NRES 427||Introduction to the Global Positioning System (GPS)||X||X||X||X||GEOG/NRES 427/827|
|NRES 818||Introduction to Remote Sensing||X||X||GEOG/NRES 418/818|
|NRES 820||Applications of Remote Sensing in Agriculture and Natural Resources||X||X||AGRO/GEOG/GEOL 419/819, NRES 420/820|
|NRES 827||Introduction to the Global Positioning System (GPS)||X||X||X||X||GEOG/NRES 427/827|