Hi, I'm Al Dutcher, and I'm a Extension Agricultural Climatologist with the Nebraska State Climate Office (NSCO) and the School of Natural Resources.
My main research and service interests have to do with crop-climate relationships, soil-moisture monitoring, drought monitoring, climate forecasting, precipitation distributions, and thermal tracking of crop and insect development.
These issues have real-world impacts as follows: temperature sensor changes can affect load function equations used by utilities for billing customers; precipitation distribution (on the landscape) will affect crop stress and yield functions; accurate soil moisture assessment at the beginning of the cropping season can be used to determine the degree of risk for potential drought damage; proper weather station siting will give a more accurate representation of weather conditions; thermal tracking of crop and insect development will allow for more accurate evapotranspiration forecasts and timely insecticide applications.
In the past, I've worked on similar kinds of projects: soil moisture modeling, evapotranspiration modeling, weather broadcasting, drought monitoring, surface weather observation siting, impacts of sensor changes on temperature functions, and impacts of precipitation distributions on crop yields.
I've been the state climatologist since 1991, first as a staff person, and since 2006 as faculty. From 1989 to 1991, I was an operations climatologist with the UNL-based High Plains Regional Climate Center.