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Chad Higgins

Associate Professor
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Office: 541-737-2286

Gilmore Hall

Gilmore Hall 200

124 SW 26th Street

124 SW 26th Street
Corvallis, OR 97331
  • Agrivoltaics
  • Optimum water management in agriculture
  • Environmental Fluid Mechanics with special interest in applications to atmospheric flows and hydrology
  • Measurement and modeling of fluxes through the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum
  • Spatial variability of the land surface and its effect on transport
  • Large Eddy Simulations
  • Raman Lidar (light detection and ranging) of atmospheric water vapor
  • Development of novel measurement techniques for atmospheric fluxes

Current Research:

  • Probing the spatial characteristics of atmospheric water vapor.   Advancements in laser technology and optical detection have made high resolution Raman Lidar a reality.  Here we use high powered lasers to excite water vapor molecules in the atmosphere, these molecules then release small amounts of energy that, in turn, can be detected and used to determine the water vapor concentration in the atmosphere at high spatial (1.25m) and temporal (1s) resolution.  This high resolution information allows research into atmospheric structure that was not possible previously, and has been used to investigate some of the most fundamental assumptions made about atmospheric structure.
  • Effects of land surface Variability.  State of the art numerical modeling is used in conjunction with field experiments to determine the effects of land surface variability on fluxes through the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum.  Large Eddy Simulation (LES) is used to disentangle the complex relationships between atmospheric transport and land use, while field experimentation gives ground truth.  This interdisciplinary activity has applications in water resource management, pollutant transport, urban planning, and risk assessment.
  • Instrument development.  Instrument development plays a central role in the research effort.  Currently, a path averaged water vapor sensor is under development.  This instrument will ultimately be used to determine the average evaporation from a single agricultural field, and will provide information critical to irrigation scheduling