Desert Research Institute - Reno, Nevada

September 12-15, 2017

Renocampus Stout


Landsatimage ETThis workshop will provide intensive background and hands-on training designed for NASA ROSES Applied Sciences Program - Remote Sensing of ET for Western State Water Resource Agencies project participants. The workshop will cover ET theory and background, and apply ET mapping models of METRIC (Mapping EvapoTranspiration at high Resolution with Internalized Calibration) and SIMS (Satellite Irrigation Management Support) models. METRIC is a satellite-based energy balance approach for computing and mapping evapotranspiration at the field scale, and is generally applied using Landsat satellite imagery. SIMS is a vegetation index approach for mapping crop cover, crop coefficients and ET, also using Landsat.

Beyond ET model background and hands-on software applications, the training will cover common ET mapping application issues faced by water agencies, such as station and gridded weather data quality control, time integration to create monthly and seasonal ET raster maps, developing field polygons, field polygon buffering and spatial averaging of monthly and seasonal ET raster maps to field polygons, identifying irrigated lands, and estimating net ET (ET minus precipitation). 


  • Rick Allen, University of Idaho Kimberly Research and Extension Center
  • Lee Johnson, California State University, Monterey Bay and NASA Ames
  • Justin Huntington, Desert Research Institute
  • Alberto Guzman, California State University, Monterey Bay and NASA Ames
  • Charles Morton, Desert Research Institute

Allen’s group developed METRIC over the past 15 years in partnership with Idaho Department of Water Resources and University of Nebraska. Lee Johnson and others have developed the SIMS model in partnership with the California Department of Water Resources. The workshop format will follow past METRIC trainings, and Rick Allen will lead most of the lectures and modules. Modules focused on SIMS will be led by Lee Johnson.


Participants should sign up for Google Earth Engine prior to the workshop if you do not already have Earth Engine Playground access.

Sign up to become an Earth Engine developer at -

To potentially expedite the acceptance process, in your description on what you would like to accomplish, add that you are mapping evapotranspiration as part of a NASA funded project with Desert Research Institute, CSU Monterey Bay, U. of Idaho, and several western state water agencies, and this effort is being supported by Google. 

ET model application and training will be conducted primarily with Python and Java Script, and with the Google Earth Engine Playground and ArcGIS for compute and visualization purposes. Participants will apply software programs to calibrate and run METRIC and SIMS for images acquired during the growing season, and ultimately develop monthly and growing season estimates of ET that are spatially averaged to field polygons. Participants will be provided with METRIC and SIMS software and training materials.


Each participant will have access to a desktop computing system. The desktops will be set up with all the necessary software including Python, Arc-Py, GDAL library, ERDAS Imagine, and ArcGIS. Laptops are not recommended due to software requirements.


Participants should have a general background in ET fundamentals. Basic GIS and image processing experience is useful but not essential. Reading for the course that is highly recommended: 

“Crop evapotranspiration – Guidelines for computing crop water requirements – FAO irrigation and drainage paper 56” by R. Allen, L. Pereira, D. Raes, and M. Smith. The document can be found online at or in .pdf form at 

"An Introduction to Environmental Biophysics" by Gaylon S. Campbell and John M. Norman. Chapters 1-8, 10-11, and 14 are relevant to the course. The book can be found online at : 



Lunch during the workshop will be provided by Dish Café and Catering ( and gluten-free vegetarian options will be available. If you have other dietary needs, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will make sure your needs are met.


Desert Research Institute
2215 Raggio Parkway
Reno, NV 89512
Workshop Location: Computational Research and Visualization Building (CRVB) Room# 122

This website uses cookies
We use cookies to personalise content, provide social media features and  analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media and analytics partners who may combine it with other information that you’ve provided to them or that they’ve collected from your use of their services. You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website. DRI Privacy Policy >>