Desert Research Institute - Reno, Nevada

June 26-29, 2018

Reno Campus Stout building


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). 

map histogram lovelock nvMap and histogram output of METRIC derived ET for the Lovelock, NV irrigation district. Grey dashed lines on histograms indicate the area weighted average seasonal crop ET derived from METRIC, while the green dashed lines represent the seasonal crop ET derived from ET-Demands model, a FAO-56 style Penman-Monteith dual crop coefficient model for estimating crop ET and irrigation water requirements assuming well-watered and stress free conditions. Water deliveries in 2004 were limited due to drought, while deliveries in 2011 were at or above normal.


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

Rick Allen’s group developed METRIC over the past 15 years in partnership with Idaho Department of Water Resources and University of Nebraska. Lee Johnson, Alberto Guzman, and Forrest Melton have developed the pySIMS model in partnership with the California Department of Water Resources. Charles Morton, Matthew Bromley, Chris Pearson and Justin Huntington have developed pyMETRIC and ET Demands. The workshop format will begin with a brief background on each model and general implementation, but most of the workshop will be focused on hands-on software application for water agencies’ area of interest.


ET model application and training will be conducted primarily with Python and ArcGIS for visualization purposes. Participants will run pyMETRIC and pySIMS for individual images during the growing season, and ultimately develop monthly and growing season estimates of ET that are spatially averaged to field polygons. Participants will also run ET Demands for multiple years and output annual, seasonal, and monthly tabular summaries, and time series plots of potential crop ET and crop coefficients for different crop types.


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, 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 :

Registration, Travel, and Lodging:

Please register and book your travel and lodging at the following website - For participants that attended the 2017 workshop, DRI has generously offered to pay for travel costs. For more information or questions about travel arrangements and/or costs please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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

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