Skip Navigation
The University of Texas at Austin
Make a Gift to JSG
Update Your Info
Submit Alumni Notes

Texas Soil Observation Network

Texas Soil Observation NetworkThe Jackson School of Geosciences is investing $48,000 in this collaborative research initiative and requests a donation of $140,000 to fund and name the TxSON research project. This collaboration will result in ground breaking research that will accurately measure soil moisture in the State of Texas, which is critical for our future. The research will be conducted by experienced scientists at the Bureau of Economic Geology who have excellent academic credentials and a proven history of producing stellar research. We ask you to help us collaborate with The University of Texas at Austin on this unique opportunity to partner with NASA.

What do we need and what can you do?

Typical layout of a TxSON soil moisture monitoring station (left). The soil pit (top right) is excavated and soil moisture sensor are inserted into the trench  face (bottom right). The wires are routed below ground to a tripod containing additional meteorological sensors, a solar panel, and a data logger.

Typical layout of a TxSON soil moisture monitoring station (left). The soil pit (top right) is excavated and soil moisture sensor are inserted into the trench face (bottom right). The wires are routed below ground to a tripod containing additional meteorological sensors, a solar panel, and a data logger.

Perhaps the biggest challenge to monitoring soil water across Texas is a lack of available land for the monitoring stations. The footprint of a single station is about 10 x 10 feet fenced if necessary to protect it from livestock. To install a station, we dig a small trench, install soil moisture sensors at different depths, and backfill. Meteorological sensors, a data logger and a cellular modem are added to a tripod on the surface. The system is self-contained and powered by a solar panel. Data (soil moisture and temperature, rainfall, air temperature and humidity) are automatically transmitted to an external server using and will be available over the internet in near real-time at the Central Texas Hub website. Our initial focus will be to find locations in the area near Fredericksburg (see map above), but expansion will depend on our donations and accessible acreage. Ultimately, we envision a soil monitoring network serving the entire State of Texas. Your financial support, or the contribution of access to small tracts of land, will aid us in accomplishing our objective of informing Texans about its water use and requirements for many years to come.

Funding a Station at Your Ranch

  1. Full meteorlogical station and soil moisture: $20,000 donation
  2. Soil moisture and precipitation: $10,000 donation

Contact Belle German for more information, view the project brochure or visit the project website at http://www.beg.utexas.edu/soilmoisture/.

IT Help  |  Profiles  |  UT Direct  |  Blackboard  |  Privacy Policy  |  Accessibility
© 2014 Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin
Make a Gift to JSGJSG's YouTube ChannelJSG's RSS News FeedJSG's TwitterJSG's Facebook