The soil we see today is the product of climate, biology, topography, and, most important, time. As a geologist, I exploit these relationships to help decipher past climates and determine landscape dynamics. As an ecohydrologist, I use relationships between soil and plant communities to infer water resources and aid drought and flood mitigation. Soil ultimately controls the vertical flux of moisture by partitioning rainfall into runoff, infiltration, evapotranspiration, and groundwater recharge. The transfer of knowledge between different spatial and temporal scales is a significant challenge facing scientists today partly because our measurements are hampered by instrument limitations and natural variability in the environment.
My research focuses on both issues by first improving instrument applications to extreme environments and then using fine-scale measurements to infer larger-scale processes. Soils contain a wealth of climate information, and their chemistry and particle size are results of ever-changing climate and water flux. Soil science, although deeply rooted in agriculture, has a much greater role to play in geology, ecology, engineering, and atmospheric sciences across Texas and the globe.
Ph.D. Hydrogeology, University of Nevada, Reno, 2011
M.S. Hydrogeology, University of Nevada, Reno, 1999
B.S. Geology, University of New Mexico, 1997
Areas of Expertise
Dr. Caldwell's research focuses on field investigations and modeling of soil and vadose zone processes across multiple scales and environments. He is principle investigator for the Texas Soil Observation Network, a core calibration and validation site for the NASA Soil Moisture Active Passive Satellite Mission.
Student Poster Competition (Second place) - ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting (2011)
The Collin Warden Memorial Endowment - Desert Research Institute (2010)
Associate Editor, Geoderma (2016 - 2018)
Associate Editor, Vadose Zone Journal (2015 - 2017)
Representative, Consortium for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science Inc. (CUAHSI) (2013)
Member, Geological Society of America (2007)
Member, W-2188 Multi-State Soil Phyics Group (2005)
Member, American Geophysical Society (2001)
Member, Soil Science Society of America (1998)
Raquel H Flinker, M.S., expected 2014 (Co-supervisor)
Chelsea J Halley (Committee Member)
Charles J Abolt (Committee Member)
Drought, flood and everywhere in between: A hydrologic view of Texas from satellites and sensors, Collectors’ Society Seminar Series, San Angelo Museum of Fine Art, San Angelo, TX (2017)
Validation and application of the Soil Moisture Active Passive Satellite Mission, Univeristy of Nevada, Reno Graduate Program of Hydrologic Sciences Colloquia, Reno, NV (2016)
The Texas Soil Observation Network, Texas Groundwater Summit, San Marcos, TX (2015)
Texas Droughts and Floods, Grace Museum of Modern Art, Abilene, TX (2015)
Arid soil evolution and pedologic development: Process considerations and applications to engineered barrier design, Workshop on Engineered Nuclear Regatory Commission, Barrier Performance Related to Low-Level Radioactive Waste, Decommissioning and Uranium Mill Tailings Facilities, Rockville, MD (2010)
Hydrologic prediction of runoff potential using terrain forecasting, Bunkerville, Nevada, American Society of Flood Plain Managers, Reno, NV (2008)
Hydropedology of canopy-interspace ecosystems in the Mojave Desert: Biotic and abiotic processes, Ecological Society of America, Milwaukee, WI (2008)
|2016||Spring||GEO 391||Vadose Zone Hydrology|
Texas Soil Observation Network
The Texas Soil Observation Network (TxSON) is the state-of-the-science soil moisture monitoring network in the Texas Hill Country. TxSON covers a 500 square mile area near Fredericksburg, Texas, along the Pedernales River and within the middle reaches of the Colorado River.