Associate professor uses innovative technology for dryland research

Robert Washington-Allen joins the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources

Robert Washington-Allen pointing to computer screen

Robert Washington-Allen uses virtual and augmented reality technology to study Nevada dryland systems. Photo by Robert Moore.

Associate professor uses innovative technology for dryland research

Robert Washington-Allen joins the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources

Robert Washington-Allen uses virtual and augmented reality technology to study Nevada dryland systems. Photo by Robert Moore.

Robert Washington-Allen pointing to computer screen

Robert Washington-Allen uses virtual and augmented reality technology to study Nevada dryland systems. Photo by Robert Moore.

University of Nevada, Reno welcomes Robert Washington-Allen to the Department of Agriculture, Veterinary & Rangeland Sciences in the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources as an associate professor, graduate program director for the department and Range Club advisor.

Along with teaching and advising, Washington-Allen researches the sustainability of drylands using innovative technologies, including drones, laser scanning, ground-penetrating radar, virtual and augmented reality tools, geographic information systems, and remote sensing. His research focuses on the past, present and future sustainability of drylands at both local and international scales, with a particular interest in Nevada’s drylands.

Washington-Allen was a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Lesotho in southern Africa, and he recently organized and presented a joint workshop on the sustainability of drylands in the U.S.-Mexico Transboundary region with the National Academics of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, and the Mexican Academy of Science. Currently, he and his colleagues and students are working with the U.S. Forest Service and local ranchers to use remote-sensing technologies and targeted grazing to reduce invasive annual grass fuel loads in Nevada.               

“I’m excited to be here at the University, being able to pursue my passions in the rangeland sciences,” he said. “I hope I’m able to instill the same kind of passion for innovation and application of science in our students.”

Washington-Allen plans to develop courses for students with an interest in drylands to train them in using these new technologies, as well as the powerful open-source software and data archives that are available to them.

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