Wei Gao - Homepage
Dr. Gao’s main research includes the radiative transfer of solar UV in the atmosphere and vegetation canopy, the impacts of UV radiation and other environmental stress factors on crops/plants, regional climate/ecosystem modeling, and remote sensing applications in ecosystems.
Dr. Gao directs a climatologic network, which provides an adequate density of measurement sites to establish the spatial and temporal characteristics of UV-B irradiance. This network provides information to the agricultural community and others about the geographical distribution of UV-B irradiance and furnishes the basic information necessary to support evaluations of the potential damaging effects of UV-B to crops, rangelands, and forests.
With collaborators from Mississippi State University, Dr. Gao studies the isolated/combined effects of UV-B radiation with other environmental stress factors such as water stress, high temperature, soil nutrients, and CO2 concentration on the growth and development of crops, rangelands, and trees. Data derived from these studies are quantified as modules for incorporation into climate-crop model coupling systems.
Dr. Gao coordinates in developing the Climate-Agroecosystem-UV Interactions and Economic (CAIE) modeling system with collaborators from the University of Maryland and Colorado State University. This system will couple an advanced regional climate model with models of crops, ecosystems, and economics, integrating the UV irradiation data from the climatological monitoring network, the results of the UV effects studies, and satellite observations. This system will allow studies on how climate/environment and crop production interact.