Background and Research Interests

Dr. Binayak Mohanty is a Regents Professor and Endowed Chair in Biological and Agricultural Engineering/ Ecosystem Science and Management/ Water Management and Hydrologic Sciences at Texas A&M University, College Station, where he teaches Vadose Zone Hydrology, Hydrology Across Scale, and other specialized soil and water resources and remote sensing classes. He holds B.S. (Eng.) from Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology, India (1985), M.S. (Eng.), Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, Thailand (1987), and Ph.D. from Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa (1992). Prior to joining Texas A&M Univ., Dr. Mohanty worked as a scientist in soil physics research group at USDA-ARS U.S. Salinity Laboratory, Riverside, California (1993-2001).

Dr. Mohanty’s research focuses on advancing water, chemical, and heat transport measurement, modeling/prediction, variability/uncertainty, and parameter estimation in the vadose or unsaturated zone from pore scale to continental scale under engineered, agricultural, range, forest, sub-urban, and urban land covers and various hydro-climatic conditions. His groups’ measurement skills include ground and remote sensing platforms, modeling skills include deterministic and stochastic process models and data assimilation framework. Over the past two decades, Dr. Mohanty’s group has successfully used satellite remote sensing as a tool to study soil moisture, soil hydraulics, and evapotranspiration at different scales. He pioneered the implementation of satellite platforms for Earth surface’s hydrologic parameter exploration at multiple scales, and discovery of soil moisture scaling rules including the dominant geophysical controls under different hydrologic and climatic conditions. Dr. Mohanty also provided novel experimental data and effective modeling concepts for accounting preferential flow and contaminant transport in macroporous and fractured soils, as well as subsurface linked hydrologic-biogeochemical processes. Dr. Mohanty has been funded by NASA, NSF, DOE, NIH, Army, USGS, and several international agencies over the years and also served in many NSF, NASA, and DOE grant and advisory panels. He also served in the Modeling Soil Water Dynamics panel of the US National Academies with a vision to develop multi-scale soil hydrologic parameters for the ongoing National Water Model initiative.

Dr. Mohanty has received many research and teaching excellence awards at the department, college, university, national and international level. Dr. Mohanty has received NASA (2013) and Agricultural Experiment Station (2011) group achievement awards for research. He is a fellow of Soil Science Society of America (2012), Agronomy Society of America (2012), Texas A&M Agrilife (2012), and Texas A&M Engineering (2011, 2012). Dr. Mohanty received the prestigious Don and Betty Kirkham Soil Physics award (2014) from Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) for his seminal contribution on application of remote sensing in soil physics. In 2014, Dr. Mohanty was named the COALS Chair in Hydrologic Engineering and Sciences, Regents Professor, and TEES Senior Fellow at Texas A&M University. In 2016, he received the distinguished alumni award from Asian Institute of Technology for his research excellence. He is the lead PI of Texas Water Observatory and directs all aspects of the observatory.

Affiliated Students

Zhenlei Yang
Amir Sedaghatdoost
Dhruva Kathuria
Deanroy Mbabazi
Siddharth Singh
Neelam Maheshwari

TWO Publications

Mohanty, B.P., M. Cosh, V. Lakshmi, and C. Montzka, Soil Moisture Remote Sensing – State-of-the- Science, Vadose Zone Journal. doi:10.2136/vzj2016.10.0105, 2017.
Kim, J., and B.P. Mohanty, A Physically-Based Hydrological Connectivity Algorithm for Describing Spatial Patterns of Soil Moisture in the Unsaturated Zone, Journal of Geophysical Research -Atmosphere. 122, doi:10.1002/2016JD025591, 2017.

TWO Presentations

Mohanty, B.P., G. Moore, G. Miller, S. Quiring, M. Everett, and C. Morgan, The Texas Water Observatory: Utilizing Advanced Observing System Design for Understanding Water Resources Sustainability Across Climatic and Geologic Gradients of Texas, AGU Fall Meeting. 2015.
Mohanty, B.P., G. Moore, G. Miller, M. Everett, C. Morgan, and M. Lawing, Texas Water Observatory in Brazos Corridor, Council of Principal Investigators Meeting, Texas A&M University, June 22, 2016.
Mohanty, B.P., G. Moore, G. Miller, M. Everett, C. Morgan, M. Lawing, Texas Water Observatory, 54th Annual Soil Survey & Land Resource Workshop, Texas A&M AgriLife and USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), February 3, 2017.
Jaimes, A., N. Gaur, M. Everett, G. Miller, G. Moore, C. Morgan, M. Lawing, B. Mohanty, Texas Water Observatory: Utilizing Advanced Observing System Design for Understanding Water Resource Sustainability across Climatic and Geologic Gradients of Texas, NACP/AmeriFlux PI Joint Meeting, North Bethesda, MD, March 27 - 30, 2017.

Related Research Projects

NASA-SUSMAP (Science Utilization of the Soil Moisture Active-Passive Mission): Root Zone Soil Hydraulic Property Estimation by SMAP Duration - 10/16-09/19, Role - Principal Investigator.