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Richard Allen, Ph.D.

Richard Allen

Professor, Water Resources Engineering



Mailing Address

Kimberly Research and Extension Center
University of Idaho
3793 N 3600 E
Kimberly, ID 83341

Allen specializes in evapotranspiration and hydrologic systems. His research team is the developer of the Landsat satellite-based METRIC process that received the “Innovations in American Governance Award” in 2010 by Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

Ph.D., University of Idaho, 1984
M.S., University of Idaho, 1977
B.S., Iowa State University, 1974

  • Evapotranspiration
  • Irrigation water requirements
  • Satellite image processing in water resources
  • Hydrologic water balances
  • Impacts of water conservation
  • Center pivot design and operation
  • Weather data quality and processing
  • Evapotranspiration measurement (eddy covariance, Bowen ratio, lysimeter, scintillometers)

  • Grafton, R.Q., Williams, J., Perry, C.J., Molle, F., Ringler, C., Steduto, P., Udall, B., Wheeler, S.A., Wang, Y., Garrick, D. and Allen, R.G., 2018. The paradox of irrigation efficiency. Science, 361(6404), pp.748-750.
  • Ramírez-Cuesta, J.M., Kilic, A., Allen, R., Santos, C. and Lorite, I.J., (2017). Evaluating the impact of adjusting surface temperature derived from Landsat 7 ETM+ in crop evapotranspiration assessment using high-resolution airborne data. Int. J. Remote Sensing, 38(14), pp.4177-4205.
  • Fisher, J.B., Melton, F., Middleton, E., Hain, C., Anderson, M., Allen, R., McCabe, M.F., Hook, S., Baldocchi, D., Townsend, P.A. and Kilic, A., (2017). The future of evapotranspiration: Global requirements for ecosystem functioning, carbon and climate feedbacks, agricultural management, and water resources. Water Resources Research, 53(4), pp.2618-2626.
  • Foolad, F., Franz, T.E., Wang, T., Gibson, J., Kilic, A., Allen, R.G. and Suyker, A., (2017). Feasibility analysis of using inverse modeling for estimating field-scale evapotranspiration in maize and soybean fields from soil water content monitoring networks. Hydrol. Earth Sys. Sci., 21(2):1263.
  • de la Fuente-Sáiz, D., Ortega-Farías, S., Fonseca, D., Ortega-Salazar, S., Kilic, A. and Allen, R., (2017). Calibration of METRIC Model to Estimate Energy Balance over a Drip-Irrigated Apple Orchard. Remote Sensing, 9(7), p.670.
  • Ortega-Farı́as, S., D. Fonseca, D. de la Fuente, A. Kilic, S. Ortega-Salazar, R. Allen and M. Carrasco-Benavides. (2017). Remote sensing model to evaluate the spatial variability of vineyard water requirements. Acta Hortic. 1188. ISHS DOI 10.17660/ActaHortic.2017.1188.30, pp. 235-242.
  • Valayamkunnath, P., Sridhar, V., Zhao, W., and Allen, R.G. 2018. Intercomparison of surface energy fluxes, soil moisture, and evapotranspiration from eddy covariance, large-aperture scintillometer, and modeling across three ecosystems in a semiarid climate. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, Volume 248, 15 January 2018, Pages 22-47
  • Pereira, L. S., Allen, R. G., Smith, M., and Raes, D. (2015). Crop evapotranspiration estimation with FAO56: Past and future. Agricultural Water Management, 147, 4-20.
  • Allen, R.G., Pereira, Luis S., Howell, Terry A., Jensen, Marvin E. 2011. Evapotranspiration Information Reporting: I. Factors Governing Measurement Accuracy. Ag. Water Man. 98(6):899-920
  • Hendrickx, J.; Allen, R.; Brower, A.; Hong, S.; Ogden, F. Trezza, R.; Nawa, P.; Robison, C.; Toll, D.; Wilson, J.. 2014. Benchmarking Optical/Thermal Satellite Imagery for Estimation of Evapotranspiration and Soil Moisture in Decision Support Tools. J. Am. Wat. Res Assoc. (on-line).
  • Ley, T.W., R.G. Allen, M.E. Jensen. 2013. Translating Wind-Speed Measurements over Alfalfa having varying height for use in the ASCE Standardized Reference ET Equation. J. Irrigation and Drainage Engineering-ASCE Vol: 139 Issue: 6 Pages: 463-475.
  • Allen, R.G., B. Burnett, W. Kramber, J. Huntington, J. Kjaersgaard, A. Kilic, C. Kelly, R. Trezza. 2012. Automated Calibration of the METRIC-Landsat Evapotranspiration Process. J. Am. Water Resources Assoc.
  • Perry, C., P. Steduto, R.G. Allen and C.M. Burt. 2009. Increasing productivity in irrigated agriculture: Agronomic constraints and hydrological realities. Ag. Water Management, 96(11):1517-1524
  • Kilic (Irmak), A., R.G. Allen, J. Kjaersgaard, J. Huntington, B. Kamble, R. Trezza, and I. Ratcliffe. 2011. Operational Remote Sensing of ET and Challenges. Chapter in Evapotranspiration (A. Irmak, editor), Publisher: InTech (on-line).
  • Allen, R.G. 2011. Skin layer evaporation to account for small precipitation events—An enhancement to the FAO-56 evaporation model. Agricultural Water Management. 99(1):8-18.
  • Allen, R.G., M. Tasumi and R. Trezza. 2007. Satellite-based energy balance for mapping evapotranspiration with internalized calibration (METRIC) – Model. ASCE J. Irrigation and Drainage Engineering 133(4):380-394.

  • 2016 Irrigation Association Person of the Year Award for “Outstanding contributions toward the acceptance of sound irrigation practices”
  • U.S. Dept. Interior / NASA William T. Pecora Award. Nov. 2014 to the Landsat Science Team for their contributions to study of Earth’s land surface and coastal regions, and meeting the challenge of continuing and advancing the Landsat legacy of observations. Mission performance has exceeded expectations, providing more imagery, higher quality measurements, and new capabilities over previous missions.
  • Outstanding Faculty Award, College of Engineering, University of Idaho. May 2010. "For his exemplary contributions to research"
  • Innovations in American Government Award, 2009, Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Mapping Evapotranspiration. Award shared by the University of Idaho and Idaho Department of Water Resources.
  • Best Paper Award, Am. Society Civil Engineers, Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering. 2009. (Satellite-based energy balance for mapping evapotranspiration with internalized calibration (METRIC) –I. Model, II. Applications, R.G. Allen and others, 2007, 133(4):380-406).
  • ASCE 2005 Arid Lands Hydraulic Engineering Award, “For his research on conjunctive management of groundwater and surface water, evapotranspiration and irrigation systems operation and design in arid lands” May 18, 2005.
  • Founding Diplomate, American Academy of Water Resources Engineers, EWRI 2005
  • ASCE Task Committee Excellence Award: Task Committee on Standardization of Reference evapotranspiration. “For excellence and diligence in producing a national standardization for the calculation of reference evapotranspiration that will advance engineering practice and water resources management.” May 18, 2005.
  • Distinguished Service Award, College of Engineering, Utah State University, 2004
  • ASCE 2003 Royce J. Tipton Award, “For outstanding contributions to irrigation engineering through system simulation, software development, teaching, and research and for advancements in the knowledge of evapotranspiration theory and concepts for world-wide application” May 12, 2003.
  • United States Committee on Irrigation and Drainage ‘USCID Service to the Profession Award,’ “In Recognition of a distinguished career in water resources engineering and education and for exceptional contributions to the irrigation and drainage profession.” May 15, 2003.
  • Best Paper Award, Am. Society Civil Engineers, Journal of Hydrologic Engineering. 1999. (Translating Wind Measurements from Weather Stations to Agricultural Crops, R.G. Allen and J.L. Wright, 1997, 2(1): 26-35).
  • Innovation and Excellence in Teaching Award, Dept. Biological and Irrigation Engineering, Utah State University, 1998
  • Top Professor Award, Utah State University Mortar Board. 1998
  • Best Reviewer Award, Am. Society Civil Engineers, Journal Irrig. Drain. Engineering. 1997
  • Outstanding Journal Paper Award, American Society of Civil Engineers, Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering. 1997. (Assessing Integrity of Weather Data for use in Reference Evapotranspiration Estimation, R.G. Allen, 1996, 122(2):97-106).
  • Outstanding Researcher Award, Dept. Biological and Irrigation Engineering, Utah State University, 1996
  • Excellence in Research Award, College of Engineering, Utah State University, 1996
  • Outstanding Service Award, American Society of Civil Engineers, 1994
  • ASCE State-of-the-Art of Civil Engineering Award, Am. Society Civil Engineers, 1992
  • Excellence in Teaching Award, Dept. Biological and Irrigation Engineering, Utah State University, 1992
  • Outstanding Journal Paper Award, Am. Society Civil Engineers, Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering. 1987. (A Penman for All Seasons, R.G.Allen, 1986, 112(4):348-368).


University of Idaho

Physical Address:
E. J. Iddings Agricultural Science Laboratory, Rm 242
606 S Rayburn St

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Drive MS 2340
Moscow, ID 83844-2340

Phone: 208-885-0111