David Brown, director of WSU's AgWeatherNet

WSU soil scientist David Brown was named director of WSU’s AgWeatherNet. (Photo courtesy Karen Kniep Blanton/Washington State University)

Washington State University soil scientist David Brown has been selected as the new director of AgWeatherNet, Washington’s agricultural weather network.

Brown began his new role on Nov. 16, replacing director Gary Grove, who stepped down Nov. 1.

As incoming director, Brown will oversee all aspects of AgWeatherNet, one of the largest automated agricultural weather station networks in North America. He also will enhance its use as a research tool for scientists and an extension tool for faculty and the agriculture industry.

“We are confident that our industry and research partners will benefit from David’s leadership skills,” said André-Denis Wright, dean of the College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS), in a news release.

Brown, associate professor in WSU’s department of crop and soil sciences, has been at WSU for nearly 12 years and brings statistical methods to the study of soil and crop sensing, soil biogeochemistry and precision agriculture.

A Fulbright Scholar, National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and Peace Corps high school teacher in Fiji, Brown earned his doctorate in soil science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“Thanks to increasing use of sensors and data science that help growers make decisions about their farms, we’re in the midst of a transformational change in agricultural production,” said Brown. “Working with WSU agricultural and environmental scientists, AgWeatherNet is well positioned to play a key role in this transformation for Washington producers.”

WSU installed its first weather station in 1988. Today, AgWeatherNet brings together data from 176 automated stations, providing forecasts, crop and disease models and many other decision-making tools for Washington growers.