UC Davis College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences Department of Land, Air and Water Resouces

Welcome to AGIS at UC Davis

The Agricultural Geographic Information System (AGIS) Laboratory undertakes research related to the environmental compatibility of agricultural production systems, landscape ecology and conservation biology. We emphasize the understanding of spatial and temporal variations of each concerned parameter. Research topics include:

  • Modeling water quality as impacted by pesticide and nutrient inputs for watershed management
  • Exploring the pesticide use trends and patterns for pesticide management
  • Mapping biofuel and bioenergy crop, agave distributions and analyzing its habitat associations and marginal lands
  • Characterizing water resources and water use in urban and agriculture sectors
  • Examining social and economic factors affecting pest management decisions
  • Identifying crop-disease infections for precision disease management.

Applying technologies such as GIS and remote sensing and manipulating large databases are our expertise. We collaborate with California commodity boards, California State Water Resources Control Board, US Environmental Protection Agency, California State Department of Pesticide Regulation, UC Cooperative Extension specialists and farm advisors, non-profit organizations such as Community Alliance with Family Farmers, Coalition for Urban and Rural Environmental Stewardship (CURES) and local growers.

The AGIS Lab has developed a PUR-GIS application, an interface between GIS and MySQL as well as a few open source software, to manipulate the pesticide use report database (PUR), landuse, and soil databases. This program greatly increased the efficiency of analyzing pesticide use data in an accurate and user friendly format. This capability enables us to spatially examine pesticide use in a specific county, or watershed, or the entire state; creating maps where fields that have had a pesticide application are layered with rivers, soil data, or other landscape characteristics. The AGIS laboratory research team emphasizes pollution prevention to improve water quality in California. We identify successful alternatives for pest management to reduce surface water contamination. Our collaborators and local farmers value our approach and appreciate the research results for practical use. We strive to extend our findings to local farming communities.

GIS, remote sensing technologies and quantitative methodologies are the basic tools applied in our research.