Preface paper to the Semi-Arid Land-Surface-Atmosphere (SALSA) Program special issue

D. C. Goodrich*, A. Chehbouni, B. Goff, B. MacNish, T. Maddock, S. Moran, W. J. Shuttleworth, D. G. Williams, C. Watts, L. H. Hipps, D. I. Cooper, J. Schieldge, Y. H. Kerr, H. Arias, M. Kirkland, R. Carlos, P. Cayrol, W. Kepner, B. Jones, R. AvissarA. Begue, J. M. Bonnefond, G. Boulet, B. Branan, J. P. Brunel, L. C. Chen, T. Clarke, M. R. Davis, H. DeBruin, G. Dedieu, E. Elguero, W. E. Eichinger, J. Everitt, J. Garatuza-Payan, V. L. Gempko, H. Gupta, C. Harlow, O. Hartogensis, M. Helfert, C. Holifield, D. Hymer, A. Kahle, T. Keefer, S. Krishnamoorthy, J. P. Lhomme, J. P. Lagouarde, D. Lo Seen, D. Luquet, R. Marsett, B. Monteny, W. Ni, Y. Nouvellon, R. Pinker, C. Peters, D. Pool, J. Qi, S. Rambal, J. Rodriguez, F. Santiago, E. Sano, S. M. Schaeffer, M. Schulte, R. Scott, X. Shao, K. A. Snyder, S. Sorooshian, C. L. Unkrich, M. Whitaker, I. Yucel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


The Semi-Arid Land-Surface-Atmosphere Program (SALSA) is a multi-agency, multi-national research effort that seeks to evaluate the consequences of natural and human-induced environmental change in semi-arid regions. The ultimate goal of SALSA is to advance scientific understanding of the semi-arid portion of the hydrosphere-biosphere interface in order to provide reliable information for environmental decision making. SALSA approaches this goal through a program of long-term, integrated observations, process research, modeling, assessment, and information management that is sustained by cooperation among scientists and information users. In this preface to the SALSA special issue, general program background information and the critical nature of semi-arid regions is presented. A brief description of the Upper San Pedro River Basin, the initial location for focused SALSA research follows. Several overarching research objectives under which much of the interdisciplinary research contained in the special issue was undertaken are discussed. Principal methods, primary research sites and data collection used by numerous investigators during 1997-1999 are then presented. Scientists from about 20 US, five European (four French and one Dutch), and three Mexican agencies and institutions have collaborated closely to make the research leading to this special issue a reality. The SALSA Program has served as a model of interagency cooperation by breaking new ground in the approach to large scale interdisciplinary science with relatively limited resources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-20
Number of pages18
JournalAgricultural and Forest Meteorology
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - 20 Nov 2000

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Financial support from the USDA-ARS Global Change Research Program, NASA grant W-18,997, NASA Landsat Science Team, grant No. S-41396-F, USDA National Research Initiative Grant Program, Electrical Power Research Institute, Arizona Department of Water Resources, US Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development; IRD-France, the French Remote Sensing Program (PNTS); EU through VEGETATION Projects and the ERS2/ATSR2 Projects; CONACYT (Project 4298P-T), and US Bureau of Land Management is gratefully acknowledged. Assistance was also provided in part by the NASA/EOS grant NAGW2425, EPA STAR Graduate Student Fellowship Program, National Science Foundation, US Geological Survey, US Department of Energy contract W-7405-ENG-36, California Institute of Technology-Jet Propulsion Laboratory (NASA, EOS/ASTER), WAU (Wageningen Agricultural University, Netherlands), Cochise County Highway and Flood Control Department, and Fort Huachuca; this support is also gratefully acknowledged. Support from the NSF-STC SAHRA (Sustainability of semi-Arid Hydrology and Riparian Areas) under Agreement No. EAR-9876800 is also gratefully acknowledged. Special thanks are extended to the ARS staff located in Tombstone, AZ for their diligent efforts and to USDA-ARS Weslaco for pilot and aircraft support. We also wish to extend our sincere thanks to the many ARS and University of Arizona staff and students, and local volunteers who generously donated their time and expertise to make this project a success.


  • Ecological diversity
  • Energy balance
  • Interdisciplinary
  • Land-Surface-Atmosphere
  • Semi-Arid
  • Water balance


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