E. Raymond Hunt, Jr., Research Physical Scientist, USDA Agricultural Research
E. Raymond Hunt, Jr. (Ray) is a Research Physical Scientist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center in Beltsville, Maryland. He received his BS from Ohio University and a PhD in plant biophysical ecology from the University of Michigan. Starting in 2000, he became involved with a NASA- and ARS-funded educational program, El Ingeniero/Imagine Excellence, and developed a class project taking photographs from radio-controlled model aircraft in order to teach science, engineering, and math. This project quickly evolved into research using small UAS for precision agriculture. Dr. Hunt is a fellow of the American Society of Agronomy and a member of the American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing and the International Society for Precision Agriculture.
After the PhD, Dr. Hunt was a postdoctoral research associate at UCLA and at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. In 1989, he joined the School of Forestry, University of Montana, as a research assistant professor developing algorithms for NASA’s Moderate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). Then in 1995, he was an assistant professor in the Botany Department, University of Wyoming, where he used hyperspectral imagery (AVIRIS) to detect the noxious and invasive plant species, leafy spurge. For the last 17 years, Dr. Hunt conducted research with the USDA-ARS Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory on remote-sensing methods to enhance agricultural productivity, to manage nitrogen fertilization, and to protect natural resources. He has produced over 150 publications from his research. His paper, “Acquisition of NIR-Green-Blue Digital Photographs from Unmanned Aircraft for Crop Monitoring,” was named “Best Paper 2010-2014” in the journal, Remote Sensing.