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Environmental Biophysics Lectures

During a recent semester at Washington State University a film crew recorded all of the lectures given in the Environmental Biophysics course. The videos from each Environmental Biophysics lecture are posted here for your viewing and educational pleasure.


Lecture 1 – Introduction to Environmental Biophysics

Lecture 2 – Units of measurement, unit conversion, temperature in the environment

Lecture 3 – Empirical models of air and soil temperature

Lecture 4 – Measuring air temperature – methods, sensors, and sources of error

Lecture 5 – Temperature and biological development, water vapor and other gases

Lecture 6 – Measuring water vapor in the atmosphere – vapor pressure, relative humidity, vapor deficit

Lecture 7 – Methods for measuring atmospheric humidity

Lecture 8 – Wrap up for atmospheric water vapor section

Lecture 9 – Introduction to water potential

Lecture 10 – Water potential along soil-plant-atmosphere continuum – review of water potential instruments.

Lecture 11 – Water potential wrap up. Beginning of section on wind.

Lecture 12 – Wind – calculating vertical wind speed profiles

Lecture 13 – Instruments for measuring wind speed and direction

Lecture 14 – Introduction to conductances

Lecture 15 – Conductances continued – convective heat transfer and boundary layer considerations

Lecture 16 – Conductances continued – series vs. parallel conductances, latent heat flux example

Lecture 17 – The four conductances—molecular diffusion, forced convection, free convection, and turbulent transport or eddy diffusion

Lecture 18 – An introduction to water vapor flux

Lecture 19 – Supplementary problems

Lecture 21 – Thermal properties of soils

Lecture 22- Soil heat flux, supplementary problems

Lecture 23 –  Introduction to radiation

Lecture 24 – Radiation and emittance

Lecture 25 – Radiation fluxes and calculating zenith angle

Lecture 26 – Measuring shortwave radiation

Lecture 27 – Determining energy balance in plants

Lecture 28 – Determining energy balance in plants continued

Lecture 29 – Calculating net radiation and thermal radiation

Lecture 30 – View factors as they pertain to net radiation

Lecture 31 – Calculating total radiation and leaf transpiration

Lecture 32 – Calculating leaf energy budget

Lecture 33 – Canopy evaporation as latent heat flux

Lecture 34 – Canopy evaporation as latent heat flux continued

Lecture 35 – Light in the plant canopy

Lecture 36 – Light in the plant canopy, continued, and an introduction to extinction coefficients

Lecture 37 – Animal energy balance

Lecture 38 – Analysis of wave dependence, reflectance, NDVI and PRI

Lecture 39 – Cutaneous latent heat loss and conductance through animal coats

Lecture 40 – Humans and their environment


The primary text used throughout the Environmental Biophysics class is “An Introduction to Environmental Biophysics” by Gaylon Campbell and John Norman.

Environmental Biophysics lecture textbook

Environmental Biophysics textbook

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