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Agricultural and Biological Engineering

Agricultural and Biological Engineering

Dr. Michael Dukes

Professor, Irrigation
Director, UF/IFAS Center for Land Use Efficiency

Professional Engineer P.E.
Fellow, American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers
Fellow, Environmental and Water Institute of American Society of Civil Engineers

Program Areas

  • Research

    Departmental Research Areas:

    • Land and Water Resources Engineering

    Research Focus:

    • Assessment of irrigation conservation program effectiveness in Orange County, FL
    • Development of irrigation conservation programs in Southwest Florida
    • Influence of irrigation and fertility Best Management Practices on nitrogen leaching on sandy soils
    • Education on efficient irrigation and water conservation potential of smart irrigation controllers

Michael Dukes is an irrigation specialist focusing on efficient use of water in irrigated systems. What does that mean? High-quality water such as potable water in municipal systems such as at homes and businesses or water from the Floridan aquifer in the case of agriculture is often used for irrigation. According to the U. S. Geological Service, Floridians used about 6.4 billion gallons of water a day in 2012. Thirty-nine percent is used for agricultural irrigation and 36% for public supply; however, it is projected that public use will exceed agricultural use in the near future. Due to the need for adequate water to produce food and satisfy domestic uses including landscape irrigation, it is important to maximize the efficient use of water. Dukes and his team are conducting research on high tech irrigation controllers that apply water based on measurements from landscapes. These so-called “smart irrigation controllers” are saving millions of gallons of water each year in Florida and are being adopted across the U.S. Dukes is often consulted by utilities, decision makers, and groups such as the U.S. EPA WaterSense program for technical knowledge on this subject. Similarly, Dukes and his team are using real-time soil moisture sensor readings to linear move variable rate irrigation on corn and peanut to reduce excess water use and potential for nonpoint source pollution.

Dukes’ team regularly publishes in top journals in the field (http://abe.ufl.edu/faculty/mdukes/publications/) as well as a variety of industry trade outlets. They also publish peer-reviewed extension publications in the UF-IFAS Electronic Document Information System (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_a63769910). They have shown that properly implemented smart controllers can reduce over-irrigation of real-world landscapes by nearly 50%.

Dukes is also the Director of the Center for Landscape Conservation and Ecology. He leads a multidisciplinary group of faculty whose mission is to conduct interdisciplinary research and provide science-based education on urban landscape practices to protect and conserve Florida's natural resources.

Contact Information

mddukes@ufl.edu

352-294-6720

Office: 
205 Frazier Rogers Hall

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 110570
Gainesville, FL 32611-0570

  • Education
    • Ph.D North Carolina State University, 2000
    • M.C.E. University of Delaware
    • B.A.S. University of Delaware
  • Professional Experience
    • 2019 - Present
      Director, Center for Land Use Efficiency
    • 2012 - 2013
      Interim Chair, Environmental Horticulture
    • 2011 - Present 
      Professor, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, University of Florida
      Director for the Center for Landscape Conservation and Ecology
    • 2006 - 2011 
      Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, University of Florida
    • 2000 - 2006
      Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, University of Florida
    • 1998 - 2000 
      Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, North Carolina State University
    • 1998
      Graduate Teaching Instructor, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, North Carolina State University
  • Publications
  • Awards and Honors
    • Fellow, Environmental and Water Institute of American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE-EWRI), 2017
    • Fellow, American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE), 2017
    • John Deere Gold Medal Award, 2016
    • Fellow, Water Institute Faculty, University of Florida, 2015
    • Irrigation Association Excellence in Education Irrigation Foundation Award, 2014
    • EPAF Wells Fargo Extension Professional and Enhancement Award  2013
    • Young Extension Worker, American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE), 2011
    • Research Foundation Professorship, University of Florida, 2010
    • Blue Ribbon Award, American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE), 2010
    • Florida Section Young Engineer, American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE), 2009
    • Outstanding Service Award, ASABE Florida Section, 2007
    • Outstanding Reviewer Award, American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE), 2007
    • Young Researcher Award, American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) - Florida Section, 2005
    • Alpha Epsilon Honor Society
    • Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society
    • Gamma Sigma Delta Agricultural Honor Society
  • Other Professional Activities
    • American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers
    • National Society of Professional Engineers
    • American Society of Civil Engineers, Environmental Water Resources Institute