Mallika Nocco

Position title: Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist in Agrohydrology

Pronouns: she/her


Website: Mallika Nocco's website

232D Agricultural Engineering Building
460 Henry Mall
Madison, WI 53706

Program Affiliations

  • Biological Systems Engineering

Education and Certificates

  • B.A. 2004, Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature & Philosophy, University of Minnesota
  • M.S. 2012, Soil Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Ph.D. 2017, Environment and Resources, University of Wisconsin

Fields of Interest

  • Agrohydrology, soil-plant-water relations, irrigation management, recharge, soil and water conservation


*equal contribution, #advisee or mentee

  • Smidt SJ, EMK Haacker, X Bai, K Cherkauer, B Choat, O Crompton, JM Deines, J Groh, SM Guzmán, S Hartman, AD Kendall1, M Safeeq, W Kustas, BM McGill, MA Nocco, J Pensky, J Rapp, A Schreiner-Mcgraw, M Sprenger, L Wan, L Weldegebriel, S Zipper, D Zoccatelli. 2023. Forming the Future of Agrohydrology. Earth’s Future. 11(12): e2022EF003410.
  • Bambach N* ,K Knipper*, AJ McElrone, MA Nocco, A Torres-Rua, W Kustas, M Anderson, S Castro, E Edwards#, M Duran-Gomez, A Gal#, P Tolentino, I Wright, M Roby, F Gao, J Alfieri, J Prueger, L Hipps, S Saa. The Tree-crop Remote sensing of Evapotranspiration eXperiment (T-REX): A science-based path for sustainable water management and climate resilience. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 105(1): E257–E284.
  • Moonilall# NI, KA Sklenka, MA Nocco, R Lal. 2023. Rehabilitative capacity of amendments following artificial topsoil erosion/ deposition in maize. Field Crops Research, 304: 109178.
  • Holzer# IO, MA Nocco, BZ Houlton. Direct evidence for atmospheric carbon dioxide removal via enhanced weathering in cropland soil. 2023. Environmental Research Communications, 5, 101004.
  • McDermid S, MA Nocco*, P Lawston-Parker*, J Keune, Y Pokhrel, M Jain, JJ Jägermeyr, L Brocca, C Massari, A Jones, P Vahmani, W Thiery, Y Yao, A Bell, L Chen, W Dorigo, N Hanasaki, S Jasechko, M Lo, R Mahmood, V Mishra, N Mueller, D Niyogi, S Rabin, L Sloat, Y Wada, L Zappa, F Chen, B Cook, H Kim, D Lombardozzi, J Polcher, D Ryu, J Santanello, Y Satoh, S Seneviratne, D Singh, T Yokohata. 2023. Irrigation in the Earth system. Nature Reviews Earth and Environment, 4, 435-453.
  • Hao X, MA Abou Najm, KL Steenwerth, MA Nocco, C Basset, A Dacacche. 2023. Are there universal soil responses to cover cropping? A systematic review. Science of the Total Environment.
  • Jha# G, N Floyid, R Schmidt, K Suvočarev, D Diaz#, I Kisekka, K Scow, MA Nocco. 2022. Irrigation decision support systems (IDSS) for California’s water-nutrient-energy nexus. Agronomy, 12(8): 1962.
  • Ebert# LA, A Talib, SC Zipper, AR Desai, KT Paw U, AJ Chisholm, J Prater, MA Nocco. 2022. How high to fly? Mapping evapotranspiration from remotely piloted aircrafts at different elevations. Remote Sensing, 14(7): 1660.
  • Jha# G, V Kankarla, E McLennon, S Pal, D Sihi, B Dari, D Diaz#, MA Nocco. 2021. Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) in Integrated Crop-Livestock Systems: Environmental Exposure and Human Health Risks. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(23), 12550.
  • Smail RS, MA Nocco, JB Colquhoun, and Y Wang. 2021. Remotely-sensed water budgets for Wisconsin agriculture. Agricultural Water Management, 258: 107187.
  • Jha# G, D Sihi, B Dari, H Kaur, MA Nocco, AL Ulery, K Lombard. 2021. Rapid and Inexpensive Assessment of Soil Total Iron Using NixPro Color Sensor. Agricultural and Environmental Letters, 6:e20050.
  • Nocco MA, BM McGill*, CM MacKenzie*, RK Tonietto, J Dudney, MC Bletz, T Young, SE Kuebbing. 2021. Mentorship, equity, and research productivity: lessons from a pandemic. Biological Conservation, 255. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2021.108966
  • Nocco MA, NW Feinstein, MN Stock, BM McGill, and CJ Kucharik. 2020. Knowledge co-production with agricultural trade associations. Water 12(11), 3236. doi: 10.3390/w12113236
  • MacKenzie* CM, T Chang*, MA Nocco*, RS Barak, MC Bletz, SE Kuebbing, and M Dombeck. 2020. Recurrent neural network analysis reveals strong positive public sentiment towards U.S. national monuments. Conservation Letters 13(6): e12747. doi: 10.1111/conl.12747
  • Nocco MA, SC Zipper, EG Booth, CR Cummings, SP Loheide II, CJ Kucharik. 2019. Combining evapotranspiration and apparent electrical conductivity mapping to identify precision irrigation strategies. Remote Sensing, 11(21): 2460.
    doi: 10.3390/rs11212460
  • Nocco MA, RA Smail, CJ Kucharik. 2019. Observation of irrigation-induced climate change in the Midwest United States. Global Change Biology, 25: 3472-3484.
    doi: 10.1111/gcb.14725
  • Nocco MA, MD Ruark, and CJ Kucharik. 2019. Apparent electrical conductivity predicts physical properties of coarse soils. Geoderma, 335: 1-11.
    doi: 10.1016/j.geoderma.2018.07.047
  • Nocco MA, GJ Kraft, SP Loheide II, and CJ Kucharik. 2018. Drivers of potential recharge from irrigated agroecosystems in the Wisconsin Central Sands. Vadose Zone Journal, 17(1). doi: 10.2136/vzj2017.01.0008
  • Nocco MA, SE Rouse, and NJ Balster. 2016. Vegetation type alters water and nitrogen budgets in a controlled, replicated experiment on residential-sized rain gardens planted with prairie, shrub, and turfgrass. Urban Ecosystems 19(4): 1665-1691. doi:10.1007/s11252-016-0568-7

Awards and Honors

  • 2024 Science Communication Identities Project Fellowship, Metcalf Institute & Knight Center for Environmental Journalism
  • 2023 Conservation Innovation Award. Awarded by the Soil and Water Conservation Society for the Water Talk Podcast Extension Program
  • 2022 Award for Excellence in Service to Graduate Students. Awarded by the University of California, Davis Graduate Student Association
  • 2017 David H. Smith Conservation Research Postdoctoral Fellow
  • 2016 Best Student Oral Presentation. American Society of Agronomy Annual Meeting. Awarded by the Evapotranspiration Measurement and Modeling Community.
  • 2016 Second Place, Scholarly Poster Competition. American Society of Agronomy Annual Meeting. Awarded by the Precision Agriculture Community.
  • 2015 First Place, Scholarly Poster and Lightning Oral Competition. Soil Science Society of America Annual Meeting. Awarded by the Soil Physics and Hydrology Community
  • 2016 Wisconsin Potato Industry Board Distinguished Graduate Fellow. Department of Agronomy. University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • 2014 United States Environmental Protection Agency Science to Achieve Results (EPA STAR) Graduate Fellow
  • 2013 Smith Family Distinguished Graduate Fellow. Department of Agronomy. University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • 2008 Regional Sales Performance Award. Urology and Respiratory Division. Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Midwestern Division
  • 2007 ‘Get After It’ Market Share Performance Award. Urology and Respiratory Division. Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Midwestern Division.
  • 2005 Regional Sales Performance Award. Urology and Respiratory Division. Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Midwestern Division.

Expertise Summary

  • Evapotranspiration; regenerative agriculture & water; deficit irrigation; drought resilience; managed aquifer recharge; precision agriculture; transpiration & distribution uniformity; soil-plant-water relations; feedbacks between irrigation and climate; aerial remote sensing; soil and water conservation; soil health; agrohydrology; science communication and extension