The image shown to the left is one of our climatological sites that constitute the UV radiation monitoring network within the USDA UV-B Monitoring and Research Program. Each site has a suite of instruments that measure downwelling radiation in various agriculturally important regions between 280 and 1040 nanometers. Detailed information about each instrument and each location can be found under the above Monitoring Network link.

UV Index for Nov 21, 2017 Local Time
Graph of UV Index is not available for this location

Latest News
November 2017

Dr. Wei Gao and Dr. Zhibin Sun attended the 21st International Congress of Biometeorology, September 3 - 7 at Durham University, Durham, United Kingdom. They presented Simulation of long-term solar UV effects on surface plant litter decomposition.

Dr. Melina Zempila attended the Third World Congress on GIS and Remote Sensing, September 20-21, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina. She presented her research Cloud Detection based on Global and Direct Horizontal Irradiances from UV and VIS Multi-Filter Rotating Shadowband Radiometers.

Dr. Zhibin Sun, Dr. Maosi Chen, Dr. Melina Zempila, Dr. Wei Gao and Rita Deike attended the SPIE, Optics and Photonics conference in San Diego, California, August 6 - 10. Dr. Zhibin presented Using Input Feature Information to Improve Ultraviolet Retrieval in Neural Networks, Dr. Chen presented his research results Using Deep Recurrent Neural Network for direct beam solar irradiance cloud screening and Dr. Zempila had two presentations titled Quality assurance of the UV irradiances of the UV-B Monitoring and Research Program: the Mauna Loa test case and Total ozone column retrieval from UV-MFRSR irradiance measurements: Evaluation at Mauna Loa station.

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Picture of our instruments at various locations
North Dakota
46.90 N
96.81 W


Ultraviolet radiation is an important component of Earth’s environment. Over time, all life on Earth has slowly evolved under the influence of UV radiation. In addition to its effects on humans, this UV energy has been studied on small and large organisms alike, from powdery mildew on wine-grape crops to large-scale rangeland grasses and forests.

Because Earth’s ecosystems have evolved slowly in concert with global climate change, any abrupt modification of UV levels must be taken seriously by the scientific community. Such an abrupt impulse was detected in the mid-to-late period of the last century, when it was discovered that chemicals harmful to the Earth’s protective ozone layer were being emitted by societies across the globe. Satellite measurements soon pointed to significant ozone depletions over Antarctic regions, and later measurements showed similar, though less dramatic and more infrequent, ozone depletions over the Arctic region.

Since then, scientists in many disciplines have been investigating possible ramifications of changing UV levels. In 1991, as part of this response, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) investigated the need for a nationwide UV monitoring activity. Positive responses from the scientific community prompted USDA to initiate the UV-B Monitoring and Research Program. The program is tasked with establishing a UV climatology and studying the effects of UV radiation on a wealth of agricultural interests including crop plants, animals, rangelands, forests, and people involved in agricultural industries.

Located within Colorado State University’s Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, the USDA UV-B Monitoring and Research Program (UVMRP):

  • provides high-quality, geographically distributed ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation measurements in support of agricultural science research that studies UV-B effects on crops, forests, plants, ecosystems, humans, animals, and aquatic systems;
  • conducts UV-B impact studies on economically important crops and works with researchers nationwide to study the response of crops to UV-B radiation and other environmental stress factors; and
  • collaborates on developing the Climate-Agroecosystem- UV Interactions and Economic (CAIE) system, a comprehensive climate-crop model that assists with predicting effects of climate change on agriculture for the benefit of policymakers.