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Two approaches for computing scattering from a random layer with an irregular interface are shown using the radiative-transfer principle. One approach is applied to a random layer to develop a scattering model for snow and sea ice, while the other is used to generate a scattering model for vegetation. It is noted that to model the scattering characteristics of a special medium, it is necessary to relate the electromagnetic parameters to the measurable parameters of the scatterers in the medium. Such relations are given and used to calculate theoretical estimates to compare with measurements acquired by microwave scatterometers.