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I have studied, monitored and researched the hydrology, climates, and water resources of the western US for 40-plus years, focusing on regional water resources, watershed modeling, causes of hydroclimatic variability and extremes (including atmospheric rivers and droughts) and climatic-change influences. I retired from the US Geological Survey as a senior research hydrologist after 38 years in 2019, and have been a research associate (and later, visiting researcher) of the Climate Atmospheric Sciences and Physical Oceanography Division of Scripps Institution of Oceanography since 1997. For a few years recently, I was a research affiliate of the Desert Research Institute. In addition to my "day job", over the years, I have been:

  • Surface-water Discipline Research Advisor for USGS for six years

  • Member of California Department of Water Resources Climate Change Technical Advisory Group during two of its climate-change assessment cycles

  • A lead author of the Water Resources chapter of the 2013 National Climate Assessment

  • Co-editor of the 2008 and 2016 State of Bay-Delta Science Reports

  • Convening lead author of the inaugural 2018 Sierra Nevada Region Report for the Fourth California Climate Assessment

  • Member of the Standing Review Board for NASA's Surface-Water/Oceanographic Topography Mission


I've authored and co-authored 160+ scientific articles and chapters in scholarly journals and books, 34 government reports, and 100+ other reports in less formal outlets. My work has been cited in the scientific literature 35,000 times (>14,000 since 2018), and my research has led directly to three new entries in the American Meteorological Society's Glossary of Meteorology since 2018.

Photo: Lamoille Cyn, Ruby Mtns, Nevada



for "physical-science leadership [as phys-sci team leader] in multiagency DOD/DOI Mojave ecosystem planning," 1996


California Department of Water Resources

for "helping DWR to incorporate climate-change adaptation into water planning and management"

2007, 2014

Hydrology FELLOW,

American Geophysical Union (AGU)

for "insightful, societally relevant research in understanding how climate and weather affect the variability of hydrologic systems," 2014

Atmospheric & Hydrospheric FELLOW, American Association for the Advancement of Science

for "seminal contributions to the understanding of the hydroclimatology of the Western US,” 2018

SENIOR SCIENTIST, US Geological Survey


SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD, California Extreme Precipitation Symposium

for "scientific contributions [that] have informed public decisionmaking resulting in increased public safety from floods and droughts," 2020

AGU TYNDALL LECTURER on History of Global Environmental Change, speaking about the history of water resources & climate change studies in the Western US, 2021

US NATIONAL ACADEMY OF ENGINEERS, for "hydroclimate research that significantly enhanced the understanding and management of water resources in the western United States," 2022



University of California, San Diego

BA Physics, Summa cum Laude


Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MS Civil Engineering (Water Resources)


University of California, Los Angeles

MS & PhD Atmospheric Sciences

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