Zeng Elected Fellow of the American Geophysical Union

Xubin Zeng Elected Fellow of the American Geophysical Union
Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Zeng Elected Fellow of the American Geophysical Union

September 28, 2021

Xubin Zeng, professor in the Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences, has been named to the American Geophysical Union's 2021 class of fellows. The designation honors those who have made outstanding achievements and contributions in their scientific fields and who embody AGU's vision of "a thriving, sustainable and equitable future for all powered by discovery, innovation and action."

Zeng came to the University in 1998. His areas of expertise include land-atmosphere-ocean interface processes, weather and climate modeling, hydrometeorology, remote sensing and nonlinear dynamics.

AGU supports about 130,000 enthusiasts and experts worldwide in Earth and space sciences. The organization says fewer than 0.1% of its members are elected as fellows. Zeng and the other new fellows will be honored in December. 

Congratulations, Xubin!

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

HAS Faculty Members Interviewed for Arizona Public Media's Arizona Science Friday Programs

January 9, 2020

If you haven't been keeping track, over the past few months many HAS faculty members have been interviewed for Arizona Public Media's Arizona Science program aired during the NPR Science Friday segments. If you missed our original announcements, here is a recap with links to those radio interviews:

November 27, 2019 - Ali Behrangi talked to Tim Swindle in Episode 210, Using gravimetry from satellites to measure snowfall

November 1, 2019 - Jennifer McIntosh talked to Tim Swindle in Episode 206, The cost of energy independence

September 6, 2019 - Laura Condon talked to Leslie Tolbert in Episode 198, Groundwater and climate change

August 16, 2019 - Hoshin Gupta talked with Leslie Tolbert in Episode 195, Earth science and the art of crunching numbers

Congratulations to all!

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

UA HAS Department and Hohai University Collaborate on New 3+2 Degree Program in Hydrology

August 13, 2019

We have some very exciting news to share! The UA Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences and The Institute of Hydraulics and River Engineering Research at Hohai University, Nanjing, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate on a new 3+2 degree program in hydrology! 

Up to 10 Hohai undergraduates per year will enter the HAS Bachelor's program (Environmental Hydrology and Water Resources emphasis) to complete their senior year at the University of Arizona. During that year, they will complete both undergraduate and graduate courses to satisfy requirements for their Bachelor's degree at Hohai University and also a UA HAS Undergraduate Certificate in Groundwater Hydrology. During the second year, they will complete graduate course work exclusively, ultimately completing a Master of Science degree in Hydrology. The program is similar to the department's Accelerated Master's Program for HAS undergraduate majors.

Photo HAS Faculty and Hohai University Sign MOU for New 3+2 Degree Program in Hydrology

Photo: Dr. Martha PL Whitaker, HAS Associate Professor of Practice, Dr. Wen-hong Dai, Professor and Associate Director, The Institute of Hydraulics and River Engineering Research at Hohai University, and Dr. Eric Betterton, HAS Distinguished Professor and Department Head, hold the signed Memorandum of Understanding document creating the new 3+2 program, now on its way to Nanjing for approval.

Congratulations to all who worked so hard to make this new program possible. We look forward to meeting our first cohort of Hohai students very soon!

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Tom Meixner Featured in National Geographic Article "In a land of wild cats and scarce water, a battle over mining heats up"

May 7, 2019

HAS Professor Tom Meixner was featured in a National Geographic article, "In a land of wild cats and scarce water, a battle over mining heats up," on April 25, 2019. The article was part of the daily news summary sent to President Robbins and his administration in late April.

The article explores the potential environmental implications of the proposed Rosemont copper mine in Arizona. Meixner explained, "To operate, the mine would use around 5 million gallons of water per day, and somewhere around 5,000 acre-feet of water per year, equivalent to the water usage of 25,000 Tucson reisdents."

Read more about this topic and other Environmental News at the National Geographic website!

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

EOS Spotlight: Gupta and Razavi WRR Paper Featured Last Week

February 25, 2019

A recent Water Resources Research paper published by HAS Regents Professor Hoshin Gupta and co-author University of Saskatchewan Assistant Professor Saman Razavi was selected to be featured in a EOS Research Spotlight last week.

The paper, Revisiting the Basis of Sensitivity Analysis for Dynamical Earth System Models, was spotlighted on the EOS.org website on February 21, 2019. The paper investigates the problem of global sensitivity analysis (GSA) of Dynamical Earth System Models and proposes a basis for how such analyses should be performed. 

From the spotlight article's Plain Language Summary: "When developing and using computer models to (a) understand Earth and environmental systems, (b) make predictions, and/or (c) make management or policy decisions, it is very important to know which factors most strongly control the behaviors of the model. Tools to determine this are called sensitivity analysis (SA) methods.

This paper shows that the use of model performance metrics to assess sensitivity is based in faulty reasoning. By framing the problem from first principles, a logical approach is developed that provides accurate and cost-effective assessments of both time-aggregate and time-varying parameter importance. Because the approach does not require availability of system output data, it enables a comprehensive assessment and can be applied to historical and predictive conditions, as well as to future scenarios."

Congratulations, Hoshin!

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Groundwater in Peril: McIntosh Finds U.S. Groundwater Supply Falls Short of Estimation

December 12, 2018

The U.S. groundwater supply--the primary source of domestic water for about half the U.S. population--is smaller than orginally thought, according to a new research study that includes UA HAS faculty member, Jennifer McIntosh.

McIntosh recently spoke with Arizona Public Media's Arizona 360 host and producer, Lorraine Rivera, about nationwide groundwater supplies falling short of previous estimates. She explained that recent findings show the availability of fresh groundwater resources is about half of what was estimated in earlier studies and that drilling deeper wells may not be a good long-term solution to compensate for increasing demands.

The research by scientists from the University of Saskatchewan, the UA, and the University of California at Santa Barbara was published November 14 in Environmental Research Letters. Their findings show that there is potential for contamination of deep fresh and brackish water in areas where the oil and gas industry injects wastewaters into, or in close depth proximity to, these aquifers. These potable water supplies are already being used up from the "bottom up" by oil and gas activities.

Based on their findings for the U.S., the authors suggest the amount of fresh groundwater available globally may also be less than previously thought. They note that an estimated more than five billion people live in water-scarce areas, many of which rely on groundwater and where, in some cases, significantly more water has been taken out of a groundwater basin than is coming in. The authors studied the U.S. because the needed data was more readily available than in Canada or other countries.

Read more about their findings in Mari Jensen's UA News article here.

Other Media Presentations

UA NOW on Thursday, December 13

National Science Foundation on Thursday, December 13

Sugar Producer Magazine on Friday, December 14

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

NASA Awards $30M Five-Year Grant to Armin Sorooshian and Xubin Zeng

October 3, 2018

Our warmest congratulations go to HAS Joint Professor and PI Armin Sorooshian and HAS Professor and Deputy PI Xubin Zeng on their newly funded NASA project!

NASA has just announced funding for the $30M five-year collaborative project to study cloud-aerosol interactions over the Western Atlantic. Collaborators include scientists and engineers from NASA's Langley Research Center and several other universities, research centers, and laboratories.

Funding comes from NASA's Earth Venture-class program which funds projects investigating important but not well understood aspects of Earth system processes. Sorooshian, Zeng, and four other investigators from around the United States make up the third cohort of Earth Venture suborbital investigators.

Sorooshian and Zeng's investigation will focus on marine boundary layer clouds over the western North Atlantic Ocean that have a critical role in our planet's energy balance. Two NASA research aircraft will fly from Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, to gather measurements from above, below, and within the clouds.

Congratulations, Armin and Xubin!

Related | Meet AC3, Ewan Crosbie's New Cloud Water Collector

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Ali Behrangi PI on a New 2.5 Million NASA Grant to Advance Precipitation Data Record in High Latitudes

Congratulations to Ali Behrangi, Associate Professor of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences, recently named as the Principal Investigator for a new $2.5 million NASA grant to advance the Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP) over high latitude regions. With the 5-year grant, Behrangi will lead an international team of experts from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), the University of Maryland, the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Utrecht University (the Netherlands), Environment Canada, and the University of Hamburg (Germany).

GPCP is a global observational precipitation product that has become a science community standard, having been used in over 4000 journal articles. The current monthly (1979-present) and daily (1996-present) products have been developed by research groups over the last 20 years. The GPCP is the precipitation component of an internationally coordinated set of mainly satellite-based global products dealing with the Earth’s water and energy cycles, under the auspices of the Global Energy and Water Exchanges (GEWEX) project of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP).

The project will utilize the strengths offered by recent space-borne sensors and retrieval methods to generate the next generation GPCP merged precipitation products in high latitudes poleward of 40o latitude and integrate it to the latest GPCP product. Revising GPCP data products over such climate-sensitive and hydrologically important regions has remained a major gap. The project will identify, quantify, diagnose, and reduce uncertainties in the GPCP data products in high latitudes and generate an improved long-term GPCP data record calibrated to the recent observations from NASA’s missions and in-situ observations from international groups. Connecting these new, short-term measurements to the long-term GPCP analysis will amplify the impact of NASA and other agencies new missions to advance our climate data record.

Behrangi joined the University of Arizona in January 2018 after working for more than 8 years at NASA JPL. He is currently principal investigator on four other projects, Lead member of the WCRP weather and climate extreme grand challenge, and member of the WMO/WCRP joint Expert Team on Climate Change Detection and Indices (ETCCDI). He is a fellow of the Kavli Frontiers of Science, National Academy of Sciences and received the NASA JPL Early Career Achievement Medal in 2016.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Rewati Niraula and Thomas Meixner Lead Study in Groundwater Recharge and Climate Change in the West

November 20, 2017

Groundwater recharge in the Western U.S. will change as the climate warms -- the dry southern regions will have less and the northern regions will have more, a University of Arizona-led research team reports.

"Our study asked what will be the effect of climate change on groundwater recharge in the Western U.S. in the near future, 2021-2050, and the far future, 2070-2100," said first author Rewati Niraula, now a senior research associate at the Texas Institute of Applied Environmental Research at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas. The research, which used 11 different global climate models, was part of his doctoral work in the UA Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences.

The new study covers the entire U.S. West, from the High Plains states to the Pacific coast, and provides the first detailed look at how groundwater recharge may change as the climate changes, said senior author Thomas Meixner, UA professor and associate department head of hydrology and atmospheric sciences.  Read more in the original article by Mari Jensen published by UA News.org.

You can contact Rewati at: niraula@tiaer.tarleton.edu

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Jennifer McIntosh Co-PI on New $1 Million Keck Foundation Grant to Study Fluid-Rock Systems in the Paradox Basin

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Jennifer McIntosh, Associate Professor of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences, is a Co-PI on a new $1 million W.M. Keck Foundation grant with UA Professor Peter Reiners (Geosciences) to study subsurface fluid-rock systems.  With the three-year grant, Reiners, McIntosh, and other team members will integrate geologic, geochemical, geochronologic and hydrogeologic observations to develop a more integrated, interdisciplinary understanding of subsurface fluid-rock systems. Prior to this, most approaches studying subsurface interactions looked only at parts of the system in isolation. Their work will focus on the Paradox Basin, located mostly in eastern Utah and western Colorado. For full details, see the original article published by UANews.org. Congratulations, Jen!

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

A. Richard Kassander, Jr., Noted Scientist, Educator, and Humanitarian Has Died

Founding Department Chair, Atmospheric Sciences/Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Has Died at Age 96 

Monday, August 24, 2017

Arno Richard "Dick" Kassander, Jr., UA Vice President Emeritus and Professor Emeritus, passed away on July 27, 2017 in Mesa, AZ. Dick was born in Carbondale, Pa, Sept 10,1920.  One of the most influential scientists of his generation, Kassander served as the first department head for the UA Department of Atmospheric Sciences/Institute of Atmospheric Physics and was highly instrumental in the creation of many University of Arizona units, including the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory and Flandrau Planetarium. He was also Director Emeritus of the Water Resources Research Center and, as the Graduate College Vice President for Research, collaborated with John W. Harshbarger in the formation of the UA Department of Hydrology and Water Resources. Kassander was a member of the Board of Trustees for the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). (Indeed, the founding UCAR meeting took place on the UA campus because of Kassander, and he served as its first chair.) An archived NCAR/UCAR OpenSky document from October 1968 (click on Staff Notes 122) shows Kassander stepping down as chair of the UCAR Board. Details of Kassander's life and many accomplishments, as well as information about a planned memorial service, are included in his obituary at Legacy.com. Our heartfelt condolences are extended to all of the Kassander family.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Arizona Board of Regents Confirms Appointment of Hoshin Gupta as Regents' Professor

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The title of Regents’ Professor is reserved for faculty members whose exceptional achievements merit national and international distinction, and is conferred on no more than 3% of the total number of the University’s tenured and tenure track faculty members.

Hoshin Gupta, Professor in the College of Science, Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences has tackled some of the most fundamental challenges of hydrologic modeling throughout his career. His multiple path-breaking contributions have enabled researchers to improve model parameterization, hydrologic modeling, and model evaluation. His work within his field and across disciplines has contributed to enhanced understanding of human-natural system interactions. In the 1980s, Professor Gupta and his colleagues developed the first global optimization algorithm for hydrologic models. In the 1990s, Professor Gupta connected Artificial Neural Networks and hydrologic modeling, especially in the context of estimating rainfall and streamflow. This work has been foundational for efforts that retrieve global precipitation from satellite observations. In the 2000’s, Professor Gupta was Executive Director of the SAHRA science and technology center to bridge water science with decision making. More recently, he co-led development of the UA Program in Terrestrial Hydrometeorology, and led the European Union funded international transdisciplinary network to develop EU/US links through Sustainable Water ActioN (SWAN).

Professor Gupta’s work is highly recognized nationally and internationally. His extraordinary talent shines through everything he does, and his impact is broad. Professor Gupta’s excellence in the classroom, both at the graduate and undergraduate level, has been acknowledged through numerous teaching awards, and his service to the University of Arizona and to the profession is exemplary.

Go to UANow for article.

Read more about Gupta's teaching and research philosophy at the Daily Wildcat article here.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Associate Professor Jennifer C. McIntosh Receives the Distinguished Scholar Award

Friday, March 10, 2017

Congratulations to Dr. Jennifer McIntosh for receiving the Distinguished Scholar Award.  This award was established to acknowledge outstanding mid-career faculty who are leading experts in their fields and highly valued contributors to the teaching, research, and outreach priorities set out in the University's Strategic Plan, Never Settle.

Dr. McIntosh was selected because her colleagues made a compelling case for the vital importance of her contributions and the international impact of her achievements.  Her nomination was reviewed by a committee of distinguished faculty who wrestled with the challenges of reviewing the most outstanding mid-career faculty from across campus.

The committee recommended her selection because of her productive and broadly cited record of scholarly achievements and the strong praises that she received for mentoring of undergraduate and graduate researchers.  Her nomination and other supporting letters effectively documented that she is advancing an innovative and well-regarded research program that is having a major impact in her field.  The committee duly noted her award-winning teaching and mentoring record and her broad engagements in our department and college, including her work to recruit and support women and students from underrepresented minority backgrounds.

Along with the title of Distinguished Scholar, Dr. McIntosh will be receiving a one-time fund of $10,000 to further her scholarly work.

We are all very proud of her and her accomplishments, and honored to have her as a colleague and inspiration in our department.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Associate Professor Jen McIntosh Featured in National Geographic

Monday, March 6, 2017

Dr. Jennifer McIntosh, Associate Professor of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences, was recently featured in a National Geographic article, "Old Water and New Knowledge at Cienega Creek."  Cienega Creek is special because it is one of the few remaining perennial streams in Southern Arizona and has been the subject of heated debate and detailed study for nearly two decades.

In the Cienega Basin in Southern Arizona, her hydrology group is using spectrographic and chemical analyses to research the "signature" of water flows, including the age of the water, and, ultimately, to expand knowledge of how the hydrology of this basin functions.  Read more at National Geographic's Water Currents website.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Regents Professor Vic Baker Featured in High Country News

Monday, February 27, 2017

Regents Professor Vic Baker's ongoing research in paleohydrology has been featured in a High Country News article, "Have we underestimated the West's superfloods? Scientists warn that enormous floods may be more likely than we thought--and the Oroville Dam and others weren't built to withstand them." 

By combing the Colorado River, the Green River, and others in the Southwest for sediment deposits and other flood evidence and then carbon-dating the results, Baker has concluded that the short-term record severely underestimates the size and frequency of large floods. Read more at the High Country News website.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Hoshin Gupta Receives Horton Lecture Award from AMS

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Congratulations to HAS Professor Hoshin Gupta on receiving the Robert E. Horton Lecture in Hydrology Award at the American Meteorological Society's 2017 Annual Meeting in January for research into calibration and optimization of hydrological models, and for fundamental contributions towards quantifying uncertainty in hydrologic model predictions. 

The Robert E. Horton Lecturer in Hydrology is selected in recognition of eminence as a scientist for outstanding research on topics of interest to both hydrologists and meteorologists. The purpose of the lectureship is to encourage and foster an interchange of ideas between meteorologists and hydrologists. It is named for Robert E. Horton (1875-1945), whose career was distinguished by important assignments involving intricate hydrometeorological problems and by contributions to the sciences of meteorology and hydrology embracing all phases of the hydrologic cycle. The lecture, which may be either a general overview or a summary of recent work conducted in an area of particularly current interest, is presented at an AMS Annual Meeting or at an appropriate specialty conference. The lecture may be recorded for broader dissemination and, if desired by the Lecturer, a written version of the lecture will be posted as part of BAMS Online.

Nominations are considered by the STAC Committee on Hydrology, which makes recommendations for final approval by AMS Council.  Go to the American Meteorological Society's website for a list of all 2017 Award Winners.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

   New Publication on Water Scarcity   

"Water Bankruptcy  in the Land of Plenty," a new publication written by HAS faculty members and affiliates Franck Poupeau, Hoshin Gupta, Aleix Serrat-Capdevila, Maria Sans-Fuentes, Susan Harris, and Lazslo Hayde, has just been released by the CRC Press as part of the UNESCO-IHE Lecture Note Series. The digital eBook version is not available as a free download at the repository hosted by TU Delft Library.

Features of the book:

  • Focus on water quality management from diverse and internationally comparative perspectives
  • Special attention to the socio-economic dimension of drought in the American Southwest, especially in southern Arizona
  • Reasons for success and failure of implementing water management models
  • Stipulates the importance of institutions to successful water management

Developed by a team of natural scientistst, social scientists, and water resource managers from Europe and the US, the book represents a concerted effort to explore the interplay between a variety of related scientific disciplines and frameworks, including climatology, hydrology, water management, ecosystem science, societal metabolism, political economy, and social science and is written for students, researchers, consultants, and practitioners of all academic levels.