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Water Resources Graduate Program & College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences
Oregon State University
I am a senior scientist, manager, and communicator with over two decades of diverse professional experience spanning the public, private, academic, and nonprofit sectors in the US, Canada, Mexico, and the UK. Examples range from field research on mountain glaciers near the Alaska-Yukon border and groundwater exploration in south-central Mexico, to leading an applied R&D team in the Canadian federal government and starting my own data science consulting firm here in the US.
My interests are broad but currently focus mainly on advancing data science applications to analysis and forecasting problems in environmental science and hydrometeorology. Originally trained as a geophysicist with a solid grounding in both digital signal processing and bottom-up process physics, my attention quickly turned from gold and oil exploration to analysis and modeling of complex systems in hydrology, cryospheric science, and climate, and subsequently to data analytics and machine learning in general, which I have been working with for close to two decades. I am particularly intrigued by the integration of both underlying process physics and experiential human expert knowledge into data-driven quantitative analysis and prediction algorithms, particularly AI, and my work emphasizes bridging the gap between theory and practice. Most of my projects involve building and managing multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional, and frequently international teams.
The work that my teams and I have completed has been extensively vetted in the peer-reviewed research literature and at conferences and workshops across North America and Europe. My Google Scholar h-index is 26, with over 2,400 citations. This work includes major contributions to our understanding of how climate variability and change impact surface water and groundwater resources and hazards, especially in glacier-fed watersheds, and to the development and implementation of some of the first truly operational AI-based river forecast systems in use at governmental service-delivery organizations, which in turn spans practical progress in explainable (glass-box) machine learning and AutoML. Other areas of emphasis include integration of air- and space-based remote sensing data into hydrologic analysis and prediction platforms, applications of complex system theory to environmental systems, and quantitative investigations of interactions between society and the environment. I have also routinely performed high-profile, senior-level advisory activities, such as serving as an associate editor for several journals including Water Resources Research, on the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Commission for Hydrology, and as an invited expert reviewer of several Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports, in addition to contributing objective science-based guidance to policy formation, evaluating draft legislation, and performing environmental impact assessments. Similarly, I've demonstrated a decades-long commitment to volunteer efforts around supporting responsible environmental stewardship and historically underserved and distressed communities; current examples include participating in two humanitarian trips to Ukraine in wartime as a board member of the Corvallis Sister Cities Association and serving as a Linn-Benton County certified Master Gardener.
Public outreach and engagement on science is also a particular point of interest for me. My popular science book, Where the River Runs: Scientific Reflections on Earth's Waterways, was published in spring 2017 by Princeton University Press (PUP) (http://press.princeton.edu/titles/10978.html) and has received positive coverage in Nature, Science News, and The Toronto Metro, among others. I've also given public lectures and book signings at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC and at Science Pub events in Corvallis (OSU), Bend (OSU-Cascades), and Portland (OMSI), a live prime-time national TV news interview, and a live radio interview with an NPR affiliate. My writing has additionally appeared on the PUP blog and in Scientific American and Wired.
I own an applied data science R&D consultancy with clients and projects spanning development of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service's new water supply forecast model for the American West, testing the use of machine learning for harmful algal bloom (HAB) forecasting in a US Army Corps of Engineers reservoir as a subconsultant to the City of Salem, climate data analysis and visualization for a Canadian-based nonprofit watershed stewardship organization, and science communications support for a Silicon Valley startup. In my additional role as affiliate OSU faculty in CEOAS, and also in the Water Resources Graduate Program (WRGP), my function is to serve on the supervisory committees of graduate students, collaborate with OSU faculty on applied research, and provide practical industry perspectives to university research. I serve a similar function at the University of British Columbia.
B.Sc., Geophysics, University of British Columbia, 1994
M.S., Geophysics, Oregon State University, 1997
M.S., Geology (major), Civil Engineering (minor), Oregon State University, 1998
Ph.D., Geophysics, University of British Columbia, 2004
Owner and Chief Scientist, White Rabbit R&D LLC
Courtesy Professor, Oregon State University, Corvallis OR
Adjunct Professor, University of British Columbia, Vancouver BC
OSU email: firstname.lastname@example.org