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Contact Info
Office: 3431-ATL
Phone: 301-405-5370
Eugenia Kalnay
Distinguished University Professor Emerita

Current research interests of Dr. Kalnay are in numerical weather prediction, data assimilation, predictability and ensemble forecasting, coupled ocean-atmosphere modeling and climate change and sustainability. 



2016 – Present, Member of the NOAA Scientific Advisory Board

2002 – Present, Distinguished University Professor, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD

1999 – 2002, Professor and Chair, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD

1997 – 1999, Lowry Chair Professor at the School of Meteorology, Univ. of Oklahoma and Senior Scientist, NCEP.

1987–1997, Director, Environmental Modeling Center, National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), and NCEP Deputy for Science. ES-4.

1984 – 1986, Head, Global Modeling and Simulation Branch, Goddard Laboratory for Atmospheres, NASA. GS-15.

1979 – 1983, Senior Research Meteorologist, Global Modeling and Simulation Branch, Goddard Laboratory for Atmospheric Sciences, NASA. GS-15. I developed the NASA 4th order global model that was used for ~15 years.

1975 –1978, Assistant, then Associate Professor, Department of Meteorology, MIT (first woman appointed faculty in the Department).


Honors, Awards, and Publications

i. Honors and Awards

- AGU Roger Revelle Medal, 2019

- Member of the National Academy of Engineering (1995), the Academia Europaea (2000), the Argentine Academy of Sciences (2003) and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2015).

- Honorary Member of the American Meteorological Society (Phoenix, Arizona, 2015).

- AMS Eugenia Kalnay Symposium, 7 January 2015, in Phoenix, Arizona.

- Joanne Simpson 2015 AMS Mentorship Award: “For effectively mentoring many early career   scientists, with her unstinting generosity of time and attention in providing advice, encouragement, leadership and inspiration”.

- AGU Lorenz Lecturer (2012).

- World Meteorological Organization top science award: the 2009 IMO Prize.

- Doctor Honoris Causa, University of Buenos Aires, 2008.

- First Genia Brin Professorship in Data Assimilation, UMD, 2008-present.  This generous gift supported several students that became “Lev Gandin Fellows”. The first one was Dr. Safa Motesharrei who earned two Ph.D.’s, one in Applied Math and another in Physics.

- Kirwan 2006 Faculty Research and Scholarship Prize (U. Maryland system-wide).

- Fellow of the AAAS (2006), AGU (2005), AMS (1982).

- Kalnay and Cai (Nature, 2003): In the top 100 science news (Discovery Magazine).

- American Meteorological Society Jule G. Charney Award (1995).

- Department of Commerce two gold medals (1993, 1997), silver medal (1990).

- Senior Executive Service Presidential Rank Award (1996).

- NASA gold medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement (1981).

- Yan Li, Eugenia Kalnay et al. (Science, 2018): classified by Altmetric as one of the top 100 papers for all sciences, including medicine, and as in the top 10 climate papers for 2018.


ii. Publications

More than 190 peer reviewed publications in modeling, data assimilation, predictability, climate change, societal collapse or survival, and showing that large solar and wind farms in the Sahara would double precipitation in the Sahel (Science). Kalnay et al., 1996: The NCEP/NCAR 40-Year Reanalysis Project.  Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 77, 437-471, is the most cited paper in all the geophysical sciences (more than 25,000 Google Scholar citations). The book Atmospheric Modeling, Data Assimilation and Predictability (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2003), has been reprinted many times and officially translated and published in Chinese (2005) and Korean (2012). Second Edition in preparation Kalnay et al. (2012, Tellus) introduced a new formulation that made possible the powerful Proactive Quality Control algorithm. Toth and Kalnay, 1993, and 1997 created the widely used breeding method for ensemble forecasting.


iii. Five Publications

  1. E. Kalnay, M. Kanamitsu, R. Kistler, et al. 1996: The NCEP/NCAR 40-Year Reanalysis Project.  Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 77, 437-471. (> 25,000 citations).

2.  J-S Kang, E Kalnay, T Miyoshi, J Liu, I Fung, 2012: Estimation of surface carbon fluxes with an advanced data assimilation. JGR, Atmospheres. 117, 1984-2012.

3.  E Kalnay, Y Ota, T Miyoshi, J Liu, 2012: A simpler formulation of forecast sensitivity to observations: application to ensemble Kalman filters. Tellus A, 64.

4.  S Motesharrei, J Rivas and E Kalnay, 2014: Human and Nature Dynamics (HANDY): Modeling inequality and use of resources in the collapse and sustainability of societies. J. Ecol. Economics, 101, 90-102. After 3 weeks, it became the most downloaded paper in the history of the journal.

5. Y. Li, E. Kalnay, et al, 2018: Climate model shows large-scale wind and solar farms in                    the Sahara increase rain and vegetation. Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.aar5629.


Synergistic Activities

1) Directed NCEP-NCAR Reanalysis (Kalnay et al, 1996 is the most cited paper in geosciences).

2) Member of over ten NRC and similar committees.

3) Member of the NRC committee on the NASA decadal Survey (released 2007).

4) Member of the NASA Advisory Committee (NAC, Science, 2010-2013).

5) Co-founder with Jim Yorke of the Weather and Chaos Group at UMD. Developer of many new improvements for modeling, data assimilation and ensemble forecasting.

6) Member of the international Scientific Advisory Board for Sustainability for the UN Secretary General (2013-2016).

7) Member of the NOAA Scientific Advisory Board (2016-)


Graduated Ph.D. Students: Steve Brenner (MIT, co-advisor with P. Stone, Prof. in Israel), Carolyn Reynolds (PSU, co-advisor with P. Webster, at NRL), Zhao-xia Pu (Lanzhou U., now Prof. at Utah), Carolina Vera (Prof. at U. Buenos Aires), Matteo Corazza (U Genoa), DJ Patil (UMD, co-advisor with J Yorke, E Ott and B Hunt, White House Chief Data Scientist), Sim Aberson (UMD, co-advisor with F. Baer), Malaquias Peña (UMD, Prof. U of Connecticut), Shu-Chih Yang (UMD, now Prof. at NCU, Taiwan), Pablo Grunmann (UMD, co-advisor with Ferd Baer), Takemasa Miyoshi (UMD, Asst. Prof at UMD, Team Leader on Data Assim. at RIKEN, Japan), Chris Danforth (UMD, co-advisor with Jim Yorke, Prof. at U. Vt), Hong Li (UMD, Shanghai Typhoon Inst.), Junjie Liu (UMD, Senior Scientist at JPL), Jim Jung (UMD, co-Advisor with John LeMarshall, now at NOAA), Mitch Goldberg (UMD, co-advisor with Zhanqing Li, at NESDIS), Ji-Sun Kang (Data Assim. Leader in KISTI, Korea), Matt Hoffman (with J Carton), UMD, Prof. at RIT), Juan J. Ruiz (co-advisor with C. Saulo, Prof. at UBA), Steve Penny (UMD, co-advisor with Jim Carton, now at UMD and NOAA), Steve Greybush (UMD, now Assoc. Prof. at PSU), Tamara Singleton (UMD, co-advisor with Kayo Ide and Shu-Chih Yang, at J. Hopkins), Javier Amezcua (with Kayo Ide, now at U of Reading), Safa Motesharrei, Ph.D in AMSC and in Physics (now at UMD), Guo-Yuan Lien (now at Taiwan Weather Service, Japan), Daisuke Hotta, (now at Japan. Met. Agency), Yongjing Zhao, (UMD), Yan Zhou (UMD, now at NCEP), Adrienne Norwood (J. Hopkins), Tse-Chun Chen (Postdoc, UMD), Travis Sluka (with Steve Penny) now at NOAA, Boulder, Kriti Bhargava (with J. Carton), now at UMD, Erin Lynch (with S. Sharma), now at NCEP, Takuma Yoshida, now back at Japan Meteorological Agency, Ben Katsuo Johnson(co-chair with Jacob Wenegrat, working atNCAR with J Anderson. Total: 35 PhD’s, 30 of them since I came to UMD. Of those, 12 have become tenured professors, and several more are considered top scientists in data assimilation.


Current Ph.D. students: Matthew Wespetal (with S. Greybush), Cheng Da, 2018 recipient of a 3-year NASA NESSF grant), Eviatar Bach (with Safa Motesharrei), who received the most prestigious student award from UMD, Chu-Chun Chang (with co-advisors Travis Sluka and Tse-Chun Chen), David Groff (with Tse-Chun Chen).