Dr. Upmanu Lall

BIOGRAPHY: Dr. Upmanu Lall is the Director of the Columbia Water Center and the Alan and Carol Silberstein Professor of Engineering, and the Chair of the Dept. of Earth & Environmental Engineering at Columbia University. He has broad interests in hydrology, climate dynamics, water resource systems analysis, risk management and sustainability. He is motivated by challenging questions at the intersection of these fields, especially where they have relevance to societal outcomes or to the advancement of science towards innovative application.
His current research covers 3 major initiatives that are developed through the Columbia Water Center. The Global Water Sustainability Initiative addresses global water scarcity and risk. The Global Flood Initiative is motivated by the need to predict, mitigate and manage floods at a global scale recognizing their climate drivers, and supply chain impacts. America's Water seeks to develop sustainable water management and infrastructure design paradigms for the 21st century recognizing the linkages between urban functioning, food, water, energy and climate. These programmatic initiatives are backed by research on systems level modeling of hydrology, climate, agronomy and economics.
Dr. Lall has pioneered the application of techniques from (a) nonlinear dynamical systems, (b) nonparametric methods of function estimation and their application to spatio-temporal dynamical systems, (c) Hierarchical Bayesian models, (d) systems optimization and simulation and (e) the study of multi-scale climate variability and change as an integral component of hydrologic systems.


Only select projects listed below
Name Start Date End Date
An Education Center for Sustainable Engineering 1/29/07 12/3/10
Aquanauts Project with The Nature Conservancy NJ 2018: Citizen Science with Paulins Kill Monitoring 3/1/18 8/31/18
Assessment of the use of Decentralized Water Systems in Residential Buildings in Mexico City 1/1/16 12/31/16
BRIDGE GRANT: Ensuring Health, Water Security and Livelihoods through Sustainable Agriculture from Field to Tap 7/1/13 12/31/13
Building Analytical Capacity for Rapid Financial Response to Floods 8/31/16 4/30/17
Climate Extremes: Aging Dams and Failure Impacts 4/1/18 3/31/20
Climate Informed Global Flood Risk Assessment 10/30/12 10/29/13
Climate Informed regional water resources and flood risk mitigation planning 1/23/13 6/30/16
Climate Predictability of Extreme Floods in the United States 8/1/10 7/31/14
Collaborative Research: Development of Adaptable Web Modules to Stimulate Active Learning in Hydrology Using Data and Model Simulations 10/1/11 9/30/16
Collaborative Research: P2C2-Inferring Spatio-Temporal Variations in the Risk of Extreme Precipitation in the Western United States from Tree Ring Chronologies 9/1/17 8/31/20
Columbia Water Center's 'Aquanauts' Education Program 6/1/12 9/1/12
Continuation & Expansion of the Water Capture System in Koraro, Ethiopia 7/1/06 12/31/14
CWC Aquanauts Education Program 6/1/12 12/31/13
Hurricane Interactive Track Simulator with Wind and Precipitation Scenarios 3/30/18 3/29/21
Improving Food and Livelihood Security through Water-Energy-Agriculture Management under Climate Change and Variability 4/1/12 3/31/15
Improving Rural Water and Livelihood Outcomes through Targeted Solutions 1/1/08 6/1/13
Mining & Water Risk: Diagnosis, Benchmarking and Quantitative Analysis of Financial Impacts 7/1/14 12/31/17
Multi-purpose pilot projects for assessing the feasibility of cost effective and sustainable technologies for drinking water storage and distribution in rural areas of Jharkhand 10/20/12 2/28/15
New Urban Ecologies: Integrating Science, Engineering and Design Through Education 1/1/04 12/31/07
Next Generation Drought Index Conceptual Study 3/26/19 2/28/21
Paleoclimate shocks: environmental variability, human vulnerability, and societal adaptation during the last millennium in the Greater Mekong Basin 7/30/09 9/30/14
Reforming Undergraduate Education in Environmental Engineering: Urban Studios as Knowledge Delivery Systems and Vehicles for Service Learning 9/15/04 8/31/09
Risk-Based Water Valuation for Mining Companies 1/1/19
The Hudson River Flood Hazard Decision Support System: Accurate Modeling of Flood Zones for Combined Sea Level, Rise, Storm Surge and Rain 1/15/13 12/31/18
The Nature Conservancy NatureNet Science Fellow 8/31/15 8/30/17
Towards a Multi-Scale Theory on Coupled Human Mobility and Environmental Change 4/2/18 6/30/21
Water Risk and Sustainability: Managing Water Risks through the Supply Chain 2/1/11 8/31/16
WSC-Category 3 Collaborative: America's Water-The Changing Landscape of Risk, Competing Demands and Climate 8/1/14 7/31/19
Data Driven Disaster Planning in New York, Tokyo, and Taipei 4/20/21 3/1/22
Mapping Flood Impacts using Multi-Sensor Satellite Data Fusion in Urban Areas 8/1/21 6/14/24
Start up funds for Early Career Researcher 7/1/17 6/30/20


Only select publications listed below
Name Published Date
A saturated stochastic simulator: synthetic US Gulf coast tropical cyclone precipitation fields 2023
Estimating return intervals for extreme climate conditions related to winter disasters and livestock mortality in Mongolia 2022
Groundwater depletion will reduce cropping intensity in India 2021
Last two millennia of streamflow variability in the headwater catchment of the Yellow River basin reconstructed from tree rings 2021
Seven centuries of reconstructed Brahmaputra River discharge demonstrate underestimated high discharge and flood hazard frequency 2020
Groundwater depletion and associated CO2 emissions in India 2018
Six Centuries of Upper Indus Basin Streamflow Variability and Its Climatic Drivers 2018
Using a Participatory Stakeholder Process to Plan Water Development in Koraro, Ethiopia 2016
HITS: Hurricane Intensity and Track Simulator with North Atlantic Ocean Applications for Risk Assessment 2015
A Tree-Ring-Based Reconstruction of Delaware River Basin Streamflow Using Hierarchical Bayesian Regression 2013
Dynamical Structure of Extreme Floods in the U.S. Midwest and the United Kingdom 2013
Is an Epic Pluvial Masking the Water Insecurity of the Greater New York City Region? 2013
Classifying North Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Tracks by Mass Moments 2009
The quantity of fresh water: sources, consumption and prospects for sustainable use 2009
Climate, stream flow prediction and water management in northeast Brazil: societal trends and forecast value 2007
Probabilistic Multimodel Regional Temperature Change Projections 2006
Improved Combination of Multiple Atmospheric GCM Ensembles for Seasonal Prediction 2004