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Associate Professor

email: zaitchik at jhu.edu
office: 222 Olin Hall
phone: 410-516-4223
fax: 410-516-7933

My research is directed at understanding, managing, and building resilience to climatic and hydrologic variability and change. Understanding variability and change requires examination of the natural and anthropogenic phenomena that drive climate and surface processes. Managing variability and change relates to our ability to control anthropogenic influences on climate and hydrology at local, regional, and global scales. Building resilience to variability and change includes improved forecast systems, impacts projections, and methods of risk assessment. In each of these areas of research I employ a combination of observation--both in situ and remotely sensed--and numerical modeling techniques.

You can also listen to my interview on the People Behind the Science podcast.


[Remote Sensing of the Environment (AS 270.318/618)]

[Present and Future Climate (AS 270.378/678)]

[Climate Science & Policy (AS 271.360)]

[Modeling the Hydrological Cycle (AS 270.405)]

[The Water, Energy, Food Nexus (SA 680.792 / AS 271.402)]

[Climate Change Discussions (AS 270.405)]


Research Scientists



Hamada Badr, Assistant Research Scientist


Annalise Blum, Glenadore & Howard L. Pim Postdoctoral Fellow

Research interests:
- Hydrologic variability
- Statistical and econometric analysis
- Human and climate impacts on water resources
- Natural hazard policy



Ryan Zamora, Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests:
- Climate Dynamics and Climate Modeling
- Tropical Meteorology and Tropical Cyclones
- Seasonal Forecasting
- Land Surface Modeling

Debjani Ghatak

Debjani Ghatak, Adjunct Assistant Research Scientist

Research Interests:
-Changes in Northern hemisphere land-surface snow
-Response of snow to climate modes
-Response of snow to other cryospheric variabilities (e.g. changing Arctic Sea Ice)
-Arctic climate
-Land surface-atmosphere interactions
-Atmospheric feedback
-Climate change in high altitude region (e.g. the Himalayas, Tibetan Plateau)
-Climate modelling


Graduate Students

Asha Asha Jordan, PhD student
Nikki Nicole DeLuca, Phd Student

Wanshu Nie, PhD student

Research Interests:
- Urban Hydrology & Microclimate
- Boundary layer meteorology
- Anthropogenic heat
- Numerical modeling
- Data assimilation


Christina Recalde, PhD student



Mahmoud Osman, PhD student



Amandeep Vashisht, PhD student



Yifan Zhou, PhD student

Research Interests:
- Tropical and Subtropical Climate Dynamics
- South Asia Monsoon
- Hydrological Seasonal Forecasting
- Hydrological modeling
- High Mountain Asia Climate-hydrology interactions

Fritz Fritz Policelli, PhD student & AST in Hydrological Sciences at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center



Satish Regonda - Research Associate 2014-2016 with research on seasonal forecast biases. Now on faculty at IIT-Hyderabad
Tiffany Smith - Graduate Student 2010-2016 with research on heat wave patterns and prediction. Now a Market Fundamentals Analyst at Constellation Energy
Saleh Satti - Graduate Student 2011-2016 with research on hydroeconomic optimization and seasonal forecasts for East Africa. Now at Constellation Energy
Jose Molina- Graduate Student 2012-2016 with research on climate change downscaling. Now an independent consultant.
Fisseha Berhane - Graduate Student 2011-2016 with research on African climate variability. Now a data scientist at CGI.
Erin Urquhart- Graduate Student 2009-2014, working on remote sensing and pathogen modeling for Chesapeake Bay. Now a researcher at the US EPA National Exposure Research Laboratory.
Amin Dezfuli- Postdoctoral researcher and Assistant Research Scientist 2011-2015, working on Africa and Middle East climate dynamics. Now an Associate Research Scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
Partha Bhattacharjee- Postdoctoral researcher 2012-2013, working on downscaling of African climate change. Now at NOAA National Centers of Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Environmental Modeling Center (EMC), working on Indian Monsoon prediction.

Beth Feingold - Pim Postdoctoral Fellow 2011-2013, working on malaria risk in the Peruvian Amazon. Now an Assistant Professor at SUNY Albany.

Clement Alo - Assistant Research Scientist 2010-2011, working on Nile basin hydrometeorology. Now an Assistant Professor at Montclair State University.

Jong Ahn Chun - Assistant Research Scientist 2011-2012, working on biogeochemical and hydrological modeling. Now a Research Fellow at the APEC Climate Center.

Weston Anderson - JHU undergraduate 2011 and DoGEE MSE 2012, with research on drought monitoring and population modeling. Now a graduate student at Columbia University.

Mark Brennan - JHU undergraduate 2012, with research on greenhouse gas metrics. Now a graduate student at MIT.

Keith Spangler - JHU undergraduate 2011, with research on land cover change in the Peruvian Amazon. Now a graduate student at Brown University.