Jay Famiglietti Elected Fellow of American Geophysical Union

He is one of 61 honored as Fellows in 2012


Professor James S. (Jay) Famiglietti, Ph.D., Department of Earth System Science in the School of Physical Sciences, and a joint appointment in in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) in The Henry Samueli School of Engineering, has been elected as a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) for his exceptional scientific contributions. The designation is conferred upon not more than 0.1 percent of all AGU members in any given year.

Famiglietti’s research group focuses on how the water cycle and freshwater resources are being impacted by climate change.  They develop advanced computer models and use satellite remote sensing and track water availability around the globe.  His work has been incorporated into several of the world’s leading global climate models, the complex numerical simulators used to predict and understand global change. Most recently, he and his students have pioneered methods using data from a new, satellite gravity mission to identify groundwater depletion in the world’s major aquifers.

“Being elected an AGU Fellow is a tremendous honor,” said Famiglietti. “It could never have happened without all of the hard work and dedication of my students and postdocs over the years.”

He is the founding director of the UC Center for Hydrologic Modeling, a University of California system-wide center established to develop state-of-the-art predictive models to address high-priority water issues in California and the Western United States. Before joining the faculty at UC Irvine in 2001, Famiglietti was an assistant and associate professor in the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin; and was the founding Associate Director of the UT Environmental Science Institute. He was selected as the 2012 Birdsall-Dreiss Distinguished Lecturer by the Geological Society of America (GSA) Hydrogeology Division. He is the past chair of the board of the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. (CUAHSI), and past editor-in-chief of Geophysical Research Letters. Famiglietti is currently leading the Community Hydrologic Modeling Project (CHyMP) with the goal of establishing a community modeling program that enables comprehensive simulation of water at any location on the North American continent.

Read a recent interview with Professor Famiglietti in the Orange County Register.