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Charles J. Vörösmarty, PhD

USARC Commissioner

TERM EXPIRED: February 26, 2016

REPRESENTATION: Academic/Research

FOCUS: Earth Systems Science, Terrestrial Water Studies

Charles J. Vörösmarty, PhD
Director, City University of New York Environmental Cross-Roads Initiative
Distinguished Scientist, NOAA-CREST
The City College of New York
160 Convent Avenue,
W. 138th Street
Marshak Room 925
New York, NY 10031

Charles Vörösmarty leads the City University of New York’s (CUNY) Environmental Cross-Roads Initiative located at The City College of New York, is a Professor of Civil Engineering, and a Distinguished Scientist with NOAA-CREST (Cooperative Remote Sensing Science and Technology Center). His research interests center on the development of computer models and geospatial data sets used in synthesis studies of interactions linking the water cycle, climate, biogeochemistry, and human activities. His studies are cast at local, regional, and continental-to-global scales, analyzing the terrestrial water cycle, pollution and other threats to river systems, as well as the impacts of large-scale water engineering on ecosystems and human water security.

Dr. Vörösmarty has served on several Arctic-related panels, including the National Research Council’s committee to review NASA’s polar earth observing systems, the NSF-ARCSS Committee (AC), the NSF-Arctic CHAMP hydrology initiative (as co-Chair), and the Arctic HYDRA International Polar Year (IPY) Planning Team. He also led the project management office of the NSF FreshWater Integration Study (FWI). He served as coordinator of the Northern Eurasia Earth Science Partnership Initiative’s (NEESPI) Focus Research Center on Hydrology. Through a series of NSF grants, he assembled regional and continental-scale hydro-meteorological data compendia, including the largest single such collection, Arctic-RIMS covering northern Eurasia and North America.

Dr. Vörösmarty has mobilized national and international partnerships to advance the study of strategic environmental issues. He served as Convening Lead Author on the global fresh water resources chapter of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. He is a founding member of and co-Chairs the Global Water System Project, representing the input of more than 200 international scientists under theEarth System Science Partnership (ESSP). In this capacity he is spearheading efforts to develop global-scale indicators of water stress, to develop and apply databases of reservoir construction worldwide, and to analyze coastal zone risks associated with water diversion. He recently won one of two national awards through the U.S. National Science Foundation to execute studies on hydrologic synthesis through a consortium of academic and agency partners across the Northeast Corridor. Follow-on work is developing regional earth system models that co-balance natural science and human dimension perspectives. Dr. Vörösmarty also serves on the NASA Earth Science Subcommittee and is the co-Chair of theNational Research Council’s Committee on Hydrologic Science.  For the United Nations, he has served as consultant to the 24-agency UN World Water Assessment Programme, was a lead author for the 3rd World Water Development Report, and represented the International Council of Scientific Unions at UN Commission on Sustainable Development meetings. He has is providing geospatial analyses of biodiversity protection options for the World Bank.


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