Los Alamos National Laboratory

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Kurt C. Solander

Kurt Solander

Phone (505) 667-6859


  • Computational Physics and Applied Mathematics
  • Numerical modeling
  • Statistics
  • Uncertainty analysis
  • Earth and Space Sciences
  • Geoscience
  • Hydrology
  • Remote sensing
  • Climate modeling
  • Computer and Computational Sciences
  • High performance computing
  • Earth and Space Sciences
  • Biogeochemistry


My primary research interest involves developing a better understanding of climate impacts on the water cycle.  Currently, I am working on the Critical Watersheds project to evaluate climate disturbance vegetation impacts from wildfire, drought, and insects on present and future hydrology in the Colorado River Basin.  These are explored through statistical analysis of extreme streamflow events using observations and projected output from Global Climate Models (GCMs) and hydrology models.  The role of climate is also investigated through statistically relating climate factors (e.g. temperature and precipitation) to the changes in hydrologic extremes.  The outcome of this work will be critical to understanding how ecosystem perturbations from a changing climate will affect our water and energy systems. 

During my Ph.D., I investigated human impacts on the water cycle through computational model development and remote sensing applications using data from the Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) and Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite missions.  I also possess field experience in support of groundwater, surface water, and soils regulatory compliance reporting for both the public and private sectors in the petroleum, mining, waste disposal, forestry, and agricultural industries.


2016   Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine, Ph.D.

2013   Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine, M.S.

2009   Hydrologic Sciences, University of Nevada, Reno, M.S.

2003   Earth and Planetary Sciences, Environmental Studies, Washington University in St. Louis, B.A.


LANL Positions

Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Applied Terrestrial Energy and Atmospheric Modeling

Advisor: Richard Middleton

6/2016 – Current


Professional Societies

American Geophysical Union

Universities Council on Water Resources (UCOWR)

American Association of Geographers (AAG)



2014-2016 NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship

2013 Jenkins Fellowship



Solander, K. C., K. E. Bennett, R. S. Middleton, 2017, Changes in the influence of climate on streamflow means and extremes in the Colorado River Basin (in prep).

Middleton, R. S., K. C. Solander, A. Atchley, K.E. Bennett, N. G. McDowell, 2017, Critical watersheds in transition, (in prep).

Bennett, K. E., T. Bohn, K. C. Solander, N. G. McDowell, C. Xu, E. R. Vivoni, R. S. Middleton, 2017, Climate change and climate-driven disturbances in the San Juan River sub-basin of the Colorado River, Hydrology and Earth System Science (in review).

Solander, K. C., K. E. Bennett, and R. S. Middleton, 2017, Historical shifts in streamflow extremes in the Colorado River Basin, Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies (in review).

Solander, K. C., J. T. Reager, Y. Wada, J. S. Famiglietti, and R. S. Middleton, 2017, GRACE satellite observations reveal the severity of recent over water consumption in the United States, Nature Communications (in review).

McDowell, N. G., K. E. Bennett, S. Michaletz, K. C. Solander, C. Xu, R. M. Maxwell, C. Allen, R. S. Middleton, 2017, Prediction and mitigation of climate-driven disturbance impacts, Trends in Ecology and Evolution (in review).

Solander, K. C., J. T. Reager, and J.S. Famiglietti, 2016, How well will the NASA Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission observe global reservoirs?  Water Resources Research, 52, 1-18.

Solander, K. C., J. T. Reager, B. F. Thomas, C. H. David, and J. S. Famiglietti, 2016, Simulating human water regulation: the development of an optimal complexity, climate-adaptive reservoir management model for an LSM, Journal of Hydrometeorology, 17, 725-744.

Solander, K. C., L. Saito, and F. Biondi, 2010, Streamflow simulation using a water balance model with annually-resolved inputs, Journal of Hydrology, 387: 46-53.