Upmanu Lall

Alan and Carol Silberstein Professor of Earth and Environmental Engineering and of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics
Office: 842F S.W. Mudd
Phone: (212) 854-8905
Email: ula2@columbia.edu

Alan & Carol Silberstein Professor of Engineering

Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering

Department of Civil Engineering & Engineering Mechanics

Director, Columbia Water Center

Senior Research Scientist, International Research Institute for Climate & Society


Research Areas:

Hydroclimatology, nonlinear dynamics, and applied statistics; natural hazards, water systems, and risk management; water technologies for developing countries


Dr. Upmanu Lall is a leading expert on hydroclimatology, climate change adaptation, risk analysis and mitigation. His research has emphasized hydrology, water resource systems analysis, operations research and stochastic processes with applications to flood/drought risk and uncertainty assessment and the design and operation of water systems. He 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, and (c) the study of multi-scale  climate variability and change as an integral component of hydrologic systems. As new knowledge was created in these areas, he has focused on its application to water resources management through innovation in adaptive or dynamic risk management methods that can use information on the structure of climate for simulation or forecasting. Recently, he has become concerned with the issue of global and regional water sustainability, and the more general issue of modeling and managing planetary change due to coupled human and natural dynamics. He is developing technical and policy tools for the projection and management of environmental change as part of a quantitative approach to sustainability of earth systems.


Ph.D. in Civil Engineering, University of Texas, Austin, TX, 1981

M.S. in Civil Engineering, University of Texas, Austin, TX, 1980

B. Tech in Civil Engineering, I.I.T. Kanpur, India, 1976


Current Research Interests

Global Water Security

 Hydro-climate modeling

Time series analysis and forecasting

Bayes Networks for Process Modeling and Decision Making

Risk and reliability

 Water Resource Management using Climate Information


Current Research Projects


1.      Climate Predictability of Extreme Floods with Y. Kushnir, A Robertson,J. Nakamura

2.      CCRUN:  Climate Change RISA in Urban Areas, C. Rosenzweig (PI) with U. Lall, P. Kinney, S. Someshwar & L. Goddard, R. Chen, and Y.  Kushnir

3.      Reconstructing Climate From Tree Ring Data A. Gelman (PI), with E. Cook and U. Lall

4.      Paleoclimate Shocks:Environmental Variability,Human Vulnerability, and Social Adaptation During The Last Millennium In The Greater Mekong Basin, Buckley, B., (PI); with Anchukaitis,K., Cook, B., Heikkila, T., Lall,U., Cook, E., Levy, M

5.      Improving rural water and livelihood outcomes in India, China, Africa, and Brazil,  with T. Heikkila, V. Modi, J. Sachs

6.      Sustainable Development of Water Resources in Ethiopia: Learning from doing in Koraro,  with P. Block



Undergraduate: Hydrology, Water Resources Engineering, Computations And Computer Analysis, Fluid Mechanics Laboratory, Operations Research II, Systems Analysis For Civil Engineers, Water Project Analysis, Groundwater Hydrology; Earth Resources and the Environment; A Better Planet by Design


Graduate: Groundwater Hydrology, Statistics in Water Resources, Water Resource Systems Analysis, Optimization Of Large Systems, Applied Probability Theory, Statistical Decision Theory, Hydro-electric Power, Stochastic Hydrology, Groundwater Contaminant Transport, Groundwater Quantity and Quality Modeling, Spatial Hydrologic Analysis, Physical Hydrology, Low Frequency Climatic Variability, Environmental Statistics, Water Management & Development

Journal Publications:

You can find them here

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