This May, the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences welcomed Assistant Professor Sanjiv Kumar to its faculty. Kumar was hired within Auburn’s multidisciplinary Climate-Human-Earth System Sciences, or CHESS, cluster. In addition to his research, Kumar will teach courses related to the new geospatial and environmental informatics degree program, or GSEI.
The GSEI program offers opportunities for students to learn tools and techniques involved in data collection and development, data management, data analysis, developing prediction model, and applying these skills to environmental decision making.
“I am humbled to be a part of the GSEI program that aims to equip future generation of land/water/forest/agriculture/urban scientist, engineers, and managers with the latest technologies and skill sets necessary for a sound decision making,” said Kumar.
Kumar holds an undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology and a Master’s and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Purdue University.
Kumar’s background is in climate and hydrological modeling. His expertise involves using super computers to develop simulations which support the research of land and climate interactions, and their impacts on the availability of natural resources. “My research deals with analyzing big data (of the order of few Tera bytes) to study past and future changes in weather and climate, developing and evaluating numerical models to predict availability of natural resources from season to decades, and analyzing and communicating underlying uncertainties to the decision makers,” Kumar noted.
As part of the CHESS cluster, Kumar and his colleagues will develop models and assessments that can be helpful in improving society’s resiliency against climate extremes and variability and their resulting impacts on weather events such as floods, droughts and hurricanes.