Eugenia Kalnay Maniac Lecture

Personal Photograph

Dr. Eugenia Kalnay received her undergraduate degree at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and her Ph.D. at MIT. She was an assistant professor at the University of Montevideo, Uruguay, and became an associate professor at MIT. She left MIT in 1979 and worked at NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center for 8 years, first as a Senior Scientist and then as a Branch Head. From 1987-1997, she was Director of the Environmental Modeling Center (EMC) of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) in Camp Springs, Md. During those ten years there were major improvements in the NWS models' forecast skill. Many successful projects came to fruition, such as the 60+years NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis (the paper on this Reanalysis has been cited over 10,000 times), seasonal and interannual dynamical predictions, the first operational ensemble forecasting, 3-D and 4-D variational data assimilation, advanced quality control, and coastal ocean forecasting. EMC became a pioneer in both the fundamental science and the practical applications of numerical weather prediction. From 1998-1999, she had an endowed chair (Robert E. Lowry Chair, School of Meteorology) at the University of Oklahoma. At present, she holds the title “Distinguished University Professor” in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science at the University of Maryland, which she chaired before.

Dr. Kalnay’s current research interests are in numerical weather prediction, data assimilation, predictability and ensemble forecasting, coupled ocean-atmosphere modeling and climate change and sustainability. Her book, Atmospheric Modeling, Data Assimilation and Predictability (2003) sold out within a year, is now on its fifth printing and was published in Chinese (2005) and in Korean (2012). A second edition is in preparation. With J. Yorke, she co-founded the Weather/Chaos Group at UMCP, which discovered the presence of low dimensionality in unstable regions of the atmosphere detected with breeding (Patil et al, 2002) and applied this result to develop the Local Ensemble Kalman Filter (Ott et al. 2002, 2004), the Local Ensemble Transform Kalman Filter (Hunt et al., 2007), and its extension to 4 dimensions (Hunt et al., 2004).

She has received numerous awards, including the 2009 IMO Prize of the World Meteorological Organization, the 2015 AMS Joanne Simpson Mentorship Award for effectively mentoring many early career scientists, and the 2015 AMS Honorary Member Award. She is also a Fellow of AGU (2005), AAAS (2006), and AMS (1983). Dr. Kalnay is a member of the UN Scientific Advisory Board on Sustainability created by the UN Secretary General.