Casey Brown, PhD, PE

Hydroclimatology and Water Resources ENGINeering
International Research Institute for Climate and Society

130 Monell Building
P.O. Box 1000
Palisades, NY 10964-8000


Research Interests


o       Hydroclimatologic variability and change

o       Climate risk management in infrastructure systems

o       Water, climate and economic development

o       Sustainable water resources planning and management


The general goal of my research is to understand the impact of hydroclimatic variability and change on society and to identify the means of lessening this impact.  The intellectual underpinnings of these approaches are:


·        Hydroclimatic variability and climate change research, including prediction at multiple times scales using climate models and statistical approaches

·        Economic instruments, such as index insurance and option contracts; and incentive-based mechanisms that communicate water scarcity and risk

·        Climate change impact assessment, including sensitivity analysis of infrastructure systems and scenario development for adaptation planning


These research activities lead to insights that will be useful for climate change adaptation and improving the resilience of infrastructure systems to climate variability.  Current projects include quantifying the climate and hydrologic sensitivity of economic development in Africa, using climate information to improve operations in the NYC Delaware reservoir system, and developing climate risk management strategies with seasonal climate forecasts and economic mechanisms for the reservoir serving Manila, Philippines.





Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering Science, Harvard University, 2004

M.S. in Environmental Engineering, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

B.S. in Civil Engineering, University of Notre Dame

Work Experience

Water Team Leader, IRI, Columbia University, 2007 – present

Associate Research Scientist, IRI, Columbia University, 2006 – present

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Dept of Earth & Env. Science, 2007 – present

Postdoctoral Research Scientist, IRI, Columbia University, 2004 – 2006

NSF Graduate Research Fellow, Division of Engineering and Applied Science, 2000 – 2004

Captain (USAF) and Asst. Professor, Dept of Civil and Env. Engineering, USAF Academy, 1997 – 2000

Lieutenant (USAF), Base Civil Engineering, 22d Air Refueling Wing, 1994 – 1997




Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, 2006

ASCE J. Water Res. Plann. and Management,  Best Policy Oriented Paper Award, 2006

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, 2001 – 2004

USAF Academy Outstanding Academy Educator, 1999




Associate Editor, ASCE Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management

Member, IRI Latin America Committee

Member, IRI Africa Committee





Kwon, H-K, C. Brown, K. Xu, and U. Lall, “Seasonal and Annual Maximum Streamflow Forecasting using Climate Information: Application to the Three Gorges Dam in the Yangtze River Basin,” Hydrologic Processes (submitted).


Westra, S., C. Brown, Sharma, A., and U. Lall, "Multivariate streamflow forecasting using Independent Component Analysis," Water Resources Research, 2006WR006104 (accepted)


Westra, S., C. Brown, Sharma, A., and U. Lall, "Modeling multivariable hydrological series: Principal Component Analysis or Independent Component Analysis?," Water Resources Research, 2006WR005617 (accepted)


Kwon, H-K, C. Brown and U. Lall, “Climate informed flood frequency analysis in Montana using hiearchical Bayesian analysis,” Geophysical Research Letters (accepted)


Xu, K., C. Brown, H-H. Kwon, U. Lall, J. Zhang, S. Hayashi and Z. Chen. (2006) “Climate Teleconnections to Yangtze River seasonal streamflow at the Three Gorges Dam, China,” International Journal of Climatology DOI: 10.1002/joc.1439 (in press).





Brown, C. and M. Carriquiry, “Managing hydroclimatic risk with option contracts and reservoir index insurance,” Water Resources Research,  2007WR006093 (accepted)


Brown, C., U. Lall, and Souza Filho, F.A., “Allocating water in a changing world: Incentive-based mechanisms for climate adaptation,” Water Policy (submitted).


Souza Filho, F.A. and C. Brown, “Performance of water policy reforms under scarcity conditions: a case study in northeast Brazil,” Water Policy (accepted).




Brown, C. and U. Lall. (2006) “Water and Economic Development:  The Role of Variability and a Framework for Resilience,” Natural Resources Forum 30: 4, 306 – 317. doi:10.1111/j.1477-8947.2006.00118.x 


Brown, C. (2006) “Designing an Index of Vulnerability to Climate Variability” Proceedings of Global Water Hotspots: Water-related social vulnerabilities and resilience-building, 23-26 July, Hohenkammer, Germany.




Brown, C. and P. Rogers. (2006) “Effect of Forecast-based Pricing on Irrigated Agriculture: A Simulation,” ASCE Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management 122, 6, pp. 403-413.

  **** Best Policy Oriented Paper Award, ASCE Environment and Water Resources Institute ****


Brown, C., and P. Rogers. (2006) Demand Management of Groundwater with Monsoon Forecasting,” Agricultural Systems 90, 293 - 311.





EESC4413:  Climate Change Adaptation and Climate Risk Management

EEECXXX: Water Resources Systems Analysis


Research Links

***IRI Session at the 4th World Water Forum***:  Achieving Water Security: Innovative Tools for System Resilience**

World Bank PSD Blog

Human Development Report - Water

United Nations Statistics

Statistical Toolbox

IRI Data Library

KNMI Climate Explorer

NOAA Climate Diagnostics Center

IRI -- International Research Institute for Climate And Society
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
The Earth Institute at Columbia University

Columbia University

American Geophysical Union

American Society of Civil Engineers


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