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  Cornell University

Steinschneider Research Group

Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering



Dr. Scott Steinschneider is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering at Cornell University. His primary expertise is in statistical hydroclimatology, with two principal focus areas: (1) the characterization of hydroclimatic variability across space-time scales, and (2) the analysis of hydroclimate impacts in the water sector. His work has focused on water systems across the United States and globally and has been sponsored by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration, New York Sea Grant, National Science Foundation, and US Department of Agriculture. He earned his BA in Mathematics from Tufts University and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Prior to arriving at Cornell, he was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Columbia Water Center at Columbia University.

Current Members

cornellimageKenji Doering completed his B.S. in Biophysics with Minors in Chemistry and Mathematics at the University of Washington in 2014.  He continued his work at a lab studying Nanopore DNA Sequencing until 2016 when he began his M.S./ Ph.D. at Cornell University.  He is co-advised by Profs. Lindsay Anderson and Scott Steinschneider in the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering studying long-term climate variability and the impacts on renewable energy. In his free time, Kenji enjoys playing ultimate frisbee, rock climbing, and biking.


Kyla Semmendinger completed her B.S. in Environmental Engineering with minors in Spanish, Chemistry, and Engineering for Development from Mercer University (Macon, Georgia) in 2018. She’s currently pursuing her Ph.D. in the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering. Her research interest focuses on coupling flood risk prediction with community engagement to maximize flood resiliency in vulnerable shoreline communities. In her free time, Kyla enjoys gardening, kayaking, and hiking.


Kezhen (Jenny) Wang completed her M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Davis in characterizing sediment transport processes using a 1D watershed model in the summer of 2018. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Cornell University. She is advised by Dr. Scott Steinschneider in the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering, studying the dynamic rating curve between sediment concentration and flow discharge in natural river systems using dynamic linear model approach. Her research interest is in water resource system engineering, particular in the interaction between water and sediment processes.

Zachary Brodeur received his B.S. in Environmental Engineering with a Minor in Chinese from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 2005 and an M.S. in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 2013. He completed 13 years of active-duty service in the U.S. Air Force in 2018, finishing his career at the rank of Major as an F-16 instructor pilot. He joined the Steinschneider group in the same year to pursue a M.S./Ph.D. in Biological and Environmental Engineering with broad interests in understanding how climate change and other anthropogenic forcing mechanisms will influence future human-environment interactions in the water resource domain. In his free time, he enjoys skiing, biking, woodworking and hiking, among other things.

Swatah Snigdha Borkotoky completed his bachelors in Civil Engineering from the National Institute of Technology – Warangal, India in 2017. For one year he worked as a Project Technical Assistant under Prof. Subimal Ghosh at the Indian Institute of Technology – Bombay at the Hydroclimatology lab. His project focus was on statistical post-processing of Extended Range Forecast of the Indian Summer Monsoon. Previously he was a Summer Student Intern at the Columbia Water Center, Columbia University in 2016, where he was guided by Prof. Upmanu Lall. Currently, he is pursuing his PhD under Prof. Scott Steinschneider. His research focus is on understanding plaeoclimate variability and possible reconstruction in the western United States. In his free time, he enjoys playing tennis (amateur), hiking and trivia nights.

Luria Greene graduated cum laude with a B.S. in Biological Engineering from Cornell University College of Engineering in 2019. She is currently a PhD candidate in the field of Biological and Environmental Engineering. She has broad interests in water resources, ecohydrology, sustainable systems, climate change and bioenvironmental challenges in rural and low-resource areas. Her current research focuses on hydrologic modeling for predicting flood risks in low-lying communities.


Nasser Najibi is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Steinschneider Lab at Cornell University. He investigates hydroclimatic dynamics and weather regimes with their influences on regional hydrology and reservoir operations conditional on changing climate systems, land-atmosphere interactions, and extreme perturbations of the Earth system components. In particular, he works towards developing physically-based statistical models for climate impact assessments of water systems and the integration of process-based insights into the ensemble-based frameworks. Prior to this, he received his M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering from The City College of New York, City University of New York (New York, USA) in 2017 and 2019, respectively. He has also received his M.Sc. and B.Sc. degrees, respectively, from the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (China) and the University of Tehran (Iran) in 2014 and 2011. For more information, please visit

Sudarshana Mukhopadhyay is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Steinschneider Lab at Cornell University. Her primary research area is statistical hydrology with an emphasis on stochastic hydrological modeling that aims at efficiently using climate information in water resources management. She is interested in river-basin scale multi-reservoir modeling for understanding water-energy nexus using probabilistic hydroclimatological forecasts and identifying the drivers of hydroclimatic variability across different spatial and temporal scale. She earned her Ph.D. in Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering with specialization in Climate, Hydrology and Water Resources modeling in Spring, 2020 from North Carolina State University (Raleigh, NC). Sudarshana is a former USGS Global Change Fellow of Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center, a former Graduate Visitor Fellow at National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), and a former DAAD Fellow. For more information, please visit

Past Members


Elizabeth Carter received her BS from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2009 and her MSc in Environmental Information Science from Cornell University in 2015, modeling response of large-scale cropping systems to climate variability. She’s currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Biological and Environmental Engineering as a member of the Steinschneider Research Group.

Research interest: hydroclimatology, agricultural water use, water resources


Scott Worland is currently the director of data science at FreightWaves and is responsible for designing end-to-end machine learning frameworks to improve near-time analytics in the freight market. Previously, Scott was a postdoctoral researcher in the Steinschneider Lab and an employee of the U.S. Geological Survey who applied statistical-learning methods to answer pressing earth-science questions. His previous research involved estimating streamflow in ungaged catchments using advanced machine-learning and statistics. He completed his PhD at Vanderbilt University in environmental engineering in May 2018.


munir_picDr. Munir Ahmad Nayak is an Assistant Professor in Civil Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology at Indore . Prior to doing a postdoc in the Steinschneider Lab, he earned a Ph.D. degree in Hydroscience and Water Resources Engineering from the University of Iowa, and three master’s degrees in the fields of Water Resources Engineering, Environmental Water Resources Systems, and Statistics. His research has focused on understanding climate impacts on hydrology and water resources, particularly extreme precipitation events, floods and droughts. He is particularly interested in finding innovative ways for water resources management and optimization of water resources systems under uncertain future, especially in water-stressed regions. In his doctoral thesis, he comprehensively evaluated the impact of climate process called Atmospheric Rivers (ARs)—long and narrow regions in the lower troposphere characterized high water vapor transport—on the extreme precipitation and flood frequency over the central United States. He has also worked on understanding global drought characteristics in future climate scenarios. For publications, see


untitled1Dr. Kuk-Hyun Ahn is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at KongJu National University. Prior to doing a postdoc in the Steinschneider Lab, Kuk-Hyun received his Ph.D. in Lyles School of Civil Engineering at Purdue University, West Lafayette in Fall 2014, and was a postdoctoral research scientist in the Northeast Climate Science Center at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His primary research area is in the analysis and prediction of hydrologic systems to provide decision-centric information for the sustainable design and management of integrated water resource systems.

Wang Fu completed his B.S. in Hydraulic Engineering with a minor in Computer Science at Tsinghua University, China in 2014. Then he began his Ph.D. in the State Key Lab. of Hydroscience and Engineering at Tsinghua University still. From Sep. 2017 to Jun. 2018, Wang was at Cornell University as a visiting student advised by Scott Steinschneider, mainly studying the effect of ENSO and other teleconnections on regional precipitation. His research interest is in hydrology, machine learning, and particularly, some promising combinations of these two areas.

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