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Nathaniel Chaney

Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Ciemas 2463, Durham, NC 27708


Prior to arriving at Duke, I was a postdoctoral research associate in the program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at Princeton University and had a dual appointment as a visiting research scientist at the NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory. I obtained my undergraduate degree at U.C. Berkeley where I received a Bachelor of Arts in Atmospheric Sciences and Applied Mathematics. For my graduate studies, I attended Princeton University where I completed a Ph.D. in Hydrology in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

My research harnesses the existing petabytes of global environmental data to improve understanding of the terrestrial water cycle. More specifically, I focus on quantifying and uncovering the role of multi-scale spatial organization over land (i.e., heterogeneity) in the Earth system. To this end, my group's research has three overarching themes: 1) improve the representation of land heterogeneity in Earth system models, 2) harness environmental data to characterize the observed spatial patterns and features over land, and 3) quantify the sensitivity of the hydrologic cycle to spatial heterogeneity. The tools that my group uses include numerical modeling, satellite remote sensing, machine learning, and high performance computing.

I am currently looking for highly motivated Ph.D. and postdocs. If the research themes of my group are of interest to you, please don't hesitate to email me.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering · 2018 - Present Civil and Environmental Engineering, Pratt School of Engineering

Education, Training & Certifications

Princeton University · 2015 Ph.D.