Benjamin Zaitchik

Research and Professional Interests

Benjamin Zaitchik’s research is directed at understanding, managing, and coping with climatic and hydrologic variability. Understanding variability requires examination of the natural processes that drive climate and surface change. Managing variability relates to our ability to control anthropogenic influences on climate and hydrology at the local, regional, and global scales. Coping with variability includes improved forecast systems and methods of risk assessment. In each of these areas of research he employs a combination of observation-both in situ and remotely sensed-and numerical modeling techniques.

Selected Publications:

  • The Sustainability of Community-Based Adaptation Projects in the Blue Nile Highlands of Ethiopia 2014, Sustainability 6 (7), 4308-4325, 2014
  • Uncertainty in Model Predictions of Vibrio vulnificus Response to Climate Variability and Change: A Chesapeake Bay Case Study 2014, PloS one 9 (5), e98256, 2014
  • Modulation of daily precipitation over East Africa by the Madden-Julian Oscillation 2014, Journal of Climate, 2014
  • Satellite‐based hybrid drought monitoring tool for prediction of vegetation condition in Eastern Africa: A case study for Ethiopia, Water Resources Research 50 (3), 2176-2190, 2014
  • Application of Statistical Models to the Prediction of Seasonal Rainfall Anomalies over the Sahel, Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology 53 (3), 614-636, 2014
  • Heat waves and health outcomes in Alabama (USA): the importance of heat wave definition, Environmental health perspectives 122 (2), 151, 2014
  • Facilitative plant interactions and climate simultaneously drive alpine plant diversity, Ecology letters 17 (2), 193-202, 2014
  • Agroecosystem specific climate vulnerability analysis: application of the livelihood vulnerability index to a tropical highland region, Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, 1-27, 2014
  • Comparison of prognostic and diagnostic surface flux modeling approaches over the Nile River basin, Water Resources Research 50 (1), 386-408, 2014
  • Impact of Climate Change on Vector-Borne Disease in the Amazon, Global Climate Change and Public Health, 193-210, 2014
  • Subseasonal Analysis of Precipitation Variability in the Blue Nile River Basin, Journal of Climate 27 (1), 325-344, 2014
  • Temporal and spatial variability of water isotopes in Ethiopian rainfall and its implication for moisture sources, AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts 1, 1996, 2013
  • A south equatorial African precipitation dipole and the associated atmospheric circulation, AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts 1, 1050, 2013
  • GRACE Hydrology: Applications of Current and Future GRACE Missions, AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts 1, 02, 2013
  • The Value of Information from a GRACE-Enhanced Drought Severity Index, AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts 1, 07, 2013
  • Understanding the influence of global scale climate modes on inter-annual variability of African precipitation using CMIP5 simulations, AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts 1, 1085, 2013
  • Recent Advances in the GRACE Data Assimilation System, AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts 1, 02, 2013
  • Satellite-based water balance of the Nile River basin: a multisensor approach, AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts 1, 01, 2013
  • Regionalization of Africa based on Interannual Variability of Precipitation: An Improved Approach and A New Validation Index, AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts 1, 1402, 2013
  • Geospatial interpolation of MODIS-derived salinity and temperature in the Chesapeake Bay, Remote Sensing of Environment 135, 167-177, 2013
  • Abundance of water bodies is critical to guide mosquito larval control interventions and predict risk of mosquito-borne diseases, Parasites & vectors 6 (1), 179, 2013
  • Area-level risk factors for adverse birth outcomes: trends in urban and rural settings, BMC pregnancy and childbirth 13 (1), 129, 2013
  • Understanding the Dynamics of the Tropical African Climate, Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union 94 (23), 209-209, 2013
  • Weather and Welfare in Ethiopia, 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, DC, 2013
  • Heat waves in the United States: definitions, patterns and trends, Climatic change 118 (3-4), 811-825, 2013
  • Risk factors for preterm birth during heat waves: trends in urban and rural settings in the Deep South, BIRTH DEFECTS RESEARCH PART A-CLINICAL AND MOLECULAR TERATOLOGY 97 (5), 320-320, 2013
  • Carbon sequestration via wood harvest and storage: An assessment of its harvest potential, Climatic change 118 (2), 245-257, 2013
  • Alpine cushion plants inhibit the loss of phylogenetic diversity in severe environments, Ecology letters 16 (4), 478-486, 2013
  • On the potential for alternative greenhouse gas equivalence metrics to influence sectoral mitigation patterns, Environmental Research Letters 8 (1), 014033, 2013
  • Agroecosystem Analysis of the Choke Mountain Watersheds, Ethiopia, Sustainability 5 (2), 592-616, 2013
  • Representation of soil moisture feedbacks during drought in NASA unified WRF (NU-WRF), Journal of Hydrometeorology 14 (1), 360-367, 2013

Regional Experience:

East Africa: Ethiopia, Kenya; North Africa: Egypt; Middle East: Syria, Turkey; East Asia & the Pacific: Cambodia; Latin America: Peru; North America: United States

Research Tools:

Languages and fluency level: Climate and land surface models, Remote sensing, Data Assimilation, Geographical Information Systems, Field survey and flux measurements

Themes Categories:

Water in the Environment
Water Infrastructure

People Categories:

Leadership Committee
NSF IGERT Participant


Benjamin Zaitchik, climatic and hydrologic variability