Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder

Mike Hobbins

Research Interests

  • Evapotranspiration and evaporative demand
  • Drought monitoring and early warning
  • Secular and climate-scale hydrologic trends
  • Land surface-atmosphere interactions
  • Drivers of hydrologic spatio-temporal variability

Current Research

My goal is to advance drought and famine early warning by improved estimation and innovative exploitation of atmospheric evaporative demand. This entails fundamental research into land surface/atmosphere hydrology and outreach to stakeholders in the drought-monitoring and scientific communities. I generate reference evapotranspiration reanalyes for NOAA's stakeholders across the continental US and for FEWS NET's science communities in food-insecure countries, and I convert these reanalyses into a drought index--the Evaporative Demand Drought Index (EDDI)--that offers early warning and ongoing monitoring of agricultural and hydrologic drought.

2-week EDDI (right) indicates drought emerging, spreading, and intensifying across the Midwest during the "flash drought" event of 2012 many weeks ahead of the US Drought Monitor (left).

Honors and Awards

  • American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) Superior Paper Award for paper: “The variability of ASCE Standardized Reference Evapotranspiration: a rigorous, CONUS-wide decomposition and attribution,” 2017.
  • Gary Comer Abrupt Climate Change Fellowship, 2005 – 2008.
  • NSF Computer Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Scholarship, 2002.
  • H. W. Shen Water Resources Graduate Award, Colorado State University, 2001.
  • Best M.S. Student Paper Award at 19th Annual AGU Hydrology Days conference, 1999.