Gentine Named Worzel Professor of Geophysics

Dec 15 2020

Pierre Gentine, professor in the Earth and Environmental Engineering and Earth and Environmental Sciences, has been named Maurice Ewing and J. Lamar Worzel Professor of Geophysics in the Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering and Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences. His appointment, effective January 1, 2021, recognizes his “outstanding research scholarship, teaching, service and leadership in his field and at Columbia Engineering,” wrote Dean Mary Boyce and Vice Dean Shih-Fu Chang. Prof. Gentine was a “Chu” professor of applied mathematics in the APAM Department from 2009-2011.

Prof. Gentine’s research is aimed at improving simulations of changes in the tropical carbon and hydrologic cycles induced by anthropogenically induced changes such as deforestation and CO2 increase, better predictions of rainfall across multiple temporal and spatial scales and especially better simulations of the forecasting of rainfall and radiation (through cloud cover changes) at the land surface, and enhancement of our predictions of ecosystem responses to droughts and climate extremes, which are expected to become more frequent as climate change progresses. These areas add significantly to the objectives of the department and the School in our efforts to advance engineering and scientific understanding and action to address sustainability and our climate future. Specifically, his research has targeted better understanding of the movement, availability, and quality of water throughout the Earth, on scales ranging from individual rivers and watersheds to the entire globe.

Prof. Gentine received his undergraduate degree from SupAéro, the French National Aeronautical and Space Engineering School in Applied Mathematics in Toulouse, France. He obtained a MSc and PhD in civil and environmental engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2006 and 2010, respectively. As noted, Prof. Gentine then had the prestigious limited-term assistant professorship of applied mathematics in APAM from 2009-2011.

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