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 Terrestrial Hydrology (329F): People
Kat  Bormann's Picture
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
M/S 233-304
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109
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Curriculum Vitae:

Kat Bormann

Kat J. Bormann is a Scientist II at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology. She is the Project Scientist for the JPL Airborne Snow Observatory, an integrated imaging spectrometer and LiDAR system to give the first-ever comprehensive, near real-time maps of snow water equivalent and snow reflectivity in mountain basins.

Dr. Bormann has applied mixed pixel analysis algorithms to new sensors for remote sensing of snow properties to supplement long-term observations of mountain snow cover (MODIS, VIIRS). She also has expertise in understanding the spatial and temporal variability of snow density, a property which allows the conversion of snow depth measurements to snow water equivalent (water content).

  • NASA Postdoctoral Fellow, Jet Propulsion Laboratry, Caltech., with Thomas Painter (2016)
  • PhD, Climate Science, University of New South Wales, with Jason Evans. Dissertation: Snowpack characteristics and modelling in the marginal snowfields of southeast Australia(2013)
  • BEnvEng, Bachelor in Environmental Engineering, Monash University. Foci: Land and water( 2001)

Research Interests

Kat Bormann's research interests include snow hydrology, remote sensing of seasonal snow cover, snow cover variability, spatial and temporal heterogeneity of snow properties and the representation of snow in regional climate and land surface models.

Professional Experience
  • Scientist II, JPL/California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA. (2017-Present)
  • Research Associate, University of New South Wales, Sydney, AU (2011-2013)
  • Environmental Engineer, AECOM, Sydney, AU.(2008-2009)
  • Water Resources Consulting Engineer, SMEC Australia, Sydney AU.(2006-2008)
  • Civil and Environmental Consulting Engineer, Henwood Engineers, Brisbane, AU (2003-2009)

Community Service
  • 2017-Feb Scripps College, "Authentic Leadership Following your Passion", Panel Discussion
  • Journals
  • Reviewer for Water Resources Research, Climatic Change, Nature Communications, Journal of Hydrology, Remote Sensing of Environment, Cryosphere Discussions, Climate Research and Journal of Climate
  • Review
  • Reviewer for NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship (NESSF) Program 2016-2017
  • External reviewer for Honors Student (Australian National University, Canberra, AU)
  • Media
  • Capital Public Radio -
  • Air & Space Magazine -
  • Mountain Democrat -

Selected Awards
  • JPL Voyager Award 2019
  • 2014-NASA Group Achievement Award - Airborne Snow Observatory team.

Selected Publications
  1. Currier, W. R., Pflug, J., Mazzotti, G., Jonas, T., Deems, J. S., Bormann, K. J., ... Lundquist, J. D. (2019). Comparing Aerial Lidar Observations With Terrestrial Lidar and Snow-Probe Transects From NASA's 2017 SnowEx Campaign. Water Resources Research, 55(7), 6285-6294.
  2. Sarangi, C., Qian, Y., Rittger, K., Bormann, K. J., Liu, Y., Wang, H., ... Painter, T. H. (2019). Impact of light-absorbing particles on snow albedo darkening and associated radiative forcing over high-mountain Asia: High-resolution WRF-Chem modeling and new satellite observations. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 19(10), 7105-7128.
  3. Kostadinov, T.S., Schumer, R., Hausner, M., Bormann, K.J., Gaffney, R., McGwire, K., Painter, T.H., Tyler, S., Harpold, A.A (2019). Watershed-scale mapping of fractional snow cover under conifer forest canopy using lidar. Remote Sensing of Environment, 222, 34-49.
  4. Bormann, K. J., Brown, R. D., Derksen, C., & Painter, T. H. (2018). Estimating snow-cover trends from space. Nature Climate Change.
  5. Oaida, C. M., Reager, J.T., Andreadis, K.M., David, C.H., Levoe, S.R., Painter, T.H., Bormann, K.J., Trangsrud, A.R., Girotto, M., Famiglietti, J.S. A high-resolution data assimilation framework for snow water equivalent estimation across the Western United States and validation with the Airborne Snow Observatory. J. Hydrometeor. (2019). doi:10.1175/JHM-D-18-0009.1
  6. Behrangi, A., Bormann, K. J. & Painter, T. H. Using the Airborne Snow Observatory to Assess Remotely Sensed Snowfall Products in the California Sierra Nevada. Water Resources Research 54, 7331-7346 (2018)
  7. Hedrick, A. R., Marks, D., Havens, S., Robertson, M., Johnson, M., Sandusky, M., Marshall, H.P., Kormos, P.R., Bormann, K.J. Painter, T. H. (n.d.). Direct insertion of NASA Airborne Snow Observatory-derived snow depth time-series into the iSnobal energy balance snow model. Water Resources Research, 0(ja).
  8. Cawse-Nicholson, K., Fisher, J. B., Famiglietti, C. A., Braverman, A., Schwandner, F. M., Lewicki, J. L., ... Pieri, D. C. (2018). Ecosystem responses to elevated CO2 using airborne remote sensing at Mammoth Mountain, California. Biogeosciences Discuss., 2018, 1-33
  9. Ferraz, A., Saatchi, S., Bormann, K. J., & Painter, T. H. (2018). Fusion of NASA Airborne Snow Observatory (ASO) Lidar Time Series over Mountain Forest Landscapes. Remote Sensing, 10(2), 164
  10. Henn, B., Painter, T. H., Bormann, K. J., McGurk, B., Flint, A. L., Flint, L. E., ... Lundquist, J. D. (n.d.). High-Elevation Evapotranspiration Estimates During Drought: Using Streamflow and NASA Airborne Snow Observatory SWE Observations to Close the Upper Tuolumne River Basin Water Balance. Water Resources Research
  11. Moller, D., K. M. Andreadis, K. J. Bormann, S. Hensley, and T. H. Painter, Mapping snow depth from Ka-band interferometry: Proof of concept and comparison with scanning lidar retrievals, IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters, 'Early Access' IEEEXplore, doi: 10.1109/LGRS.2017.2686398
  12. Painter, T. H., Berisford, D. F., Boardman, J. W., Bormann, K. J., Deems, J. S., Gehrke, F., Hedrick, A., et al. (2016) The Airborne Snow Observatory: fusion of imaging spectrometer and scanning lidar for snow albedo and snow water equivalent. Remote Sensing of Environment 184, 139-152. doi:10.1016/j.rse.2016.06.018
  13. Evans, J. P., Bormann, K., Katzfey, J., Dean, S. & Arritt, R. (2015) Regional climate model projections of the South Pacific Convergence Zone. Clim Dyn 1–13. doi:10.1007/s00382-015-2873-x.
  14. Bormann, K. J., Evans, J. P. & McCabe, M. F. (2014) Constraining snowmelt in a temperature-index model using simulated snow densities. Journal of Hydrology. doi:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2014.05.073
  15. Argüeso, D., Evans, J. P., Fita, L. & Bormann, K. J. (2014) Temperature response to future urbanization and climate change. Clim Dyn 42(7-8), 2183–2199. doi:10.1007/s00382-013-1789-6
  16. Bormann, K. J., Westra, S., Evans, J. P. & McCabe, M. F. (2013) Spatial and temporal variability in seasonal snow density. Journal of Hydrology 484, 63–73. doi:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2013.01.032
  17. Bormann, K. J., McCabe, M. F. & Evans, J. P. (2012) Satellite based observations for seasonal snow cover detection and characterisation in Australia. Remote Sensing of Environment 123, 57–71. doi:10.1016/j.rse.2012.03.003

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