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 Terrestrial Hydrology (329F): People
James S. Famiglietti's Picture
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
M/S 300-329
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109
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Curriculum Vitae:

James S. Famiglietti
Group Supervisor

Jay Famiglietti is JPL's Senior Water Scientist, Project Scientist for the Western States Water Mission, Chief Scientist of the Western Water Applications Office, and leader of the JPL Water Initiative. His team uses NASA satellite observations and develops advanced hydrological models to explore global water cycle change and changing freshwater availability. His group's work using the GRACE mission to characterize groundwater depletion was the primary justification in the 2010 NASA Climate Architecture report for the selection of the GRACE-FO as a climate continuation mission.

  • Ph.D., Civil Engineering (Water Resources Program), Princeton University, (1992)
  • M.A., Civil Engineering (Water Resources Program), Princeton University, (1988)
  • M.S., Hydrology, University of Arizona, (1986)
  • B.S., Geology, Tufts University, (1982)

Professional Experience
  • NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology (2014 – Present)
    • Senior Water Scientist and JPL Water Initiative Leader  (2014-present)
    • Project Scientist, Western States Water Mission (2015-present)
    • Chief Scientist, Western Water Applications Office (2016-present)
    • Group Supervisor, Terrestrial Hydrology Group  (2015-present)
  • University of California, Los Angeles (2015-present)
    • Project Scientist, Joint Institute for Regional Earth System Science and Engineering (JIFRESSE) (2017-present)
    • Visiting Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (2015-2016)
  • California State Water Boards (2013-2020)
    • Member, Region 4, Los Angeles (2017-2020)
    • Member, Region 8, Santa Ana (2013-2016)
  • University of California, Irvine, Department of Earth System Science and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (2001-2016)
    • Founding Director, University of California Center for Hydrologic Modeling, (2009-2014)
    • Director, Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, U. C. Irvine, (2008-2009)
    • Professor (2006-2016)
    • Vice Chair for Graduate Studies (Earth System Science), (2003-2006)
    • Associate Professor, (2001-2006)
  • University of Texas at Austin, Department of Geological Sciences, (1994-2001)
    • Founding Associate Director, Environmental Science Institute, (2001)
    • Associate Professor, (2000-2001)
    • Assistant Professor, (1994-2000)

Selected Awards
  • Fellow, Geological Society of America, (2014) 
  • David Keith Todd Distinguished Lecturer, Groundwater Resources Association, (2014)
  • Fellow, American Geophysical Union, (2012)
  • Birdsall-Dreiss Distinguished Lecturer, Geological Society of America, (2012)
  • Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education University of California, Irvine, (2005)
  • NASA New Investigator Award, (1996)

Selected Publications
  1. Sawyer, A. H., C. H. David and J. S. Famiglietti, 2016, Continental patterns of submarine groundwater discharge reveal coastal vulnerabilities, Science, 353(6300), 705-707, DOI: 10.1126/science.aag1058
  2. Wada, Y., M.-H. Lo, P. J.-F. Yeh, J. T. Reager, J. S. Famiglietti. R.-J. Wu and Y.-H. Tseng, 2016, Fate of water pumped from underground and contributions to sea level rise, Nature Climate Change, 6(8), 777, doi:10.1038/nclimate3001
  3. Castle, S. L., J. T. Reager, B. F. Thomas, A. J. Purdy, M.-H. Lo, J. S. Famiglietti and Q. Tang, 2016, Remote detection of water management impacts on evapotranspiration in the Colorado River Basin, Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1002/2016GL068675
  4. Chen, J., J. S. Famiglietti, M. Rodell and B. Scanlon, 2016, Groundwater storage changes: Present status from GRACE observations, Surv. Geophys., 37(2) 397-417, DOI 10.1007/s10712-015-9332-4
  5. Solander, K. C., J. T. Reager and J. S. Famiglietti, 2016, How well will the Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission observe global reservoirs? Wat. Resour. Res., 52, DOI: 10.1002/2015WR017952
  6. Reager, J. T., A. S. Gardner, J. S. Famiglietti, D. N. Wiese, A. Eicker and M.-H. Lo, 2016, A decade of sea level rise slowed by climate-driven hydrology, Science, 351 (6274), 699-703, DOI: 10.1126/science.aad8386
  7. Famiglietti, J. S., A. Cazenave, A. Eicker, J. T. Reager, M. Rodell,  I. Velicogna, 2015, Satellites Provide the Big Picture, Science, 14 August, 349(6249), 684-685, DOI: 10.1126/science.aac9238
  8. Richey, A. S., B. F. Thomas, M.-H. Lo, J. T. Reager, K. A. Voss, M. Rodell and J. S. Famiglietti, 2015, Quantifying renewable groundwater stress with GRACE, Water Resour. Res., 51(7), 5217-5238, doi:10.1002/2015WR017349
  9. Rodell, M., H. K. Beaudoing, T. S. L'Ecuyer, W. S. Olson, J. S. Famiglietti, P. R. Houser, R. Adler, M. G. Bosilovich, C. A. Clayson, D. P. Chambers; E. Clark, E. J. Fetzer; X. Gao, G. Gu,K. Hilburn, G. J. Huffman, D. P. Lettenmaier, W. T.Liu, C. A. Schlosser, J. Sheffield, E. F. Wood, 2015, The Observed State of the Water Cycle in the Early 21st Century, J. Climate, doi:
  10. Famiglietti, J. S., 2014, The Global Groundwater Crisis, Nature Climate Change, 4, 945-948, doi:10.1038/nclimate2425
  11. Castle, S., B. F. Thomas, J. T. Reager, S. C. Swenson, M. Rodell, and J. S. Famiglietti, 2014, Groundwater Depletion During Drought Threatens Future Water Security of the Colorado River Basin, Geophys. Res. Lett., Accepted manuscript online: 24 JUL 2014, DOI: 10.1002/2014GL061055 (Editor’s Choice selection, Science Magazine, August 14, 2014)
  12. Reager, J.T., B. F. Thomas and J. S. Famiglietti, 2014, River basin flood potential inferred using GRACE gravity observations at several months lead-time, Nature Geoscience 7, 588–592, doi:10.1038/ngeo2203
  13. Thomas, A., J. T. Reager, J. S. Famiglietti and M. Rodell, 2014, A GRACE-based water storage deficit approach for hydrological drought characterization, Geophys. Res. Lett., 41(5), 1537–1545, doi:10.1002/2014GL059323.
  14. Famiglietti, J. S., and M. Rodell, 2013, Water in the Balance, Science, 340, 1300-1301.
  15. Lo, M.-H., and J. S. Famiglietti, 2013, Irrigation in California’s Central Valley Strengthens the Southwestern U. S. Water Cycle, Geophys. Res. Lett. 40(2), Pages: 301–306,  DOI: 10.1002/grl.50108
  16. Ouellette, K. J., C R. de Linage and J. S. Famiglietti, 2013, Estimating snow water equivalent from GPS vertical site-position observations in the western United States, Wat. Resour. Res., 49 (5), 2508-2518, DOI: 10.1002/wrcr.20173
  17. Voss, K. A., J. S. Famiglietti, M. Lo, C. R. de Linage, M. Rodell and S. C. Swenson, 2013, Groundwater depletion in the Middle East from GRACE with Implications for Transboundary Water Management in the Tigris-Euphrates-Western Iran Region, Wat. Resour. Res., 49(2), 904-914,  DOI: 10.1002/wrcr.20078 (WRR Editor’s Choice Award 2013)
  18. Famiglietti, J. S., M. Lo, S. L. Ho, K. J. Anderson, J. Bethune, T. H. Syed, S. C. Swenson, C. R. de Linage and M. Rodell, 2011, Satellites Measure Recent Rates of Groundwater Depletion in California’s Central Valley, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L03403, doi:10.1029/2010GL046442
  19. Wood. E. F., J. K. Roundy, T J. Troy, R. van Beek, M. Bierkens, E. Blyth, A. de Roo, P. Döll, M. Ek, J. Famiglietti, D. Gochis, N.  van de Giesen, P. Houser, P. Jaffe, S. Kollet, B. Lehner, D. P. Lettenmaier, C. Peters-Lidard, M. Sivapalan, J. Sheffield, A. Wade and P. Whitehead, 2011, Hyper-Resolution Global Land Surface Modeling: Meeting a Grand Challenge for Monitoring Earth’s Terrestrial Water, Wat. Resour. Res., 47, W05301,  doi:10.1029/2010WR010090
  20. Syed, T. H., J. S. Famiglietti, D. Chambers, J. Willis, K. Hilburn, 2010, Satellite-Based Global Ocean Mass Balance Estimates of Interannual Variability and Emerging Trends in Continental Freshwater Discharge, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., 107 (42) 17916-17921; published ahead of print October 4, 2010, doi:10.1073/pnas.1003292107
  21. Reager, J. T. and J. S. Famiglietti, 2009, Global terrestrial water storage capacity and flood potential from GRACE,  Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L23402, doi:10.1029/2009GL040826
  22. Rodell, M., I. Velicogna and J. Famiglietti, 2009, Satellite-based estimates of groundwater depletion in India, Nature, doi:10.1038/nature08238
  23. Syed, T. H., J. S. Famiglietti and D. Chambers, 2009, GRACE-based estimates of terrestrial freshwater discharge from basin to continental scales, J. Hydrometeorology, 10(1), 22-40, DOI: 10.1175/2008JHM993.1
  24. Famiglietti, J. S., D. Ryu, A. A. Berg, M. Rodell, and T. J. Jackson, 2008, Field observations of soil moisture variability across scales, Water Resour. Res., 44, W01423, doi:10.1029/2006WR005804
  25. Goteti, G., J. S. Famiglietti, and K. Asante, 2008, A Catchment-Based Hydrologic and Routing Modeling System with explicit river channels, J. Geophys. Res., 113, D14116, doi:10.1029/2007JD009691
  26. Syed, T. H., J. S. Famiglietti, V. Zlotnicki, and M. Rodell, 2007, Contemporary estimates of Pan-Arctic freshwater discharge from GRACE and reanalysis, Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L19404, doi:10.1029/2007GL031254.
  27. Lettenmaier, D. P. and J. S. Famiglietti, 2006, Water from on high, Nature, 444, 562-563
  28. Yeh, P. J.-F., S. C. Swenson, J. S. Famiglietti and M. Rodell, 2006, Remote sensing of groundwater storage changes in Illinois using the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), Water Resour. Res., 42, W12203, doi:10.1029/2006WR005374
  29. Syed, T. H., J. S. Famiglietti, J. Chen, M. Rodell, S. I. Seneviratne, P. Viterbo and C. R. Wilson,  2005, Total Basin Discharge for the Amazon and Mississippi River Basins from GRACE and a Land-Atmosphere Water Balance, Geophys. Res. Lett., 32, L24404, doi:10.1029/2005GL024851
  30. Rodell, ,M., J. S. Famiglietti, J. Chen, S. Seneviratne, P. Viterbo,  S. L. Holl, and C. R. Wilson, 2004, Basin-Scale Estimates of  Evapotranspiration Using GRACE and Other Observations, Geophys.Res.Let., Vol. 31, No. 20, L20504,10.1029/2004GL020873
  31. Rodell, M. and J. S. Famiglietti, 2002, The Potential for Satellite-Based Monitoring of Groundwater Storage Changes Using GRACE: The High Plains Aquifer, Central U. S., J. Hydrol., 263, 245-256
  32. Famiglietti, J. S., J. A. Devereaux, C. Laymon, T. Tsegaye, P. R. Houser, T. J. Jackson,  S. T. Graham,  M. Rodell and P. J. vanOevelen, 1999, Ground-Based Investigation of Spatial-Temporal Soil Moisture Variability Within Remote Sensing Footprints During SGP97, Wat. Resour. Res., 35(6), 1839-1851
  33. Rodell, M. and J. S. Famiglietti, 1999, Detectability of Variations in Continental Water Storage from Satellite Observations of the Time-Variable Gravity Field,  Wat. Resour. Res., 35(9), 2705-2723     
  34. Houser, P. R., W. J. Shuttleworth , J. S. Famiglietti, H. V. Gupta, K. H. Syed and D. C. Goodrich, 1998, Integration of Soil Moisture Remote Sensing and Hydrologic Modeling Using Data Assimilation, Wat. Resour. Res., 34(12), 3405-3420
  35. Famiglietti, J. S. and E. F. Wood, 1994, Multi-Scale Modeling of Spatially-Variable Water and Energy Balance Processes, Wat. Resour. Res., 30(11), 3061-3078

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