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Noah Molotch

Photo of Noah Molotch


4800 Oak Grove Drive
M/S 300-323 Pasadena, CA 91109


818 354-3798


818 354-0966

Curriculum Vitae:

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Member of:

Water & Ecosystems



  • Ph.D. Department of Hydrology and Water Resources, University of Arizona, Tucson, 2004
  • M.S. Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2000
  • B.A. Environmental Studies, University of Colorado, Boulder, 1997

Professional Experience

  • Research Scientist, Surface Hydrology Group, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, (2008-present)
  • Associate Professor of Geography and Fellow, Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, University of Colorado at Boulder, (2015-present)
  • Assistant Professor of Geography and Fellow, Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, University of Colorado at Boulder, (2009-2015)
  • Assistant Research Scientist and Lecturer, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Los Angeles, (2006-2009)
  • Post-Doctoral Fellow, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder, (2004-2006)

Research Interests

Surface Water and Snow Hydrology; Remote Sensing; Ecohydrology

Selected Awards

  • Director's Fellowship, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, (2008)
  • Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) Visiting Fellowship, (2004-2006)
  • Graduate College Fellow Award: Research Excellence, U. Arizona, (2003-2004)
  • Arizona Floodplain Management Association Scholarship., (2003-2004)
  • Best Paper, Western Snow Conference, (2003)
  • The Montgomery Prize: Best Oral Presentation, El Dia del Agua, Dept. of Hydrology and Water Resources, University of Arizona, (2003)
  • Dept. of Hydrology and Water Resources, Graduate Student Scholarship, University of Arizona, (2002-2004)
  • Dr. James E. Church Memorial Award, Best Student Paper , Western Snow Conference, (2001)
  • NSF STC, Sustainability of semi-Arid Hydrology and Riparian Areas, Graduate Research Fellowship , University of Arizona, (2000-2002)

Selected Publications

  1. Baker, E, T. H. Painter, D. Schneider, A, Meddens, J.A. Hicke, N.P. Molotch, Quantifying insect-related forest mortality with the remote sensing of snow, Remote Sensing of Environment, 188: 26-36. doi: 10.1016/j.rse.2016.11.001, 2017.
  2. Molotch, N.P., D.M. Barnard, S.P. Burns, and T.H. Painter, Measuring spatio-temporal variation in snowpack microstructure under a subalpine forest canopy using contact spectroscopy, Water Resources Research, 52, doi:10.1002/2016WR018954, 2016.
  3. Barnhart, T.B., N.P. Molotch, B. Livneh, A.A. Harpold, J.F. Knowles, and D. Schneider, Snowmelt rate dictates streamflow, Geophysical Research Letters, 43, 8006-8016, doi:10.1002/2016GL069690, 2016.
  4. Winchell, T.S., D.M. Barnard, R.K. Monson, S.P. Burns, and N.P. Molotch. Early snowmelt reduces atmospheric carbon uptake in mid-latitude subalpine forests, Geophysical Research Letters, 43, 8160-8168, doi:10.1002/2016GL069769, 2016.
  5. Seidel, F.C, K. Rittger, S.M. Skiles, N.P. Molotch and T.H. Painter, Case study of spatial and temporal variability of snow cover, grain size, albedo and radiative forcing in the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountain snowpack derived from imaging spectroscopy, The Cryosphere, 10, 1-16, doi:10.5194/tc-10-1-2016, 2016.
  6. Molotch, N.P., M.T. Durand, B. Guan, S.A. Margulis, R.E. Davis, Snow cover depletion curves and snow water equivalent reconstruction: six decades of hydrologic remote sensing applications, AGU Monograph on Remote Sensing of the Terrestrial Water Cycle, ISBN: 978-1-118-87203-1, 576 pages, 2015.
  7. Guan, B., N.P. Molotch, D.E. Waliser, E.J. Fetzer, and P.J. Neiman, The 2010/11 snow season in California's Sierra Nevada: role of atmospheric rivers and modes of large-scale variability, Water Resources Research, 49, 6731-6743, doi:10.1002/wrcr.20537, 2013.
  8. Trujillo, E., N.P. Molotch, M. Goulden, A. Kelly, R. C. Bales, Elevation-dependent influence of snow accumulation on forest greening, Nature Geoscience, doi:10.1038/ngeo1571, 2012.
  9. Burns, S.P., M.W. Williams, P.D. Blanken, N.P. Molotch, A.A. Turnipseed, M.V. Losleben, and R.K. Monson, Rapid temperature changes within a subalpine forest snowpack, Geophysical Research Letters , in revision.
  10. Molotch, N.P. , P.D. Brooks, S.P. Burns, M. Litvak, J.R. McConnell, R.K. Monson, and *K. Musselman, Ecohydrological controls on snowmelt partitioning in mixed-conifer sub-alpine forests, Ecohydrology, in press.
  11. Veatch, W, P.D. Brooks, *J. Gustafson, N. P. Molotch, Quantifying the effects of forest canopy cover on net snow accumulation at a continental, mid-latitude site, Valles Caldera National Preserve, NM, USA, Ecohydrology, Vol. 2, doi: 10.1002/eco.45, 2009.
  12. Molotch, N.P. , Reconstructing snow water equivalent in the Rio Grande headwaters using remotely sensed snow cover data and a spatially distributed snowmelt model, Hydrological Processes , Vol. 23, doi: 10.1002/hyp.7206, 2009.
  13. Molotch, N.P. , T. Meixner, and M.W. Williams, Estimating stream chemistry during the snowmelt pulse using a spatially distributed, coupled snowmelt and hydrochemical modeling approach, Water Resources Research, Vol. 44, oi:10.1029/2007WR006587, 2008.
  14. Durand, M., N.P. Molotch, and S. Margulis, A bayesian approach to snow water equivalent reconstruction, Journal of Geophysical Research, 113, doi:10.1029/2008JD009894, 2008.
  15. Molotch, N.P. , and S.A. Margulis, Estimating the distribution of snow water equivalent using remotely sensed snow cover data and a spatially distributed snowmelt model: a multi-resolution, multi-sensor comparison, Advances in Water Resources, 31, 2008.
  16. Lyon, S.W., P.A. Troch, *P.D. Broxton, N.P. Molotch, P.D. Brooks, Monitoring the timing of snowmelt and the initiation of streamflow using a distributed network of temperature/light sensors, Ecohydrology, 1, 2008.
  17. Musselman, K., N.P. Molotch, and P.D. Brooks, Effects of vegetation on snow accumulation and ablation in a mid-latitude sub-alpine forest, Hydrological Processes, Vol 22, 2008.
  18. Durand, M., N.P. Molotch, and S. Margulis, Merging complementary remote sensing datasets in the context of snow water equivalent reconstruction, Remote Sensing of Environment, Vol. 112, 2008.
  19. Molotch, N.P. , P.D. Blanken, M.W. Williams, A.A. Turnipseed, R.K. Monson, and S.A. Margulis, Estimating sublimation of intercepted and sub-canopy snow using eddy covariance systems, Hydrological Processes, 21, doi: 10.1002/hyp.6719, 2007.
  20. Painter, T.H., N.P. Molotch, and *M. Cassidy, Contact spectroscopy for determination of stratigraphy of snow grain size, Journal of Glaciology , 53(180), 2007.
  21. Bales, R.C., N.P. Molotch, T.H. Painter, M. Dettinger, R. Rice, and J. Dozier, Mountain hydrology of the Western United States, Water Resources Research, 42, W08432, doi:10.1029/2005WR004387, 2006.
  22. Molotch, N.P. , and R.C. Bales, Comparison of ground-based and airborne snow-surface albedo parameterizations in an alpine watershed: impact on snowpack mass balance, Water Resources Research, VOL. 42, doi:10.1029/2005WR004522, 2006.
  23. Molotch, N.P. , and R.C. Bales, SNOTEL representativeness in the Rio Grande headwaters on the basis of physiographics and remotely sensed snow cover persistence, Hydrological Processes, VOL. 20, doi: 10.1002/hyp.6128, 2006.
  24. Molotch, N.P. , and R.C. Bales, Scaling snow observations from the point to the grid- element: implications for observation network design, Water Resources Research , VOL. 41, doi:10.1029/2005WR004229, 2005.
  25. Molotch, N.P. , M.T. Colee, R.C. Bales, and J. Dozier, Estimating the spatial distribution of snow water equivalent in an alpine basin using binary regression tree models: the impact of digital elevation data and independent variable selection, Hydrological Processes, VOL. 19, doi:10.1002/hyp.5586, 2005.
  26. Molotch, N.P. , T.H. Painter, R.C. Bales, and J. Dozier, Incorporating remotely sensed snow albedo into a spatially distributed snowmelt model, Geophysical Research Letters, VOL. 31, doi:10.1029/2003GL019063, 2004.
  27. Molotch, N.P. , S.R. Fassnacht, R.C. Bales, and S. R. Helfrich, Estimating the distribution of snow water equivalent and snow extent beneath cloud-cover in the Salt-Verde River basin, Arizona, Hydrological Processes, VOL 18, doi:10.1002/hyp.1408, 2004.