Faculty Directory

Kalnay, Eugenia

Kalnay, Eugenia

Distinguished University Professor
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
Atmospheric and Oceanic Science
3431 Computer and Space Sciences Building


Prior to her coming to UMD, Eugenia Kalnay was Branch Head at NASA Goddard, and later the Director of the Environmental Modeling Center (EMC, ex Development Division) of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP, ex NMC), National Weather Service (NWS) from 1987 to 1997. During those ten years there were major improvements in the NWS models' forecast skill. Many successful projects such as the 60+years NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis (the paper on this Reanalysis has been cited over 10,000 times), seasonal and interannual dynamical predictions, the first operational ensemble forecasting, 3-D and 4-D variational data assimilation, advanced quality control, and coastal ocean forecasting. EMC became a pioneer in both the fundamental science and the practical applications of numerical weather prediction.


  • Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1971


  • WMO/IMO Prize for 2009, see talk Population and Climate Change: A Proposal (also in Spanish)
  • Member of the National Academy of Engineering (1996)
  • Foreign Member of the Academia Europaea (2000)
  • Distinguished University Professor, UMD (2001)
  • Eugenia Brin Professor in Data Assimilation (2008)
  • Doctor Honoris Causa, University of Buenos Aires (2008)
  • Corresponding member of the Argentine National Academy of Physical Sciences (2003)
  • Fellow of AGU (2005), AAAS (2006), AMS (1983)
  • UMD-wide Kirwan Award (2006)
  • Robert E. Lowry Chair, School of Meteorology, U. of Oklahoma (1998)
  • NASA medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement (1981)
  • Two Department of Commerce Gold and one Silver Medal
  • Discovery Magazine selected her Nature paper as a top 100 science news of 2003 (see feature in International Association for Urban Climate newsletter)
  • The Reanalysis paper of 1996 is the most cited paper in all geosciences (more that 10 thousand citations)
  • Lorenz AGU 2012 Lecture
  • 2015 AMS Joanne Simpson Mentorship Award for For effectively mentoring many early career scientists, with her unstinting generosity of time and attention in providing advice, encouragement, leadership, and inspiration
  • 2015 AMS Honorary Member Award
  • 2015: AMS Eugenia Kalnay Symposium

Current research interests of Dr. Kalnay are in numerical weather prediction, data assimilation, predictability and ensemble forecasting, coupled ocean-atmosphere modeling and climate change and sustainability. Zoltan Toth and Eugenia Kalnay introduced the breeding method for ensemble forecasting. She is also the author (with Ross Hoffman and Wesley Ebisuzaki) of other widely used ensemble methods known as Lagged Averaged Forecasting and Scaled LAF. Her book, Atmospheric Modeling, Data Assimilation and Predictability (Cambridge University Press, 2003) sold out within a year, is now on its fifth printing and was published in Chinese (2005) and in Korean (2012). A second edition is in preparation. She has received numerous awards, including the 2009 IMO Prize of the World Meteorological Organization, and is a member of the UN Scientific Advisory Board on Sustainability created by the UN Secretary General.

View a complete publications list here.

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  • World Meteorological Organization Member