Fellows

Valeriy Ivanov

Current Position: 

Associate Professor, Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Ziff Environmental Fellow: 2006-2007

Faculty Host: 

Valeriy Ivanov is a hydrologist interested in how climate and topography affect water, energy, and vegetation dynamics in natural landscapes. Valeriy received an honors diploma in hydrology from Moscow State University in 1996 and was a graduate student in that program through 1998, receiving a Russian Government Graduate Scholarship award. He was a field technician at the Khibiny Research Station in Murmansk region and with a prospecting group on the Lena River in Yakutia. In 1997, he was field hydrologist with an expedition above the Arctic Circle organized by the Russian and U.S. National Geographic Societies on the plateau Putorana in East Siberia, and he was featured in the resulting magazine piece. Valeriy transferred to the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT, receiving an M.S. degree in 2002 and a Ph.D. degree earlier this year. He helped refine and, with a colleague, totally revise a distributed physically-based rainfall-runoff model, which is now licensed and distributed by MIT for education and research purposes.

For his Ph.D. research, Valeriy shifted his focus to the relationship between the distribution of vegetation and topography. His thesis, “Effects of Dynamic Vegetation and Topography on Hydrological Processes in Semi-Arid Areas,” will be a foundation for his work at Harvard. Valeriy has been a teaching assistant at the Zvenigorod Research Station near Moscow, and was a lecturer last year in MIT's “Introduction to Hydrology” course. He has published his research in Water Resources Research, the Journal of Hydrology, and, with colleagues, in the Journal of Hydrometeorology, the International Journal of Geographic Information Science, and others.

As an Environmental Fellow, he will work with Professor Steven Wofsy of the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and the Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences, on how vegetation organizes itself in arid and semi-arid areas. Valeriy describes his work: “Vegetation is an important component of terrestrial systems, playing a significant role in the processes of land-surface water and energy partition. Ecosystems of arid and semi-arid areas represent a particularly intriguing object for studies, as they comprise some of the major biomes of the world, often exhibiting a delicate equilibrium between their essential constituents. Many important issues depend on the quantitative understanding of dynamics inherent to these ecosystems, including human interference, climate change, environmental preservation, and proper management of resources. This postdoctoral research proposal seeks to investigate a number of interdisciplinary questions that concern the spatial organization and composition of vegetation in these areas: What are the spatial preferential states of the vegetation system in a complex terrain? What governs the spatial composition of vegetation in water-limited ecosystems? These questions will be addressed through examining the links between the hydrological cycle and vegetation dynamics characterized through both observations and process-oriented modeling at the basin scale. Field-observed and remotely sensed data for experimental sites in New Mexico will be used in the analysis.”

In September 2007, Valeriy joined the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Michigan as an Assistant Professor.

Harvard University
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