Saalem Adera

PhD Candidate in Earth System Science, Hydrology focus

Environmental Systems Dynamics Lab

565 McCone Hall


  • M.S. Environmental Engineering, UC Berkeley, 2015
  • MESc. Environmental Science, Yale University, 2010
  • B.A. Economics, B.A. Foreign Affairs, Environmental Science minor, University of Virginia, 2008

Research Interests

  • Hydrology
  • Land-atmosphere feedbacks, especially rainfall recycling
  • Hydrologic modeling for water resources management
  • Data-driven methods for analysis of complex environmental systems

Research Projects

I am broadly interested in hydrology, especially in how humans are changing the water cycle and how we can manage water resources to meet the needs of both humans and ecosystems.  I am currently working on two projects.

In my first project, my research question is: how does deforestation affect rainfall recycling in Brazil?  Rainfall recycling is the process by which regional evapotranspiration affects regional rainfall; it contributes significantly to rainfall in Brazil.  However, the effects of land cover change, such as deforestation, on rainfall recycling are still uncertain.  My approach here is empirical – I am conducting a multi-scale analysis of remotely sensed and gauged data using emerging statistical methods.

In my second project, I am working with a California water utility to develop a hydrologic model for a watershed that is managed for both water supply and aquatic habitat.  The goal is for the hydrologic model to be used by water resources managers as a decision support tool.