Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Prior to arriving at Duke, I was a postdoctoral research associate in the program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at Princeton University and had a dual appointment as a visiting research scientist at the NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory. I obtained my undergraduate degree at U.C. Berkeley where I received a Bachelor of Arts in Atmospheric Sciences and Applied Mathematics. For my graduate studies, I attended Princeton University where I completed a Ph.D. in Hydrology in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
My research harnesses the existing petabytes of global environmental data to improve understanding of the terrestrial water cycle. More specifically, I focus on quantifying and uncovering the role of multi-scale spatial organization over land (i.e., heterogeneity) in the Earth system. To this end, my group's research has three overarching themes: 1) improve the representation of land heterogeneity in Earth system models, 2) harness environmental data to characterize the observed spatial patterns and features over land, and 3) quantify the sensitivity of the hydrologic cycle to spatial heterogeneity. The tools that my group uses include numerical modeling, satellite remote sensing, machine learning, and high performance computing.
I am currently looking for highly motivated Ph.D. and postdocs. If the research themes of my group are of interest to you, please don't hesitate to email me.
Appointments and Affiliations
- Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
- Office Location: CIEMAS 2463, Durham, NC 27708
- Office Phone: (919) 660-5195
- Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ph.D. Princeton University, 2015
- CEE 493: Research Independent Study in Civil and Environmental Engineering
- CEE 506: Environmental Spatial Data Analysis
- CEE 690: Advanced Topics in Civil and Environmental Engineering
- CEE 691: Independent Study: Advanced Topics in Civil and Environmental Engineering
- CEE 692: Independent Study: Advanced Topics in Civil and Environmental Engineering
- CEE 701: Graduate Colloquium
In the News
- Climate Scientists Listen to the Clouds (Jan 10, 2023 | Duke Magazine)
- Duke Experts on Hurricane Recovery: Need a Long-Term Focus (Sep 30, 2022 | Duke…
- A Step Toward Better Weather Forecasts (Nov 2, 2021 | Pratt School of Engineeri…
- Hurricanes: How to Prepare and Why They’re Getting More Dangerous (Sep 4, 2019)
- What Researchers Are Watching Out For This Hurricane Season (May 28, 2019 | Pra…
- Nathaniel Chaney: Harnessing Petabytes to Better Understand the Global Water Cy…
- Chaney, N. W., M. H. J. Van Huijgevoort, E. Shevliakova, S. Malyshev, P. C. D. Milly, P. P. G. Gauthier, and B. N. Sulman. “Harnessing big data to rethink land heterogeneity in Earth system models.” Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 22, no. 6 (June 14, 2018): 3311–30. https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-22-3311-2018.
- Chaney, N. W., P. Metcalfe, and E. F. Wood. “HydroBlocks: a field-scale resolving land surface model for application over continental extents.” Hydrological Processes 30, no. 20 (September 30, 2016): 3543–59. https://doi.org/10.1002/hyp.10891.
- Chaney, N. W., E. F. Wood, A. B. McBratney, J. W. Hempel, T. W. Nauman, C. W. Brungard, and N. P. Odgers. “POLARIS: A 30-meter probabilistic soil series map of the contiguous United States.” Geoderma 274 (July 15, 2016): 54–67. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoderma.2016.03.025.
- Chaney, N. W., J. D. Herman, P. M. Reed, and E. F. Wood. “Flood and drought hydrologic monitoring: The role of model parameter uncertainty.” Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 19, no. 7 (July 24, 2015): 3239–51. https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-19-3239-2015.