Andrew Slater

Research Scientist III


PhD, University of Colorado at Boulder, 2003


Land-surface and hydrologic modeling of snow, frozen ground, permafrost; hydrologic forecasting and data assimilation


Recent Highlights and Upcoming Expeditions

  • October 2012: Launched the West-Wide Real-Time Snow Monitoring Web site
  • June 2012: Presented plenary address titled "Permafrost in Climate Models" at the Tenth International Conference on Permafrost in Salekhard, Russia
  • May 2012: Invited speaker at the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society Annual Meeting in Montreal, Canada
  • September 2011: Visited the Senator Beck Basin field site in South-West Colorado in snow-free conditions
  • October 2010: Invited speaker at the WCRP Workshop on Seasonal to Multi-Decadal Predictability of Polar Climate in Bergen, Norway
  • November 2009: Invited speaker at the ECMWF/GLASS Workshop on Land Surface Modelling and Data Assimilation and the Implications for Predictability held in Reading, England
  • June 2009: Slater participated in the SnowNet Project in northern Alaska, sampling snow depth and water content to help improve models of climate change in the Arctic.
  • November 2008: Invited participant by the National Academy of Sciences to the First American-French Frontiers of Science Symposium in Roscoff, France
  • October 2007: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was named to receive the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, along with former Vice President Al Gore. Slater contributed to the most recent IPCC report, Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis, serving as co-author for Chapter 8, "Climate models and their evaluation."
  • February 2007: Slater contributed to the IPCC report, Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis.
  • Winter 2006 and Spring 2007: As part of the NOAA Hydrometeorological Testbed field program, Slater investigated snow distribution in the American River Basin, California. Slater also investigated snow-vegetation interactions in various Colorado locations, particularly for the NASA CLPX sites.
  • December 2005: Investigated potential near-surface permafrost thaw in the 21st century under a range of CO2 emissions scenarios. Future changes in near-surface permafrost have large implications for Arctic hydrology, ecology and trace-gas (e.g. CO2, CH4) emissions. There was world-wide media interest in this study. This research was conducted in collaboration with David Lawrence (NCAR).
  • Collaborated with Martyn Clark (NIWA, New Zealand) to develop methods for generating probabilistic quantitative precipitation estimates in complex terrain. This allowed us to explicitly account for model input uncertainty and aids hydrologic forecasting, particularly in the U.S. West.
  • Incorporated an Ensemble Kalman Filter data assimilation into the NWS SNOW-17 model and assimilated snow measurements for purposes of aiding hydrologic forecasting. Assimilation allows for better estimates of model initial conditions, which in snow dominated regions accounts for a very large portion of forecast skill. This research was conducted in collaboration with Martyn Clark (NIWA, New Zealand).

Current Research

  • Improving representation of permafrost processes in climate model
  • Quantifying uncertainty in hydrologic modeling systems
  • Developing data assimilation methods for hydrologic forecasting
  • Assessing water and energy budgets of the Arctic


Contributing Author for IPCC Working Group 1 regarding snow modeling

Member of the Science Steering Committee for HEPEX (Hydrologic Ensemble Prediction Experiment)

Member, American Geophysical Union

Peer reviewer for Journal of Climate, Journal of Hydrometeorology, Journal of Geophysical Research, International Journal of Climatology, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Geophysical Research Letters, Advances in Water Resources, Journal of the Meteorological Society of Japan, and Global and Planetary Change.

Peer reviewer for NSF, NASA, and NERC (UK) proposals



McCreight, J. L., A. G. Slater, H. P. Marshall, and B. Rajagopalan. 2014. Inference and uncertainty of snow depth spatial distribution at the kilometre scale in the Colorado Rocky Mountains: the effects of sample size, random sampling, predictor quality, and validation procedures. Hydrological Processes 28(3): 933-957, doi:10.1002/hyp.9618.

Mizukami, N., M. P. Clark, A. G. Slater, L. D. Brekke, M. M. Elsner, J. R. Arnold, and S. Gangopadhyay. 2014. Hydrologic implications of different large-scale meteorological model forcing datasets in mountainous regions. Journal of Hydrometeorology 15(1): 474-488, doi:10.1175/JHM-D-13-036.1.


Slater, A. G., and D. Lawrence. 2013. Diagnosing present and future permafrost from climate models. Journal of Climate 26, 5,608-5,623. doi: doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00341.1.

Slater A. G., A. P. Barrett, M. P. Clark, J. D. Lundquist, and M. S. Raleigh. 2013. Uncertainty in seasonal snow reconstruction: Relative impacts of forcing and image availability. Advances in Water Resources 55, 165-177, doi: doi:10.1016/j.advwatres.2012.07.006.


Lawrence, D. M., A. G. Slater, and S. C. Swenson. 2012. Simulation of present-day and future permafrost and seasonally frozen ground conditions in CCSM4. Journal of Climate 25: 2,207-2,225, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00334.1.


Muto, A., T. A. Scambos, K. Steffen, A. G. Slater, and G. D. Clow. 2011. Recent surface temperature trends in the interior of East Antarctica from borehole firn temperature measurements and geophysical inverse methods. Geophysical Research Letters 38, doi:10.1029/2011GL048086.

Clark, M. P., J. Hendrikx, A. G. Slater, D. Kavetski, B. Anderson, N. J. Cullen, T. Kerr, E. O. Hreinsson, and R. A. Woods. 2011. Representing spatial variability of snow water equivalent in hydrologic and land-surface models: A review. Water Resources Research 47, doi:10.1029/2011WR010745.

Lawrence, D. M., K. W. Oleson, M. G. Flanner, P. E. Thornton, S. C. Swenson, P. J. Lawrence, X. B. Zeng, Z. L. Yang, S. Levis, K. Sakaguchi, G. B. Bonan, and A. G. Slater. 2011. Parameterization improvements and functional and structural advances in Version 4 of the Community Land Model. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems 3, doi:10.1029/2011MS000045.

Hines K. M., D. H. Bromwich, L.-S. Bai, M. Barlage, and A. G. Slater. 2011. Development and testing of Polar WRF. Part III: Arctic Land. Journal of Climate 24, doi:10.1175/2010JCLI3460.1.


Bromwich, D. H, Y.-H. Kuo, M. Serreze, J. Walsh, L.-H. Bai, M. Barlage, K. Hines, and A. G. Slater. 2010. Artic System Reanalysis: Call for community involvement. EOS 91(2): 13-14, doi:10.1029/2010EO020001.

Lawrence, D. M., and A. G. Slater. 2010. The contribution of snow condition trends to future ground climate. Climate Dynamics 34: 969-981, doi:10.1007/s00382-009-0537-4.


Schaefer, K., T. Zhang, A. G. Slater, L. Lu, A. Etringer, and I. Baker. 2009. Improving simulated soil temperatures and soil freeze/thaw at high-latitude regions in the Simple Biosphere/Carnegie-Ames-Stanford Approach model. Journal of Geophysical Research 114, F02021, doi:10.1029/2008JF001125.

Slater, A. G., M. P. Clark, and A. P. Barrett. 2009. Comment on "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" by Noah P. Molotch and Steven A. Margulis [Advances in Water Resources 31 (2008) 1,503-1,514]. Advances in Water Resources 32, doi:10.1016/j.advwatres.2009.09.001.


Clark M. P., A. G. Slater, D. E. Rupp, R. A. Woods, J. A. Vrugt, H. V. Gupta, T. Wagener, and L. E. Hay. 2008. Framework for understanding structural errors (FUSE): A modular framework to diagnose differences between hydrological models. Water Resources Research 44, W00B02, doi:10.1029/2007WR006735.

Clark M. P., D. E. Rupp, R. A. Woods, X. Zheng, R. P. Ibbitt, A. G. Slater, J. Schmidt, and M. Uddstrom. 2008. Hydrological data assimilation with the ensemble Kalman filter: Use of streamflow observations to update states in a distributed hydrologic model. Advances in Water Resources 31(10): 1309-1324, doi:10.1016/j.advwatres.2008.06.005.

Lawrence, D. M., and A. G. Slater. 2008. Incorporating organic soil into a global climate model. Climate Dynamics 30(2-3): 145-160, doi:10.1007/s00382-007-0278-1.

Lawrence, D. M., A. G. Slater, V. E. Romanovsky, and D. J. Nicolsky. 2008. Sensitivity of a model projection of near-surface permafrost degradation to soil column depth and representation of soil organic matter. Journal of Geophysical Research 113, F02011, doi:10.1029/2007JF000883.

Lawrence D. M., A. G. Slater, R. A. Tomas, M. M. Holland, and C. Deser. 2008. Accelerated Arctic land warming and permafrost degradation during rapid sea ice loss. Geophysical Research Letters 35, L11506, doi:10.1029/2008GL033985.

Serreze, M. C., A. P. Barrett, and A. G. Slater. 2008. Chapter 13: Variability and change in the atmospheric branch of the Arctic hydrologic cycle. In Arctic-subarctic ocean fluxes, eds. R. R. Dickson, J. Meincke, and P. Rhines. New York: Springer.


Lawrence, D. M., and A. G. Slater. 2007. Incorporating organic soil into a global climate model. Climate Dynamics 30(2-3): 145-160, doi:10.1007/s00382-007-0278-1.

Serreze, M. C., A. P. Barrett, and A. G. Slater. 2007. Chapter 13, Variability and change in the atmospheric branch of the Arctic hydrological cycle. In Arctic-subarctic Ocean Fluxes: Defining the Role of the Northern Seas in Climate, eds. R. R. Dickson, J. Meincke, and P. Rhines. The Netherlands: Springer.

Serreze, M. C., A. P. Barrett, A. G. Slater, M. Steele, J. Zhang, and K. E. Trenberth. 2007. The large-scale energy budget of the Arctic. Journal of Geophysical Research 112, D11122, doi:10.1029/2006JD008230.

Slater, A. G. (contributing author), et al. 2007. Chapter 8, Climate models and their evaluation. In Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, eds. S. Solomon et al., 589-662. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Slater, A. G., T. J. Bohn, J. L. McCreight, M. C. Serreze, and D. P. Lettenmeier. 2007. A multimodel simulation of pan-Arctic hydrology. Journal of Geophysical Research 112, G04S45, doi:10.1029/2006JG000303.


Clark M. P., and A. G. Slater. 2006. Probabilistic quantitative precipitation estimation in complex terrain. Journal of Hydrometeorology 7(1): 3-22.

Clark, M. P., A. G. Slater, A. P. Barrett, L. E. Hay, G. J. McCabe, B. Rajagopalan, and G. H. Leavesley. 2006. Assimilation of snow covered area information into hydrologic and land-surface models. Advances in Water Resources 29(8): 1209-1221, doi:10.1016/j.advwatres.2005.10.001.

Lawrence, D. M., and A. G. Slater. 2006. Reply to comment by C. R. Burn and F. E. Nelson on "A projection of near-surface permafrost degradation during the 21st century." Geophysical Research Letters 33(21), L21504, doi:10.1029/2006GL027955.

Serreze, M., A. P. Barrett, A. G. Slater, R. A. Woodgate, K. Aagaard, R. B. Lammers, M. Steele, R. Moritz, M. Meredith, and C. M. Lee. 2006. The large-scale freshwater cycle of the Arctic. Journal of Geophysical Research 111, C11010, doi:10.1029/2005JC003424.

Slater, A. G., and M. P. Clark. 2006. Snow Data assimilation via an ensemble Kalman filter. Journal of Hydrometeorology, 7(3): 478-493.


Lawrence D. M., and A. G. Slater. 2005. A projection of severe near-surface permafrost degradation during the 21st century. Geophysical Research Letters 32, doi:10.1029/2005GL025080.


Luo L. F., A. Robock, K. Y. Vinnikov, C. A. Schlosser, A. G. Slater, et al. 2003. Effects of frozen soil on soil temperature, spring infiltration, and runoff: Results from the PILPS 2(d) experiment at Valdai, Russia. Journal of Hydrometeorology 4(2): 334-351.


Beringer , J., F. S. Chapin III , I. McHugh , N. J. Tapper , A. H. Lynch , M. C. Serreze, and A. G. Slater. 2001. Impact of Arctic treeline on synoptic climate. Geophysical Research Letters 28(22): 4247-4250.

Lynch, A. H., A. G. Slater, and M. Serreze. 2001. The Alaskan Arctic frontal zone: Forcing by orography, coastal contrast and the boreal forest. Journal of Climate 14(23): 4351-4362.

Slater, A. G., C. A. Schlosser, C. E. Desborough , et al. 2001. The representation of snow in land-surface schemes; Results from PILPS 2(d). Journal of Hydrometeorology 2(1): 7-25.


Schlosser C. A., A. G. Slater, A. Robock, et al. 2000. Standalone simulations of a boreal hydrology with land-surface schemes used in atmospheric models: PILPS Phase 2(d). Monthly Weather Review 128(2): 301-321.


Pitman, A. J., A. G. Slater, C. E. Desborough, and M. Zhao. 1999. Uncertainty in the simulation of runoff due to the parameterization of frozen soil moisture using the Global Soil Wetness Project methodology. Journal of Geophysical Research 104(D14): 16879-16888, doi:10.1029/1999JD900261.


Slater, A. G., A. J. Pitman, and C. E. Desborough. 1998. The simulation of freeze-thaw cycles in a GCM Land Surface Scheme. Journal of Geophysical Research 103(D10): 11,303-11,312, doi:10.1029/97JD03630.

Slater, A.G., A. J. Pitman, and C. E. Desborough. 1998. The Validation of a Snow Parameterization designed for use in General Circulation Models. International Journal of Climatology 18(6):595-617.

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Related Resources

Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES)

Andrew Slater's Web site