ESSIC Assistant Research Scientist Christopher Hain played a key role in transitioning a drought detection tool from the research phase to NOAA operations. Developed by NOAA and its partners, the Evaporation Stress Index (ESI) provides drought warnings weeks ahead of other currently available indicators. In the late 1990s the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) began developing ESI under Martha Anderson, a research scientist at USDA’s Agricultural Research Service. In 2008 Hain began collaborating with Anderson’s team as part of his doctoral research at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. His main task from the beginning was to help integrate ESI into NOAA’s research program, eventually hoping to transition it from research to operational. Hain continued in this role when he joined ESSIC and the Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites-Maryland (CICS-MD) in 2010.
Highlight derived from UMD CMNS feature by M. Wright; “UMD Scientists Help Develop New Drought Early Warning Tool”