Steven R. Fassnacht, PhD.


Ecosystem Science and Sustainability


Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere

Senior Research Scientist

Natural Resource Ecology Lab

Fields of Expertise

Data, GIS, and Modeling, Hydrology, Snow Hydrology, Watershed Science

Areas of Interest

Climate change and impacts on water resources, Data issues, Spatio-temporal variability in earth surface properties, Integrating social and physical data


Steven Fassnacht grew up in the Great Lakes region that has a lot of water falling from the sky (three times as much as the Front Range of Colorado, where he now lives). However, even in a place where water resources appeared to be limitless, water availability was an issue, due to the timing of rain and snow, and water quality problems that come with long term development. Dr. Fassnacht was drawn to study water because there is an analytical component, a resources conservation component, and an environmental field component. He has focused on the physical aspects of watershed science, but acknowledges that to solve the bigger and more important problems, that often include water quality issues, we must work in interdisciplinary teams. Such groups expand our boundaries and build our understanding of physical, biological, and social systems. Recently he has expanded this further to include the humanities. As an undergraduate, Dr. Fassnacht was exposed to a number of water quality issues and he graduated with a water resources concentration.