Noah Molotch photo portrait
Associate Professor of Geography • Surface Water and Snow Hydrology; Remote Sensing; Ecohydrology • Fellow of INSTAAR • Faculty of Hydrologic Sciences • Ph.D. The University of Arizona, 2004
Physical Geography

Research Interests

My research and teaching interests are focused on the processes controlling hydrologic fluxes in mountainous regions and within the greater Earth system. Improved understanding of these processes is essential for sustainable management of natural resources and for making informed environmental policy decisions. My research projects utilize ground-based observations, remote sensing, and computational modeling to obtain comprehensive understanding of hydrological processes; in particular the distribution of snow and vegetation. Additional projects aim at developing techniques for scaling hydrological processes and for designing ground-based observation networks tailored for integration with remote sensing and modeling. Studies relating fluxes of water, carbon, and nitrogen are also a focus of my current projects - in particular the feedbacks between water availability and carbon cycling in montane forests.

Recent Courses Taught

  • Fall 2023 GEOG 3251  Mountain Geography
  • Spring 2023  GEOG 4321/5321  Snow Hydrlogy
  • Spring 2023  GEOG 5241  Topics in Physical Geography: Snow from Space
  • Fall 2022 GEOG 1001  Environmental Systems: Climate and Vegetation
  • Spring 2021  GEOG 4321/5321  Snow Hydrology
  • Spring 2021  GEOG 5241  Topics/Physical Geography: Mountain Hydrology
  • Fall 2020  GEOG/GEOL 4093/5093  Remote Sensing of the Environment
  • Spring 2020  GEOG 4321/5321  Snow Hydrology
  • Spring 2019  GEOG 1001  Environmental Systems: Climate and Vegetation
  • Spring 2019  GEOG 5100  Special Topics: Snowpack Stratigraphy

Selected Publications

Perrot, D., N.P. Molotch, K.N. Musselman, E. Pugh. (2014). Modeling the effects of the Mountain Pine Beetle on snowmelt in a subalpine forest. Ecohydrology, 7(2), 226 – 241. doi:10.1002/eco.1329

Guan, B., N.P. Molotch, D.E. Waliser, E.J. Fetzer, and P.J. Neiman. (2013). The 2010/11 Snow Season in California’s Sierra Nevada: Role of Atmospheric Rivers and Modes of Large-scale Variability. Water Resources Research, 49, 6731–6743. doi:10.1002/wrcr.20537

Musselman, K.N., N.P. Molotch, S.A. Margulis, M. Lehning, D. Gustafson. (2012). Improved snowmelt simulations with a canopy model forced with photo-derived direct beam canopy transmissivity. Water Resources Research, 48, 10. doi:10.1029/2012WR012285

Musselman, K.N., N.P. Molotch, S.A. Margulis, P.B. Kirchner, R.C. Bales. (2012). Influence of canopy structure and direct beam solar irradiance on snowmelt rates in a mixed conifer forest. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, VOL. 161, Pgs. 46-56. DOI:10.1016/j.agrformet.2012.03.011

Trujillo, E., N.P. Molotch, M. Goulden, A. Kelly, R. C. Bales. (2012). Elevation-dependent influence of snow accumulation on forest greening. Nature Geoscience.doi:10.1038/ngeo1571

Publications updated November 2014