Climate Science Program

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Kristie J. Franz

Assistant Professor



Office: 3023 Agronomy Hall

Phone: 515-294-7454








Department: Geological and Atmospheric Sciences

Research Interests: Surface water hydrology, streamflow prediction, climate impacts on the hydrologic cycle

Brief description of current research:

Dr. Franz's primary research focus is improvement of hydrologic forecast systems.  Current topics include advancing operational snow modeling for seasonal water supply prediction.  This research involves evaluation and enhancement of the current operational snow accumulation and ablation model, including the addition of a snow energy balance module for multi-modeling applications.  Prediction studies include identification and testing of a hydrologic modeling system suitable for real-time flood prediction in quick responding watersheds.  National Weather Service personnel at the national and regional levels are involved in these projects, improving potential for future applications of this research.  Additional investigations include regionalization of hydrologic model parameters, evaluation of probabilistic quantitative precipitation forecasts for ensemble hydrologic predictions, and the application of remote sensing data for snow model data assimilation.  Dr. Franz is also interested in long-term changes in the hydrologic cycle at the watershed-scale due to human alterations of the landscape and climate. 

Dr. Franz participates in the Upper Mississippi River Basin Observatory (UMRBO) Hydrologic Modeling Task Force and the Hydrologic Ensemble Prediction Experiment (HEPEX) Science Steering Committee.   

Recent publications:

Franz, K. J., H. C. Hartmann, S. Sorooshian, and R. Bales, 2003: Verification of National Weather Service ensemble streamflow predictions for water supply forecasting in the Colorado river basin.  Journal of Hydrometeorology, 4(6), 1105-1118.

Schaake, J, K. Franz, A. Bradley, and R. Buizza, 2006: The Hydrologic Ensemble Prediction Experiment (HEPEX), Hydrology and Earth System Science Discussions, 3, 3321–3332.