Areas of Interest
Climate Change and Impacts on Water Resources, Data issues
Dr. Fassnacht received a PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Waterloo, Canada in 2000. His recent research has focused on snow hydrology and hydrological modeling, examining the sensitivity of different complexities of hydrological processes within models using weather radar for the spatial distribution of precipitation. This work emphasized the importance of understanding snow processes in seasonal snow environments. This is especially relevant with a changing climate where snow becomes more transitional yielding a reduced surface albedo. He is working to improve the understanding of how processes influence the variability in hydrologic and climatic data. The variability can span various scales from the snow crystal scale through the landscape scale. There are some consistency among the different scales which help develop data collection strategies. With the data, temporal trends are been identified that are indicative of climate and related changes. Most recently he has been examining how people perceive their environment, in particular snowfall and snow, how this perception compares to what the data say, and what social impacts may be created by any discrepancies between perception and process.