Sciences and Exploration Directorate

Amy L. McNally


Org Code: 619

Mail Code: 619
Greenbelt, MD 20771

Employer: NASA

Brief Bio

Dr. Amy McNally is a research scientist specializing in remote sensing, and hydrological modeling for water resources and agriculture applications. Amy specializes in research-to-operations, to keep user communities up-to-date with the latest science and technology to generate the best estimates of when, where, and how many people require humanitarian interventions to alleviate food and water insecurity.

Current Projects

Land surface modeling for monitoring and seasonal forecasting of agricultural water availability

Hydrology / Water Cycle


Extended outlooks for crop condition classifications and early warning

Hydrology / Water Cycle

Changes in planted area estimated from high resolution imagery

Remote Sensing


Research AST Earth Sciences Remote Sensing

NASA GSFC - Greenbelt, MD

April 2023 - Present

Specializing in the use of satellite remote sensing for informing decisions around food security and leading projects, activities, and partnerships related to environmental and agricultural monitoring and prediction. 

Sr. Research Scientist

SAIC - Washington, DC

April 2019 - March 2023

Agroclimatology advisor for USAID Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance, Famine Early Warning Systems Network

Assistant Researcher


February 2014 - March 2019

Characterizing, monitoring and projecting water Availability for acute food insecurity decision support


University of California - Santa Barbara, CA

October 2013 - February 2014

 A Land Data Assimilation System for Famine Early Warning, UCSB Dept of Geography Climate Hazards Group

Selected Publications


Hobbins, M., T. Jansma, D. P. Sarmiento, et al. A. McNally, T. Magadzire, H. Jayanthi, W. Turner, A. Hoell, G. Husak, G. Senay, O. Boiko, M. Budde, P. Mogane, and C. F. Dewes. 2023. A global long-term daily reanalysis of reference evapotranspiration for drought and food-security monitoring Scientific Data 10 (1): 746 [10.1038/s41597-023-02648-4]

Hoell, A., R. Robinson, L. Agel, et al. M. Barlow, M. Breeden, J. Eischeid, A. McNally, K. Slinksi, and X.-W. Quan. 2023. Changes to Middle East and Southwest Asia Compound Drought and Heat Since 1999 Journal of Climate [10.1175/jcli-d-23-0194.1]

Burrows, R. A., K. Grace, M. E. Brown, and A. McNally. 2023. Considering soil moisture in models of climate impacts on child health in farming-centric countries Population and Environment 45 (3): 15 [10.1007/s11111-023-00426-3]

Hazra, A., A. McNally, K. Slinski, et al. K. R. Arsenault, S. Shukla, A. Getirana, J. P. Jacob, D. P. Sarmiento, C. Peters-Lidard, S. V. Kumar, and R. D. Koster. 2023. NASA’s NMME-based S2S Hydrologic Forecast System for Food Insecurity Early Warning in Southern Africa Journal of Hydrology 129005 [10.1016/j.jhydrol.2022.129005]

Anderson, W., B. I. Cook, K. Slinski, et al. K. Schwarzwald, A. McNally, and C. Funk. 2022. Multi-year La Niña events and multi-season drought in the Horn of Africa Journal of Hydrometeorology [10.1175/jhm-d-22-0043.1]

McNally, A., J. Jacob, K. Arsenault, et al. K. Slinski, D. P. Sarmiento, A. Hoell, S. Pervez, J. Rowland, M. Budde, S. Kumar, C. Peters-Lidard, and J. P. Verdin. 2022. A Central Asia hydrologic monitoring dataset for food and water security applications in Afghanistan Earth System Science Data 14 (7): 3115-3135 [10.5194/essd-14-3115-2022]

Cook, B. I., K. Slinski, C. Peters-Lidard, et al. A. McNally, K. Arsenault, and A. Hazra. 2021. The efficacy of seasonal terrestrial water storage forecasts for predicting vegetation activity over Africa Journal of Hydrometeorology 22 (11): 3121–3137 [10.1175/jhm-d-21-0046.1]

Pervez, S., A. McNally, K. Arsenault, M. Budde, and J. Rowland. 2021. Vegetation Monitoring Optimization With Normalized Difference Vegetation Index and Evapotranspiration Using Remote Sensing Measurements and Land Surface Models Over East Africa Frontiers in Climate 3 [10.3389/fclim.2021.589981]

Shukla, S., K. R. Arsenault, A. Hazra, et al. C. Peters-Lidard, R. D. Koster, F. Davenport, T. Magadzire, C. Funk, S. Kumar, A. McNally, A. Getirana, G. Husak, B. Zaitchik, J. Verdin, F. D. Nsadisa, and I. Becker-Reshef. 2020. Improving early warning of drought-driven food insecurity in Southern Africa using operational hydrological monitoring and forecasting products Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences [10.5194/nhess-20-1187-2020]

Arsenault, K. R., S. Shukla, A. Hazra, et al. A. Getirana, A. McNally, S. V. Kumar, R. D. Koster, C. D. Peters-Lidard, B. F. Zaitchik, H. Badr, H. C. Jung, B. Narapusetty, M. Navari, S. Wang, D. M. Mocko, C. Funk, L. Harrison, G. J. Husak, A. Adoum, G. Galu, T. Magadzire, J. Roningen, M. Shaw, J. Eylander, K. Bergaoui, R. A. McDonnell, and J. P. Verdin. 2020. The NASA hydrological forecast system for food and water security applications Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc. early online release [10.1175/bams-d-18-0264.1]

McNally, A., K. Verdin, L. Harrison, et al. A. Getirana, J. Jacob, S. Shukla, K. Arsenault, C. Peters-Lidard, and J. P. Verdin. 2019. Acute Water-Scarcity Monitoring for Africa Water 11 (10): 1968 [10.3390/w11101968]

Jung, H. C., A. Getirana, K. R. Arsenault, T. R. Holmes, and A. McNally. 2019. Uncertainties in Evapotranspiration Estimates over West Africa Remote Sensing 11 (8): 892 [10.3390/rs11080892]

McNally, A., S. McCartney, A. C. Ruane, et al. I. E. Mladenova, A. K. Whitcraft, I. Becker-Reshef, J. D. Bolten, C. D. Peters-Lidard, C. Rosenzweig, and S. Schollaert Uz. 2019. Hydrologic and Agricultural Earth Observations and Modeling for the Water-Food Nexus Frontiers in Environmental Science 7 pp. 23 [10.3389/fenvs.2019.00023]

Schollaert Uz, S., A. C. Ruane, B. N. Duncan, et al. C. J. Tucker, G. J. Huffman, I. E. Mladenova, B. Osmanoglu, T. R. Holmes, A. McNally, C. Peters-Lidard, J. D. Bolten, N. Das, M. Rodell, S. McCartney, M. C. Anderson, and B. Doorn. 2019. Earth Observations and Integrative Models in Support of Food and Water Security Remote Sensing in Earth Systems Sciences [10.1007/s41976-019-0008-6]

Jung, H. C., A. Getirana, F. Policelli, et al. A. McNally, K. R. Arsenault, S. Kumar, T. Tadesse, and C. D. Peters-Lidard. 2017. Upper Blue Nile Basin Water Budget from a Multi-Model Perspective Journal of Hydrology [10.1016/j.jhydrol.2017.10.040]

Kirschbaum, D. B., G. J. Huffman, R. Adler, et al. S. A. Braun, K. Garrett, E. Jones, A. L. Mcnally, G. S. Jackson, E. F. Stocker, H. Wu, and B. Zaitchik. 2017. NASA’s Remotely-sensed Precipitation: A Reservoir for Applications Users Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 98 (6): 1169-1184 [10.1175/BAMS-D-15-00296.1]

McNally, A., K. Arsenault, S. Kumar, et al. S. Shukla, P. Peterson, S. Wang, C. Funk, C. D. Peters-Lidard, and J. P. Verdin. 2017. A land data assimilation system for sub-Saharan Africa food and water security applications Scientific Data 4 170012 [10.1038/sdata.2017.12]

McNally, A. L., G. J. Husak, M. Brown, et al. M. Carroll, C. Funk, S. '. Yatheendradas, K. R. Arsenault, C. D. Peters-Lidard, and J. P. Verdin. 2015. Calculating Crop Water Requirement Satisfaction in the West Africa Sahel with Remotely Sensed Soil Moisture Journal of Hydrometerology 16 295-305 [10.1175/JHM-D-14-0049.1]

Grace, K., M. E. Brown, and A. McNally. 2014. Examining the link between food prices and food insecurity: A multi-level analysis of maize price and birthweight in Kenya Food Policy 46 56–65 [10.1016/j.foodpol.2014.01.010]


Getirana, A., A. L. Mcnally, J. Roningen, et al. B. Zaitchik, K. R. Arsenault, H. Jung, and C. D. Peters-Lidard. 2015. Forecasting Water Availability in Data Sparse and Heavily Managed Catchments in Africa and the Middle East GEWEX News 27 (4): 8-11