Sciences and Exploration Directorate

Melissa Wrzesien


Org Code: 617

Mail Code: 617
Greenbelt, MD 20771


Brief Bio

Dr. Melissa Wrzesien is currently an Assistant Research Scientist in the Hydrological Sciences Lab at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center with the Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center (ESSIC) at the University of Maryland. She works with the Land Information System (LIS) team. Melissa received her BS in Environmental Science and Applied Mathematics from the University of North Carolina in 2013. She completed her PhD in Earth Sciences from the Ohio State University in 2018. Melissa started at GSFC in 2020.


Assistant Research Scientist

ESSIC/UMD, NASA GSFC Hydrological Sciences Lab - Greenbelt, MD

August 2021 - Present

Associate Scientist

GESTAR/USRA, NASA GSFC Hydrological Sciences Lab - Greenbelt, MD

March 2020 - July 2021

Postdoctoral Researcher

Global Hydrology Labratory, Department of Geological Sciences, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, NC

July 2018 - February 2020


Ph.D. in Earth Sciences, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 2018

B.S. in Environmental Sciences and Applied Mathematics, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, 2013



Pflug, J. M., M. L. Wrzesien, S. V. Kumar, et al. E. Cho, K. R. Arsenault, P. R. Houser, and C. M. Vuyovich. 2024. Extending the utility of space-borne snow water equivalent observations over vegetated areas with data assimilation Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 28 (3): 631-648 [10.5194/hess-28-631-2024]

Lahmers, T. M., S. V. Kumar, K. A. Locke, et al. S. Wang, A. Getirana, M. L. Wrzesien, P.-W. Liu, and S. K. Ahmad. 2023. Interconnected hydrologic extreme drivers and impacts depicted by remote sensing data assimilation Scientific Reports 13 (1): 3411 [10.1038/s41598-023-30484-4]

Cho, E., C. M. Vuyovich, S. V. Kumar, et al. M. L. Wrzesien, R. S. Kim, and J. M. Jacobs. 2022. Precipitation biases and snow physics limitations drive the uncertainties in macroscale modeled snow water equivalent Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 26 (22): 5721-5735 [10.5194/hess-26-5721-2022]

Cho, E., C. M. Vuyovich, S. V. Kumar, M. L. Wrzesien, and R. S. Kim. 2022. Evaluating the Utility of Active Microwave Observations as a Snow Mission Concept Using Observing System Simulation Experiments The Cryosphere Discussions [10.5194/tc-2022-220]

Ahmad, S. K., S. V. Kumar, T. M. Lahmers, et al. S. Wang, P. Liu, M. L. Wrzesien, R. Bindlish, A. Getirana, K. A. Locke, T. R. Holmes, and J. A. Otkin. 2022. Flash Drought Onset and Development Mechanisms Captured with Soil Moisture and Vegetation Data Assimilation Water Resources Research [10.1029/2022wr032894]

Wrzesien, M., S. V. Kumar, C. M. Vuyovich, and R. Kim. 2022. Development of a “nature run” for observing system simulation experiments (OSSEs) for snow mission development Journal of Hydrometeorology [10.1175/jhm-d-21-0071.1]

Kim, R., S. Kumar, C. Vuyovich, et al. P. Houser, J. Lundquist, L. Mudryk, M. Durand, A. Barros, E. J. Kim, B. A. Forman, E. D. Gutmann, M. L. Wrzesien, C. Garnaud, M. Sandells, H.-P. Marshall, N. Cristea, J. M. Pflug, J. Johnston, Y. Cao, D. Mocko, and S. Wang. 2021. Snow Ensemble Uncertainty Project (SEUP): quantification of snow water equivalent uncertainty across North America via ensemble land surface modeling The Cryosphere 15 (2): 771-791 [10.5194/tc-15-771-2021]

Daloz, A. S., M. Mateling, T. L'Ecuyer, et al. M. Kulie, N. B. Wood, M. Durand, M. Wrzesien, C. W. Stjern, and A. P. Dimri. 2020. How much snow falls in the world's mountains? A first look at mountain snowfall estimates in A-train observations and reanalyses The Cryosphere 14 (9): 3195-3207 [10.5194/tc-14-3195-2020]

Holtzman, N. M., T. M. Pavelsky, J. S. Cohen, M. L. Wrzesien, and J. D. Herman. 2020. Tailoring WRF and Noah‐MP to Improve Process Representation of Sierra Nevada Runoff: Diagnostic Evaluation and Applications Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems 12 (3): [10.1029/2019ms001832]

Wrzesien, M. L., and T. M. Pavelsky. 2020. Projected Changes to Extreme Runoff and Precipitation Events From a Downscaled Simulation Over the Western United States Frontiers in Earth Science 7 [10.3389/feart.2019.00355]

Wrzesien, M. L., T. M. Pavelsky, M. T. Durand, J. Dozier, and J. D. Lundquist. 2019. Characterizing Biases in Mountain Snow Accumulation From Global Data Sets Water Resources Research 55 (11): 9873-9891 [10.1029/2019wr025350]

Wrzesien, M. L., M. T. Durand, and T. M. Pavelsky. 2019. A Reassessment of North American River Basin Cool‐Season Precipitation: Developments From a New Mountain Climatology Data Set Water Resources Research 55 (4): 3502-3519 [10.1029/2018wr024106]

Wrzesien, M. L., M. T. Durand, T. M. Pavelsky, et al. S. B. Kapnick, Y. Zhang, J. Guo, and C. K. Shum. 2018. A New Estimate of North American Mountain Snow Accumulation From Regional Climate Model Simulations Geophysical Research Letters 45 (3): 1423-1432 [10.1002/2017gl076664]

Li, D., M. L. Wrzesien, M. Durand, J. Adam, and D. P. Lettenmaier. 2017. How much runoff originates as snow in the western United States, and how will that change in the future? Geophysical Research Letters 44 (12): 6163-6172 [10.1002/2017gl073551]

Wrzesien, M. L., M. T. Durand, T. M. Pavelsky, et al. I. M. Howat, S. A. Margulis, and L. S. Huning. 2017. Comparison of Methods to Estimate Snow Water Equivalent at the Mountain Range Scale: A Case Study of the California Sierra Nevada Journal of Hydrometeorology 18 (4): 1101-1119 [10.1175/jhm-d-16-0246.1]

Wise, E. K., M. L. Wrzesien, M. P. Dannenberg, and D. L. McGinnis. 2015. Cool-Season Precipitation Patterns Associated with Teleconnection Interactions in the United States Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology 54 (2): 494-505 [10.1175/jamc-d-14-0040.1]

Wrzesien, M. L., T. M. Pavelsky, S. B. Kapnick, M. T. Durand, and T. H. Painter. 2014. Evaluation of snow cover fraction for regional climate simulations in the Sierra Nevada International Journal of Climatology 35 (9): 2472-2484 [10.1002/joc.4136]