Dr. Craig R. Ferguson

Dr. Craig R. Ferguson

Observing, diagnosing and understanding land-atmosphere interactions; satellite remote sensing of atmospheric profiles, soil moisture, and evapotranspiration; understanding the hydrological response to climate change; constructing climate-quality reanalyses.

The World Within Reach
Craig R. Ferguson
Research Associate

College of Arts and Sciences
Department: Atmospheric Sciences Research Center

Adjunct Faculty

SUNY-College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Department of Environmental Resources Engineering


251 Fuller Road
Albany, New York 12203




"Dr. Ferguson’s research is focused on improving our understanding of the role of land-atmosphere interactions in precipitation predictability, especially during hydrological extremes (prolonged wetness and drought), through ground- and satellite-based observations and regional modeling.  Dr. Ferguson’s primary research context is that of global water cycle variability and its sensitivity to climate and global change.

Within the Global Energy and Water Cycle Exchanges (GEWEX) project of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), Dr. Ferguson serves as an elected member on two panels: the Global Land-Atmosphere System Study panel (GLASS; 2011-present) and the Global Hydroclimatology Panel (GHP; 2015-present). In these positions, he leads efforts to benchmark the observation and diagnosis of land-atmosphere coupling and to improve overall understanding and prediction of U.S. weather, climate, and hydrology.

Dr. Ferguson is also actively involved in the atmospheric reanalysis community through work to detect and attribute their inhomogeneities—a critical prerequisite to their application in long term trend assessment.

In general, he is interested in practical and breakthrough science endeavors with immediate research-to-operations implications."


2010, Ph.D., Civil and Environmental Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA
2007, M.A., Civil and Environmental Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA
2005, B.S., Environmental Resources & Forest Engineering , State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF), Syracuse, NY, USA

Research Interests

Observing, diagnosing and understanding land-atmosphere interactions; satellite remote sensing of atmospheric profiles, soil moisture, and evapotranspiration; understanding the hydrological response to climate change; constructing climate-quality reanalyses.

Enhanced Soundings for Local Coupling Studies

The Great Lakes Environment-Energy-Economy Nexus

Additional Information

Postdoctoral and Graduate Advisees 

Wanhee Kim (UAlbany, Ph.D., SUNY; 2015- )
Hyo-Jong Song (KIAPS, Postdoc, 2014-2015)
Kritika Thapa (EA Engineering Science and Technology, Inc.; M.S., 2013-2015)


18.Ferguson, C.R. and D. M. Mocko (2017), Diagnosing an artificial trend in NLDAS-2 afternoon precipitation, J. Hydrometeor., doi:10.1175/JHM-D-16-0251.1, in press.

17. Song, H.-J., C.R. Ferguson, and J.K. Roundy (2015), Land-atmosphere coupling at the Southern Great Plains Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) field site and its role in anomalous afternoon peak precipitation, J. Hydrometeor., 541-556, doi:10.1175/JHM-D-15-0045.1.

16. He, X., Kim, H., Kirstetter, P.-E., Yoshimura, K., Chang, E.-C., Ferguson, C.R., Erlingis, J., Hong, Y., T. Oki (2014), The diurnal cycle of precipitation in regional spectral model simulations over West Africa: sensitivities to resolution and cumulus schemes, Wea.Forecasting, 30 (2), 424-445, doi: 10.1175/WAF-D-14-00013.1.

15. Ferguson, C.R. and G. Villarini (2014), An evaluation of the statistical homogeneity of the Twentieth Century Reanalysis, Clim Dyn, 42, 2841-2866, doi: 10.1007/s00382-013-1996-1.

14. Roundy, J.K., C.R. Ferguson, and E.F. Wood (2014), Impact of land-atmospheric coupling in CFSv2 on drought prediction, Clim Dyn, 43, 421-434, doi: 10.1007/s00382-013-1982-7.

13. Gentine, P., C.R. Ferguson , and A.A.M Holtslag (2013), Diagnosing evaporative fraction from boundary layer clouds, J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 118, doi:10.1002/jgrd.50416.

12. Roundy, J.K., C.R. Ferguson, and E.F. Wood (2013), Temporal variability of land-atmosphere coupling and its implications for drought over the southeast United States, J. Hydrometeor., 14, 622-635, doi:10.1175/JHM-D-12-090.1.

11. Ferguson, C.R. and G. Villarini (2012), Detecting inhomogeneities in the Twentieth Century Reanalysis over the central United States, J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 117, D05123, doi:10.1029/2011JD016988.

10. Ferguson, C.R., E.F. Wood, and R.K. Vinukollu (2012), A global inter-comparison of modeled and observed land-atmosphere coupling, J. Hydrometeor., JHM-D-11-0119, 13(3), 749-784, doi:10.1175/JHM-D-11-0119.1.

9. Ferguson, C.R. and E.F. Wood (2011), Observed land-atmosphere coupling from satellite remote sensing and reanalysis, J. Hydrometeor., 12(6), 1221-1254, doi: 10.1175/2011JHM1380.1.

8. Ferguson, C. R. and E. F. Wood (2010), An evaluation of satellite remote-sensing data products for land surface hydrology: Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS), J. Hydrometeor., 11, 1234-1262, doi: 10.1175/2010JHM1217.1.

7. Ferguson, C. R., J. Sheffield, E. F. Wood, and H. Gao (2010), Quantifying uncertainty in a remote sensing-based estimate of evapotranspiration over the continental United States, Int. J. Rem. Sens., 31, pp. 3821-3865, doi:10.1080/01431161.2010.483490.

6. Gao, H., Q. Tang, C. R. Ferguson, E. F. Wood, and D. P. Lettenmaier (2010), Estimating the water budget of major U.S. river basins via remote sensing, Int. J. Rem. Sens., 31, pp. 3955-3978.

5. Vinukollu, R. V., E. F. Wood, C. R. Ferguson, and J. B. Fisher (2010), Global Estimates of evapotranspiration for climate studies using multi-sensor remote sensing data: Evaluation of two process-based approaches, Remote Sensing of Environment, 115 (3), 801-823, doi: 10.1016/j.rse.2010.11.006.

4. Jones, L. A., C. R. Ferguson, J. S. Kimball, K. Zhang, S. K. Chan, K. C. McDonald, E. G. Njoku, and E. F. Wood (2010), Satellite microwave remote sensing of daily land surface air temperature minima and maxima from AMSR-E, IEEE JSTARS Special Issue on Microwave Remote Sensing for Land Hydrology Research and Applications, 3(1), doi: 10.1109/JSTARS.2010.2041530.

3. Ferguson, C. R. and E. F. Wood (2009), Observing land-atmosphere interaction globally with satellite remote sensing, In Proc. `GEWEX Earth Observation and Water Cycle Science: Towards a Water Cycle Multi-mission Observation Strategy' (Ed. H. Lacoste), ESA SP-674 (CD-ROM), ESA Publications Division, European Space Agency, Noordwijk, The Netherlands, 8pp.

2. Sheffield, J., C. R. Ferguson, T. J. Troy, E. F. Wood, and M. F. McCabe (2009), Closing the terrestrial water budget from satellite remote sensing, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L07403, doi:10.1029/2009GL037338.

1. Sahoo, A., P. Houser, C. R. Ferguson, E. F. Wood, P. Dirmeyer, and M. Kefatos (2008), Evaluation of AMSR-E soil moisture results using the in-situ data over the Little River Experimental Watershed, Georgia. Remote Sensing of Environment, 112, 3142-3152, doi:10.1016/j.rse.2008.03.007.