Alan Basist

President, Eyes on Earth

Alan Basist has worked in climate sciences for almost 40 years. His experience ranges from work as a research scientist in NOAA, to an employee of a reinsurance company, to an entrepreneur identifying climate variability, as well as promoting mitigation and risk management strategies. He was a founding member of the rapid response team that prepared reports on the state of the climate for White House, NOAA headquarters, and public press releases. He was awarded a ‘certificate of recognition’ for sustained superior performance as a meteorologist in the Diagnostics Branch of the Climate Analysis Center, US Climate Prediction Center and bronze award for superior federal service in the US Department of Commerce. In 2003 he started a company ‘Commodity Hedgers’, to support the commodity and insurance industry to improve their understanding and financial position regarding climate variability. The company was sold to Renaissance Reinsurance in 2008, where he was employed for five years. In 2013 he started a company ‘Eyes On Earth to service the agricultural and insurance industry on climate related investments, as well as monitoring food and water resources around the world. He is part of a team of scientists that developed land surface and wetness products from microwave satellite observations. These products have almost thirty years of global data, and the observations are available in near real time under clear and cloudy sky cover throughout the world. He has most recently has been working on the development of river flow models. They are calibrated on gauges that represent natural flow, regressing the satellite derived wetness index on the variability of monthly flow. These models, based on only the wetness index, generally have better than 80% accuracy. Once the model is calibrated, they can be used to measure natural flow, and thus the impact of dams on the natural rhythm of the river. The most recent focus has been the impact of dams in the upper section of the Mekong River, and how they are significantly altering the flow of water moving through the river as it flows through southeast Asia.

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