CW3E Welcomes Kayden Haleakala

September 26, 2022

Kayden Haleakala joined CW3E as a Postdoctoral Scholar in September 2022. He completed his PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California Los Angeles (2022), researching California snowpack responses to warm storms with Drs. Mekonnen Gebremichael, Steve Margulis, Jeff Dozier, and Dennis Lettenmaier. Prior to his PhD, Kayden received his B.S. (2016) and M.S. (2017) in Civil Engineering at Santa Clara University.

Kayden's PhD work aimed to better understand rain-on-snow processes at the watershed scale. Warming winter precipitation threatens greater flood hazards in mountain environments, which underscores a need to skillfully conceptualize and predict rainfall-runoff responses over snow-covered landscapes. However, the surface stations we use for snowpack monitoring and model validation can sometimes mislead such efforts. Combining remotely sensed and in situ snow and hydrometeorological observations, Kayden's thesis (1) describes this misleading flood generation mechanism, and (2) demonstrates the role of watershed "memory" and storm sequencing in driving high-impact rain-on-snow events. In addition to snow research, Kayden has also been involved in research investigating the shifts and variability of rainfall and water supply in East Africa.

At CW3E, Kayden will be working in the hydrology group under Dr. Ming Pan and provide process understanding and modeling support for large-scale snowpack and water supply monitoring and forecasting.