Peter Kirchner - Physical Scientist

A close up of Peter initializing the weather station.
Peter monitoring Alaska's weather and climate.

Peter B. Kirchner
Physical Scientist
Southwest Alaska Inventory and Monitoring Network
National Park Service
240 W. 5th Avenue
Anchorage, Alaska 99501
(907) 644-3686

Research Gate Profile

Research Interests
Investigating and communicating the relationships between the climate and ecologic, hydrologic, and biogeochemical processes; by integrating ground-based and remote sensing observations in support of scientifically informed decision making.

Ph.D., Environmental Systems, School of Engineering, University of California, Merced
M.Sc., Geography, Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering, University of Nevada, Reno
B.S., Ecology and Evolution, School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, University of California, Davis

Current Professional Activities
Mar 2018, Faculty Affiliate, University of Montana, W.A. Franke College of Forestry & Conservation, research collaborator in optical and passive microwave remote sensing, PhD student advisor

Dec 2017, National Park Service Inventory and Monitoring, Long Term Data Management Governance Board, Advisory board member for national long term data management planning

Mar 2015, NASA Arctic Boreal Vulnerability Experiment Science Team member and sub team lead for snow in the Hydrology and Permafrost Group, collaborative research in earth systems science

Dec 2014, Physical Scientist, inventory and monitoring, support scientifically informed decision making, public information and collaborative research in earth systems science, Southwest Alaska Network, National Park Service, Anchorage, Alaska

Selected Publications
Integrating snow science and wildlife ecology in Arctic-boreal North America. Natalie T. Boelman, Glen E. Liston, Eliezer Gurarie, Arjan J. H. Meddens, Peter J. Mahoney, Peter B. Kirchner, Gil Bohrer, Todd J. Brinkman, Chris L. Cosgrove, Jan U.H. Eitel , Mark Hebblewhite, John S. Kimball, Scott LaPoint, Anne W. Nolin, Stine Højlund Pedersen, Laura R. Prugh, Adele K. Reinking, Lee A. Vierling. Environmental Research Letters

Quantifying the effects of freeze-thaw transitions and snowpack melt on land surface albedo and energy exchange over Alaska and Western Canada. Youngwook Kim, John S Kimball, Jinyang Du, Crystal L B Schaaf and Peter B Kirchner, Environmental Research Letters, DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/aacf72

Rain-on-snow events in Alaska, and their frequency and distribution from satellite observations. Pan CG, Kirchner PB, Kimball JS, Kim Y, Du J. 2018. Environmental Research Letters, DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/aac9d3

Snow cover monitoring with MODIS satellite data in Alaska’s national parks, 2000-2015. J. Cherry, J. Zhu, P. Kirchner. Natural Resource Report. NPS/SWAN/NRR— 2017/1566. National Park Service. Fort Collins, Colorado

Chapter 5, Case Study: Monitoring Lake Ice in: Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment for the Chugach National Forest and the Kenai Peninsula. P. Kirchner, C. Lindsay; editors, G. Hayward, S. Colt, M. McTeague, and T. Hollingsworth, Pacific Northwest Research Station General Technical Report PNW-GTR- 950 May 2017

Topographic and vegetation effects on snow accumulation in the southern Sierra Nevada: A statistical summary from lidar data. Z. Zheng, P. Kirchner, R. Bales; The Cryosphere (2016), DOI: 10.5194/tc-10-257-2016

Deriving snow cover metrics for Alaska from MODIS. C. Lindsay, J. Zhu, A. Miller, P. Kirchner, T. Wilson; Remote Sensing (2015), DOI: 10.3390/rs71012961

Orographic and vegetation effects on snow accumulation in the southern Sierra Nevada: a statistical summary from LiDAR data. Z. Zheng, P. Kirchner, R. Bales; The Cryosphere Discussions (2015), DOI: 10.5194/tcd-9-4377-2015

Laser vision: lidar as a transformative tool to advance critical zone science. A. Harpold, J. Mashall, S. Lyon, T. Barnhart, B. Fisher, M. Donovan, K. Brubaker, C. Crosby, N. Glenn, C. Glennie, P. Kirchner, N. Lam, K. Mankoff, J. McCreight, N. Molotch, K. Musselman, J. Pelletier, T. Russo, H. Sangireddy, Y. Sjöberg, T. Swetnam, and N. West; Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (2015), DOI: 10.5194/hess-19-2881-2015

LiDAR measurement of seasonal snow accumulation along an elevation gradient southern Sierra Nevada, California. P. Kirchner, R. Bales, N. Molotch, J. Flanagan, Q. Guo; Hydrology and Earth System Sciences Discussions (2014), DOI: 10.5194/hess-18-4261-2014

Snowmelt Infiltration in Mixed-Conifer Subalpine Forests. A. Harpold, Q. Guo, N. Molotch, R. Bales, K. Musselman, P. Kirchner, M. Litvak and P. Brooks; Hydrologic Processes (2014)

LiDAR Derived Snowpack Datasets From Mixed Conifer Forests Across the Western U.S.. A. Harpold, Q. Guo, N. Molotch, P. Brooks, R. Bales, J. Fernandez-Diaz, K. Musselman, T. Swetnam, P. Kirchner, M. Meadows, J. Flanagen, R. Lucas; Water Resources Research (2013), DOI: 10.1002/2013WR013935

Relationships between conifer forest structure and snowmelt dynamics inferred from in-situ observations, hemispherical photographs and canopy radiative transfer. K. Musselman, N. Molotch, S. Margulis, P. Kirchner, R. Bales; Agricultural and Forest Meteorology (2012) 161:46-56, DOI: 10.1016/j.agrformet.2012.03.011

Soil Moisture Response to Snowmelt and Rainfall in a Sierra Nevada Mixed-Conifer Forest. R. Bales, J. Hopmans, T. O’Geen, M. Meadows, P. Hartsough, P. Kirchner, C. Hunsaker, D. Beaudette; Vadose Zone Journal (2011) 10:786-799, DOI: 10.2136/vzj2011.0001

Variability of trace metal concentrations in Jeffrey pine (Pinus jeffreyi) tree rings from the Tahoe Basin, California. P. Kirchner, F. Biondi, J. McConnell, R. Edwards; USA, Journal of Forest Research (2008) 13:347–356, DOI: 10.1007/s10310-008-0093-5

Selected Honors and Awards
2017 National Park Service, Department of Interior STAR Special Achievement Award
2014 NASA Group Achievement Award, for the NASA-JPL Airborne Snow Observatory
2011 Southern California Edison Fellowship for Mountain Hydrology Research
Nominated as full member of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
2006 Outstanding Graduate Student of the Year, Mackay School of Environmental Science and Engineering, University of Nevada, Reno
2005 Nominated to Phi Kappa Phi, National Honor Society
2004 Mountain Desert Research Scholarship, Department of Geography, University of Nevada, Reno

Last updated: November 27, 2018