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Mason Science Dean Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm will serve as Joint Global Change Research Institute Director

Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm is appointed director of the Joint Global Change Research Institute between Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the University of Maryland.

George Mason University College of Science dean, Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm was appointed director of the Joint Global Change Research Institute (JGCRI). JGCRI is jointly supported by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and the University of Maryland (UMD).

Formed in 2001, JGCRI research focuses on multidisciplinary approaches to understanding how human and Earth systems interact. JGCRI stewards the freely available Global Change Analysis Model, an Earth system global model that represents the behavior of, and interactions between, five systems: climate, water, land, energy and socioeconomics.

“This strategic opportunity with PNNL/JGCRI will connect Mason researchers and students to opportunities in the very important area of global change, leveraging expertise in areas such as decarbonization and carbon management, Earth systems, human well-being, climate modeling and data analysis.” Miralles-Wilhelm explained.

“PNNL is thrilled to welcome Dr. Miralles-Wilhelm as the new director of the Joint Global Change Research Institute,” said Larry Berg, Division Director, Atmospheric Sciences and Global Change at PNNL. “His technical expertise, familiarity with the institute, and vision will help broaden JGCRI’s global impact.”

Miralles-Wilhelm is a trained hydrologist and water resources engineer with three decades of experience. His work spans hydrologic science, water resources management, hydroclimatology, ecosystems, modeling of physical and biochemical phenomena in water systems, and remote sensing of hydrologic processes and applications.

“I’m thrilled to take on this new role,” said Miralles-Wilhelm. “I think JGCRI is one of the most exciting places to do complex multidisciplinary research. While I approach problems from a water perspective, the tools and resources at JGCRI allow us to operate at the important nexus of land, water, and energy.”

Over the past decade, Miralles-Wilhelm has closely collaborated with JGCRI researchers on projects evaluating the financial impacts of climate change for the World Bank. He has used the Global Change Analysis Model at both global and regional scales to better understand the interactions between climate, water resources, energy, and the economy. He is also looking forward to teaching a graduate class next semester at Mason focusing on this Earth system model.

Miralles-Wilhelm has served on the faculty at Northeastern University, the University of Miami, Florida International University, and the University of Maryland. He also spent 5 years as a civil servant at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, D.C. Miralles-Wilhelm earned a mechanical engineering diploma from Universidad Simón Bolívar in Caracas, Venezuela, an MS in engineering from the University of California, Irvine, and a PhD in civil and environmental engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Miralles-Wilhelm is a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and a Diplomate of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the states of Massachusetts and Florida.