Earth Sciences Division (ESD) Department of Energy (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)

Earth Sciences Division Staff: Zachary Subin

Zachary Subin

Zachary Subin

Postdoctoral Fellow

Hydrogeology Department


Phone: 510-486-6914

(Email for cell#)

Fax: 510-486-5686


Biographical Summary

I work with George Pau and Yaning Liu to develop computationally efficient methods for climate modeling using model-dimension reduction techniques.  One application is quantifying uncertainty in and upscaling coupled hydrology and biogeochemistry in permafrost and peatland ecosystems.

I completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Princeton Environmental Institute, working with Prof. Steve Pacala and Dr. Elena Shevliakova. I was working with Dr. Benjamin Sulman to improve the treatment of soil carbon cycling and subgrid horizontal heterogeneity in the land-surface component of the GFDL earth system model, with application to understanding interactions between peatlands and climate change. Please also visit and my personal webpage.

I completed a Ph.D. in UC Berkeley's Energy and Resources Group, working with Dr. William Riley, Prof. Margaret Torn, Prof. William Collins, and Dr. Charles Koven in the Climate Sciences Department at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. The dissertation is available upon email request. I am affiliated with the IMPACTS project and the CESM Land Model Working Group. During my Ph.D., I used land-surface modeling to better understand feedbacks to climate change. I developed a coupling between WRF and CLM in order to study the effects of land cover change in California. I also developed an improved lake model for CLM (Subin et al., 2012a; Subin et al., 2012b) and helped develop a global terrestrial methane emissions model with Dr. Riley. My previous work at Berkeley included work on wind energy economics and the options for greenhouse gas emissions reduction in California's transportation sector.

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My Google Scholar Profile

Research Interests

Interactions between changes in terrestrial surface and subsurface physical and biochemical properties and changes in regional and global climate: regional and global climate modeling; land cover and land use change; lake physics and dynamics; wetland and methane biogeochemistry; permafrost and thermokarst physics; feedbacks to climate change.

Personal interests include science, politics, beer, bicycling / outdoors, and cats.


  • Ph.D. Energy & Resources, University of California, Berkeley, May 2012
  • M.S. Energy & Resources, University of California, Berkeley, 2008
  • M.P.P. Public Policy, University of California, Goldman School of Public Policy, Berkeley, 2007
  • A.B. Physics & Math, Harvard University, Cambridge, 2003

Professional Experience

  • Postdoctoral Scholar with George Pau, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 2014 through present.
  • Postdoctoral Fellow with Stephen Pacala, Elena Shevliakova, Chris Milly, and Steve Frolking, Princeton Environmental Institute and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton. 2012 through 2014.
  • Ph.D. Dissertation Research with William Riley, Margaret Torn, and William Collins, University of California, Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. 2008 2012.
  • Graduate Student Instructor, University of California, Berkeley. 2006 through 2008.
  • Intern, Energy and Environmental Economics, San Francisco. Summer 2007.
  • Graduate Student Research Assistant, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Summer 2006.
  • Intern, Redefining Progress, Oakland. Summer 2006.
  • Teaching Assistant, Harvard University. 2003 through 2004.
  • Undergraduate Research Assistant, Los Alamos Summer School for Physics, Los Alamos National Lab. Summer 2001.
  • Undergraduate Research Assistant, Harvard University. 2000.


  • Princeton Environmental Institute, Princeton University, Princeton. 2012-present.Zachary M. Subin 4
  • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Earth Sciences Division, Berkeley. 2008-2012. Modeling land cover change, lake and permafrost temperatures and surface fluxes, and wetland and methane biogeochemistry in regional and global climate models.
  • Energy and Environmental Economics, San Francisco. 2006-2007. California transportation and greenhouse gas economics.
  • Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, Energy and Environmental Technology Division, Berkeley. 2006. Wind energy economics.
  • Redefining Progress, Oakland. 2005. California renewable energy policy economics.
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos. 2001. Reaction kinetics of mechanically shocked materials.
  • Harvard University, Department of Physics, Cambridge. 2000. Statistical methods for particle physics.

Honors and Awards

  • Harold T. White Prize for Excellence in the Teaching of Physics, Department of Physics, Harvard University, 2004.
  • Graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard University, 2003.


  1. University of California, Berkeley. Fall, 2008. Graduate Student Instructor for Energy and Society (Energy & Resources).
  2. University of California, Berkeley. Spring 2006 through Spring, 2007. Graduate Student Instructor for Descriptive Introduction to Physics (Physics).
  3. Harvard University, Cambridge. Spring, 2004. Teaching Assistant for Physics of Music (Physics Core Curriculum).
  4. Harvard University, Cambridge. Spring, 2004. Teaching Assistant for Time (Physics Core Curriculum).
  5. Harvard University, Cambridge. Fall, 2003. Teaching Assistant for Physics 11a: Mechanics

Professional Service

Served as reviewer for the following journals: Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, Environmental Research Letters, and Geoscientific Model Development. Served as a reviewer for the U.S. Department of Energy for scientific proposal merit review.