Mike Anderson
Mike Anderson

Michael L. Anderson, Ph.D., P.E.

Special Recognition Award

Below is the text found on the Special Recognition Award presented to Mike Anderson at the 2023 California Extreme Precipitation Symposium held on June 27, 2023.

Special Recognition Award

Michael L. Anderson, Ph.D., P.E.

Being the right person at the right time marks the continuing career of Mike Anderson as State Climatologist with the California Department of Water Resources (DWR). His service to the people of California began in 2005 after completing his Ph.D. and a variety of post-doctoral research activities related to climate, hydrology, and water resources management at the University of California, Davis.

Looking back at the body of his research work, one gets the impression that he had a perspective of what water resources management and climate change adaption required and what he could do to help with the scientific understanding of it. Who would think of doing his dissertation topic — On the physics of droughts — completed in 1998?

Mike has the ability to think about climate and hydrology from a global perspective to a fine-scale process with goals that span from science and research to resource management and operations. He has the unique ability to consider the environmental system as a whole with integrated processes that influence each other.

Mike has been a beacon of insights and guidance for California's Governors, DWR personnel at various levels, Climate Action Team members, interagency climate change work teams, CA-NV River Forecast Center forecasters, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration climate specialists, and the research community. He has been at the forefront furthering Forecast Informed Reservoir Operations (FIRO) to improve water management in California. He has been an integral member of numerous steering committees evaluating FIRO viability. Mike has been instrumental in expanding the funding and implementation of advanced hydrometeorological technologies supporting research and improved operational forecasting of California's weather extremes.

Intellectual curiosity, an easy manner, good sense of humor, ready smile, and non-judgmental approach are keys to his effectiveness. Mike has a unique knack for explaining complex water resources issues in clear concise terms. It is no wonder that he is frequently sought by major media outlets across the country to comment on the latest California weather/climate "emergency of the day."

Mike has dramatically changed the character and value of the State Climatologist position. Instead of just being a caretaker of observations, he has been an active proponent for much needed weather and climate research to support resource and emergency management in California and beyond.

Over the years, Mike has willingly shared his time and knowledge to support CEPSYM. His assistance in creating the theme, identifying topics, and suggesting speakers has been invaluable and greatly appreciated.

Mike's contributions in helping navigate the extremes of floods and droughts will continue. Nonetheless, his colleagues think it is extremely important to recognize and commend the scope and breadth of his contributions to date as a researcher, climatologist, and water resources engineer with this award presented on the 27th of June 2023.

At the Event

Gary Estes (left), CEPSYM Founder;
Mike Anderson (center) receiving award;
Dave Curtis (right) of WEST Consultants, Folsom, CA

Mike was invited to say a few words at this symposium. You can listen to the audio and/or view the slides discussed in the audio by clicking one of the following links:

Professional Experience