Robert Oglesby

Robert Oglesby

  • Contact Information
  • My Story
  • Publications & Presentations
  • Background
  • Expertise & Interests
  • Advising
  • Courses Taught
  • Outreach

Title Climatologist
Address 802 Hardin Hall
3310 Holdrege Street
Lincoln NE
Phone 402-472-2663
FAX 402-472-2946

Hi, I'm Robert J. (Bob) Oglesby, and I'm a professor of climate modeling in the School of Natural Resources with a joint appointment in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. My research interests are many and broad. They are highly interdisciplinary and focused on understanding important physical processes of climate. Much of my work is aimed at understanding the controls on drought, a phenomenon that is constantly in the minds of all who live in the Great Plains, and other semi-arid regions around the globe. I do this by evaluating and understanding land surface-atmosphere interactions, with particular applications to climate prediction (especially precipitation) on seasonal and longer scales. Other broad-based research interests include the effects of changes in land use patterns (especially due to agriculture practices) on climate; sensitivity of climate to global changes in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases; and the effects of tropical deforestation on climate, all of which have potentially profound implications for society.

I perform this research by using cutting-edge global and regional climate models to help understand the complex web of physical processes that maintain the present-day climate - how it has changed in the past, and most importantly, how it may change in the future - due to natural and human factors.

I came to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2006 from a position with NASA, where I had been the senior scientist for the Global Hydrology and Climate Center of the Marshall Space Flight Center since 2001. Prior to that, I was a faculty member in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Purdue University for nearly 10 years. I've taught on the undergraduate and graduate levels in climate studies, atmospheric dynamics, oceanography and other related fields.

While my teaching responsibilities are technically only in the DepartmenEarth and Atmospheric Sciences, I design my courses to appeal to interested students campus-wide. My seminal undergraduate course is "The Climate System," a rigorous but approachable development of how the present-day climate is maintained, how it was different in the past, and importantly, how it may change in the future. A graduate-only version, "Theory of Climate," covers much of the same material but at a higher and more thorough level. I also teach graduate classes: "Climate Modeling," a hands-on, practical course, in which students learn how to use cutting-edge global and regional climate models to address real problems in climate and climate change, as well as "Paleoclimates," in which we use past climate changes as a guide to what may happen in the future.

Selected Publications

Oglesby, R.J., T.L. Sever, W. Saturno,D.J. Erickson, and J. Srikishen (2009) The Collapse of the Maya: Effects of Natural and Human-induced Drought, Journal of Geophysical Research, accepted pending revision
Michaels, A., K.R. Laird, S.E. Wilson, D. Thomson, P.R. Leavitt, R.J. Oglesby, and B.F. Cummings (2007) Multi-decadal to millennial-scale shifts in drought conditions on the Canadian prairies over the past six millenai: Implications for future drought assessment. Global Biology Change, 13, 1295-1307
Rowe, C.M., Loope, D.B., Oglesby, R.J., Van der Voo, R., and Broadwater, C.E., (2007) Inconsistencies between Pangean reconstructions and basic climate? controls. Science, 318, 1284-1286, DOI: 10.1126/science.1146639
Hernandez, J.L., J. Srikishen, D.J. Erickson III, R.J. Oglesby, D. Irwin (2006) A regional climate study of Central America using the MM5 modeling system: Results and comparison to observations. Int. J. Clim., 26,15, 2161-2179
Sridhar, V., D.B. Loope, J.B. Swinehart, J.A. Mason, R.J. Oglesby, and C.M. Rowe (2006) Large wind shift on the Great Plains during the Medieval Warm Period, Science, 313, 345-347.
Evans, J.P., R.J. Oglesby, and W.M. Lapenta, (2005) Time Series analysis of Regional Climate Model Performance. J. Geophys. Res., 110, No. D4, DO4104 10.1029/2004JD005406
Hoffman, F.R., W.W. Hargrove, D.J. Erickson, and R.J. Oglesby, 2005. Using Clustered Climate Regimes to Analyze and Compare Predictions from Fully Coupled General Circulation Models. Earth Interactions, 9, Paper 10.
Hu, H., R.J. Oglesby, and S. Marshall, (2005) The simulation of moisture processes in climate models and climate sensitivity, J. Clim., 18, 2172-2193.
Oglesby, R.J., M.Y. Stephens, and B. Saltzman, (2005) The Influence of Ocean Thermocline Temperatures on the Earth's Surface Climate, J. Clim., 18, 2222-2246.
Laird, K.R, B.F. Cummings, S. Wunsam, J.A. Rusak, R.J. Oglesby, S.C. Fritz, and P.R. Leavitt (2003) Lake sediments record large-scale shifts in moisture regimes across the northern prairies of North America during the past two millennia. PNAS, 100(5), 2483-2488.
Oglesby, R.J., S. Marshall, D.J. Erickson III, J.O. Roads, and F.R. Robertson (2002) Thresholds in atmosphere-soil moisture interactions: Results from climate model studies. Journal of Geophysical Research, 107(D14), 10.1029/2001JD001045.
Oglesby, R.J., S. Marshall, J.O. Roads, and F.R. Robertson (2001) Diagnosing warm season precipitation over the GCIP region from a model and reanalysis. Journal of Geophysical Research, 106(D4), 3357-3369.

Educational Background

  • BS - University of California-Davis,, Physical Geography (1985)
  • MS - Yale University, Geophysical Fluid Dynamics (1987)
  • PhD - Yale University, Geophysical Fluid Dynamics (1990)

SNR Mission Area(s)

  • Applied Climate Science

Notable Websites

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SNR Areas of Expertise

Keyword Expert Level

10 - Top Expert
1 - Mild Interest

Crop Modeling


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Graduate Program(s)

Master of Science in Natural Resource Sciences

Doctor of Philosophy in Natural Resource Sciences