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Walter E. Baethgen

Senior Research Scientist in the International Research Institute for Climate and Society; Interim Director of the Agriculture and Food Security Center in the Earth Institute
School: 
School of the Arts
Department: 
Institute of Latin American Studies
Office: 
124 Monell, 61 Route 9W Palisades, New York 10964
Email: 
web2103@columbia.edu
Phone: 
845-680-4459
Appointments
  • Director, Program for Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Member, Faculty Steering Committee, Columbia Global Centers | Rio de Janeiro
  • Member, Faculty Steering Committee, Columbia Global Centers | Santiago
  • Distinguished Lead Scholar, NEXUS program (Fulbright Foundation)
Biography

Walter E. Baethgen is the Director of the Program for Latin America and the Caribbean in the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI - The Earth Institute, Columbia University). In the IRI he has been establishing regional research programs that aim to improve climate risk assessment and risk management in agriculture, health, water resources, and natural ecosystems. Since August 2010 Baethgen has been acting as Distinguished Lead Scholar of the NEXUS program (Fulbright Foundation) that aims to inform the elaboration of policy with scientific research. Before joining the IRI Baethgen was a Senior Scientist in the Research and Development Division of IFDC (International Soil Fertility and Agricultural Development Center) where he worked mainly in Information and Decision Support Systems for the Agricultural Sector (1987-2003). Since 1990 (first with IFDC and now with the IRI) he has been establishing and coordinating regional research programs in Latin America in collaboration with National and International organizations.

Baethgen has acted as a consultant for the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the United Nations (UNDP, UNIDO, FAO), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the World Bank and the Inter-American Institute for Agricultural Science (IICA). He participated as Principal Investigator in several NOAA and NASA International research programs. He also acted as consultant for the governments of Brazil, Paraguay, Guatemala and Uruguay, and for the private sector in Argentina, Uruguay and Venezuela. He was a lead author for IPCC's Second (1995) and Third (2001) Assessments Reports and contributing author for the Fourth Assessment (2007), as well as the review editor for IPCC's special issue on Technology Transfer (2000). He serves or has served as a member of scientific advisory committees of several International organizations including the CGIAR's Science Council, IAI (Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research) Science Advisory Committee, CIIFEN (Centro Internacional para la Investigacion del Fenomeno de El Nino), IGBP and WMO. He was also reviewer of several International research programs (NOAA, NASA, NSF, IAI, German government, Norwegian government). Baethgen is an Editorial Board Member of the peer-reviewed journals Agricultural Systems (Elsevier Science) and Journal of the International Hydrological Programme (UNESCO). He acted as a member of the advisory committees of the International Research Institute for Climate Prediction (IRI) and of CLIMAG (Research Program for Climate Forecasts Applications in Agriculture, World Meteorological Organization). He was also a member of an Expert Team of Open Program Area Group (OPAG, WMO): "Developing Guidance on Climate Watches". Baethgen obtained his PhD and M.Sc. degrees in Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and his B.Sc. in Agricultural Engineering from he University of Uruguay. He has over 100 publications to his credit.

Selected Global Activities

Development and Adaptation to Climate Change (Uruguay) Improving Climate Risk Management in Agriculture (Brazil) Higher education for water resource management in the Caribbean Climate Change Resilient Development in Central America (CCRD - USAID)

Selected Global Locations

Uruguay, Chile, Brazil, Caribbean

Research & Other Works
Article
Heightened fire probability in Indonesia in non-drought conditions: the effect of increasing temperatures
Article
Innovations in Climate Risk Management: Protecting and Building Rural Livelihoods in a Variable and Changing Climate
Article
Providing Seasonal-to-Interannual Climate Information for Risk Management and Decision-making
Article
The International Research Institute for Climate and Society: why, what and how
Article
Cross–Time Scale Interactions and Rainfall Extreme Events in Southeastern South America for the Austral Summer. Part I: Potential Predictors
Article
Decadal covariability of Atlantic SSTs and western Amazon dry-season hydroclimate in observations and CMIP5 simulations
Article
High-yield oil palm expansion spares land at the expense of forests in the Peruvian Amazon
Article
Land cover change interacts with drought severity to change fire regimes in Western Amazonia
Article
Scenario development for estimating potential climate change impacts on crop production in the North China Plain
Article
Contributions of individual variation in temperature, solar radiation and precipitation to crop yield in the North China Plain, 1961–2003
Article
North Tropical Atlantic influence on western Amazon fire season variability
Article
Tropical Oceanic Causes of Interannual to Multidecadal Precipitation Variability in Southeast South America over the Past Century
 
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