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Dr. Tim J. Brown

Research Professor Climatology Director Western Regional Climate Center
Wildland fire, fire weather, fire climate, climate, climate change, applied statistics, data analysis, data visualization, co-production of knowledge

Professional Interests

Dr. Brown conducts research and applications development in applied climatology and meteorology, with emphasis on the application of data analysis, statistical methods and scientific visualization to atmospheric sciences and wildland fire related data. His primary academic interests include analysis of wildland fire-climate and fire-weather relationships and applications product development for wildland fire management planning, decision-making and policy, and the interface between science and decision-making. Dr. Brown is Director of the Western Regional Climate Center, and established and directs the Program for Climate, Ecosystem and Fire Applications (CEFA) at the Desert Research Institute in Reno, Nevada. He is graduate faculty in the Atmospheric Sciences Program at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Research Websites


Ph.D. 1995 University of Colorado, Boulder, CO Dept. of Geography
M.A. 1988 University of Colorado, Boulder, CO Dept. of Geography
B.A. 1982 University of Illinois (Sangamon State campus), Springfield, IL Astronomy-

Professional Experience

2008-present Title
Director, Western Regional Climate Center
2003-present Associate Research Professor, Division of Atmospheric Sciences, DRI
1998-present Director, DRI Program for Climate, Ecosystem and Fire Applications
2000-2003 Assistant Research Professor, Division of Atmospheric Sciences
1996-2000 Research Associate, Atmospheric Sciences Center
1995-1996 UCAR Visiting Scientist, ASC/WRCC, DRI, Reno, NV.
1992-1995 Graduate Research Assistant, Cooperative Institute for Research in
Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, and Physical
Scientist, NOAA Climate Diagnostics Center, Boulder, CO.
1983-1992 Professional Research Assistant, Cooperative Institute for Research in
Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO.
1980-1982 Student Lab Assistant, University of Illinois (Sangamon State), Springfield, IL.
1973-1980 Research Assistant, Illinois State Water Survey, Champaign-Urbana, IL.

Professional Societies

  • International Association of Wildland Fire
  • Association of Fire Ecology
  • American Meteorological Society
  • American Geophysical Union

Selected Publications

Abatzoglou, J.T., and T.J. Brown, 2011: A comparison of statistical downscaling methods suited for wildfire applications. International Journal of Climatology, DOI: 10.1002/joc.2312.

Miller, C., J. Abatzoglou, T. Brown, and A. Shyphard, 2011: Chapter 10. Wilderness Fire Management in a Changing Environment. The Landscape Ecology of Fire. Springer, pp. 269-294.

DeGaetano, A.T., T. J. Brown, S. D. Hilberg, K. Redmond, K. Robbins, P. Robinson, M. Shulski, and M. McGuirk, 2010: The NOAA Regional Climate Centers: Twenty-five Years of User-Centric Climate Services, Bulletin American Meteorological Society, 1633-1644.

Hoang, R.V., M.R. Sgambati, T.J. Brown, D.S. Coming, and F.C. Harris, 2010: VFire: Immersive Wildfire Simulation and Visualization. Computers and Graphics, Accepted.

Preisler, H.K., S. Zhong, A. Esperanza, T.J. Brown, A. Bytnerowicz, L. Tarnay, 2010: Estimating contribution of wildland fires to ambient ozone levels in National Parks in the Sierra Nevada, California, Environmental Pollution, 158, 778–787.

Kolden, C., and T. Brown, 2010: Beyond wildfire: understanding climate impacts on managed fire in the U.S.A. International Journal Wildland Fire, 19, 364-373.

Abatzoglou, J.T., and T.J. Brown, 2009:  Influence of the Madden–Julian Oscillation on Summertime Cloud-to-Ground Lightning Activity over the Continental United States. Monthly Weather Review, 137, 3596-3601.

Evett, R.R., C.R. Mohrle, B.L. Hall, T.J. Brown, S.L. Stephens, 2008: The Effect of Monsoonal Atmospheric Moisture on Lightning Fire Ignitions in Southwestern North America, Agriculture and Forest Meteorology, 148, 1478-1487.

Sherman, W.R., M.A. Penick, S. Su, T.J. Brown, and F.C. Harris, Jr., 2007: VRFire: an Immersive Visualization Experience for Wildfire Spread Analysis. Proceedings IEEE Virtual Reality 2007.

Kangas, R.S. and T.J. Brown, 2007: Characteristics of U.S. Drought and Pluvials from a High-Resolution Spatial Dataset, International Journal of Climatology, 27, 1303-1335.

Reinbold, H.J., J.O. Roads, T.J. Brown, 2005: Evaluation of ECPC’s fire danger forecasts with RAWS observations. International Journal of Wildland Fire, 14, 19-36.

Westerling, A.L., D.R. Cayan, T.J. Brown, B.L. Hall and L.G. Riddle, 2004: Climate, Santa Ana winds and autumn wildfires in southern California. EOS, 85(31), 289; 296.

Brown, T.J., B.L. Hall, A.L. Westerling, 2004: The impact of twenty-first century climate change on wildland fire danger in the western United States: an applications perspective. Climatic Change, 62, 365-388.

Westerling, A.L, A. Gershunov, T.J. Brown, D.R. Cayan, and M.D. Dettinger, 2003: Climate and wildfire in the western United States. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 84, 595-604.

Mitchell, D.L., D. Ivanova, R. Rabin, T.J. Brown, and K.R. Redmond, 2002: Sea Surface Temperatures and the North American Monsoon: Mechanistic Implications from Observations. Journal of Climate, 15, 2261-2281.

Macêdo, M., D. Cook, and T.J. Brown, 2000: Visual data mining in atmospheric science data. Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery, 4(1), 69-80.

Brown, T.J., and P.W. Mielke, Jr., 2000: Guest Editorial: Statistical mining and data visualization in atmospheric science. Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery, 4(1), 5-6.

 Synergistic Activities

  • Associate Editor – International Journal of Wildland Fire
  • Symposia Co-Organizer, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th American Meteorological Society
  • Symposium on Fire and Forest Meteorology
  • Lecturer at USDA Forest Service National Advanced Fire and Resource Institute
  • Consultant on fire climate policy with Brookings Institution
  • Co-Guest Editor for Agricultural and Forest Meteorology and three special issues of International Journal of Wildland Fire



Brown, H. E., Comrie, A. C., Drechsler, D. M., Barker, C. M., Basu, R., Brown, T. J., Gershunov, A., Kilpatrick, A. M., Reisen, W. K., Ruddell, D. M., 2013: Chapter 15, Human Health, Eds. Garfin, G., Jardine, A., Merideth, R., Black, M., LeRoy, S., In Assessment of Climate Change in the Southwest United States: A Report Prepared for the National Climate Assessment, A report by the Southwest Climate Alliance, 312-339, Published
Nauslar, N. J., Kaplan, M. L., Wallmann, J., Brown, T. J., 2013: A forecast procedure for dry thunderstorms, J. Operational Meteor., 1, (17), 200-214, Published
Prahm, N., Longo, B., Baxter, K., Brown, T. J., 2013: Lightning Does Strike Twice: A Fulminology Primer for Nurse Practitioners., J. Nurse Practitioners, 9, 479-486, Published


Abatzoglou, J. T., Brown, T. J., 2012: A comparison of statistical downscaling methods suited for wildfire applications, Int. J. Climatol., 32, (5), 772-780, Published
Brown, T. J., 2012: Wildfires of 2011. Weather Impacts 2011, American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting,: New Orleans, LA, January 23, 2012
Brown, T. J., 2012: Climate Variability and Impacts on the West, Council of State Governments: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, July 22, 2012
Brown, T. J., 2012: RCC Climate Services, National Weather Service Southern Region Headquarters: Ft. Worth, TX, August 13, 2012
Brown, T. J., 2012: The Climate Data Record and Climate Applications, Panel presentation, Climate Data Record Program: Asheville, NC, July 31, 2012-August 2, 2012
Brown, T. J., 2012: CEFA Update, FIRESCOPE Fall Meeting: Sacramento, CA, November 28, 2012
Brown, T. J., Abatzoglou, J. T., Hall, B. L., Jolly, M., 2012: Three New Fire Weather/Climate Datasets for Decision-Support and Research, 5th International Fire Ecology and Management Congress: Portland, OR, December 3, 2012
Brown, T. J., Delgado, E., 2012: Monthly to Seasonal Fire Forecasting in the U.S., Wildland Fire Canada 2012: Kananaskis, Alberta, Canada, October 1, 2012
Brown, T. J., Kolden, C., 2012: Climatology Tools for Long-Term Assessment, 2012 PNW Fire Behavior Workshop: Portland, OR, January 20, 2012
Owen, G., McLeod, J. C., Kolden, C. A., Ferguson, D. B., Brown, T. J., 2012: Wildfire management and forecasting fire potential: The roles of climate information and social networks in the southwest United States, Wea. Climate Soc., 42, (2), 90-102, Published


DeGaetano, A. T., Brown, T. J., Hilberg, S. D., Redmond, K. T., Robbins, K., Robinson, P., Shulski, M., McGuirk, M., 2010: Toward Regional Climate Services: The Role of NOAA's Regional Climate Centers, Bull Amer Meteor Soc, 91, (12), 1633-1644, Published


Brown, T. J., Banta, J. R., Hall, B. L., 2007: Predictability of sea surface temperatures for fire danger, Seventh Symposium on Fire and Forest Meteorology: Bar Harbor, Published
Brown, T. J., Banta, J. R., Hall, B. L., 2007: Global sea surface temperatures and North American fire danger variability, American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting: San Antonio, Published
Sherman, W. R., Penick, M. A., Su, S., Brown, T. J., Harris, F. C., 2007: VRFire: an Immersive Visualization Experience for Wildfire Spread Analysis, 243-246, IEEE Virtual Reality 2007: Charlotte, NC, Published


Sherman, W. R., Penick, M. A., Su, S., Brown, T. J., Harris, F. C., 2006: VRFire: an Immersive Visualization Experience for WildfireSpread Analysis, Accepted
Sherman, W. R., Penick, M. A., Su, S., Brown, T. J., Harris, F. C., 2006: VRFire: an Immersive Visualization Experience for WildfireSpread Analysis, Accepted



Atmospheric Sciences (DAS)
Air quality and atmospheric research including meteorology, visibility and pollutant transport.

Western Regional Climate Center
Climate Information and Data Services
Providing jointly developed products, services and capabilities that enhance the delivery of public climate info.

Diversity at DRI
An Inclusive Mission of Research Excellence
Diversity at DRI
Offering a supportive and diverse environment for our students, faculty/staff and visitors.

Land and Life
Earth and Ecosystems Sciences (DEES)
Research into changing landscapes including the soils, plants, animals and humans that affect them.

K-12 Outreach and Education
Supporting Nevada educators in science-based, environmental education with free tools, resources, and training.

Renewable Energy at DRI
Discovering New Energy Production Methods
dri-renewable-energyExpanding renewable energy research throughout Nevada and around the U.S.

Hydrologic Sciences (DHS)
Study of the natural and human factors that influence the availability and quality of water resources.

DRI Nevada Medal Event
2015 Medalist - Dr. Christopher McKay
Proudly honoring outstanding achievement in science and engineering with gala events in Reno and Las Vegas.

Nevada Center of Excellence
Supporting Nevada's Economic Development
Center of ExcellenceCombining NSHE water expertise and IBM’s advanced technologies to grow tomorrow's workforce.