Marc Parlange

Marc Parlange


Department of Civil Engineering

Research focus:

I am an environmental engineer interested in the sustainable management of water across the landscape. Most of my work with my students has focused on the estimation of evaporation of water from the earth’s surface into the turbulent atmospheric boundary layer. After precipitation, evaporation is the largest term in the hydrologic cycle, and arguably the most difficult to measure and predict. We have been working on methods to simulate the atmospheric turbulence, including particles (e.g. pollen, dust and snow) in urban to rural landscapes. Our field sites have ranged from the west desert of Utah, the Central Valley of California to the Swiss Alps and the African Savanna.

Prior to UBC:

After obtaining my PhD at Cornell University in 1990, I was a professor at the University of California, Davis and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. I was chair at Hopkins in the School of Engineering of a super department called DoGEE (Geography and Environmental Engineering). Prior to coming to UBC in 2013, I spent some 10 years as professor at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland and had the pleasure to serve as Dean of the School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering.


I was Editor in Chief of Water Resources Research and Editor of Advances in Water Resources, two of our main community journals. I was delighted to have been nominated by the EPFL students and receive the “La Polysphere - Agepoly Excellence in Teaching Award,” and by the American Geophysical Union with their Hydrologic Science award and the Dalton Medal of the European Geosciences Union.

Personal interests:

I like to run most days in Pacific Spirit Park – we are so fortunate to have the best place on earth to run, rain or shine! My PhD advisor thought I should take up marathon running as part of a complete education. I’m not sure I would recommend it for all, but some of my PhD students have also taken it up. My “fast” days are over, now I mainly run for relaxation (I hope to see everyone out at the next Turkey 2K Trot in October!)

Department/School profile