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Greg Characklis, Ph.D. - UNC-Chapel Hill. Chapel Hill, NC, US

Greg Characklis, Ph.D. Greg Characklis, Ph.D.

Professor, Environmental Sciences & Engineering, Gillings School of Global Public Health | UNC-Chapel Hill


Dr. Characklis is a professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering at the UNC Chapel Hill.





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Clean Water pt. 3 | NC Now | UNC-TV




Dr. Characklis is a professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also serves as director of the Center for Watershed Science and Management within the UNC Institute for the Environment.

His primary research interests involve developing solutions to environmental challenges through systems-based approaches that integrate consideration of both engineering and economic principles. Specific areas of interest include the development of improved strategies for managing water supply and treatment systems, exploration of the economic and environmental trade-offs associated with energy production (e.g., hydropower, biofuels) and the management of environmental financial risks.

Dr. Characklis also has directed a number of laboratory and field studies that explore the role particles play in microbial transport, research with particular relevance in the development of water quality models used to evaluate the location and severity of microbial contamination.

Industry Expertise (3)

Environmental Services



Areas of Expertise (11)

Environmental Sciences

Water Sustainability

Water Quality

Microbial Biology

University Teaching


Watershed Mangement

Water Treatment


Biofuels and Combustion Emissions

Resource Management

Education (3)

Rice University: Ph.D., Environmental Science and Engineering 1999

Rice University: M.S., Environmental Science and Engineering 1994

Johns Hopkins University: B.S., Materials Science and Engineering 1989

Media Appearances (4)

Could Insurance Markets Help Water Utilities Respond to Drought?

Circle of Blue  online


In an era of conservation, argues Greg Characklis, water utilities must become more sophisticated financial managers ...

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North Carolina Receives B+ for Level of Severe Weather Readiness

Time Warner Cable News Central NC  


"Here [in North Carolina] if we have a period of three of four months with little rainfall even if it follows a period with a substantial amount of rain we can be in a difficult position,” said Greg Characklis, Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering for UNC Chapel Hill ...

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Protecting our water: We know what needs to be done

The Charlotte Observer  


While water policies in the West assume arid conditions, shortages are a new phenomenon in the Southeast, said UNC water resources expert Greg Characklis ...

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Will water woes leave Americans thirsty?

Science News for Students  online


Such conversations rarely take place, except when there is a drought, notes Greg Characklis ...

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Articles (5)

Hedging the financial risk from water scarcity for Great Lakes shipping

Water Resources Research

2016 In this work, a relationship between water levels and shipping revenues is developed and used in an actuarial analysis of the frequency and magnitude of revenue losses. This analysis is used to develop a standardized suite of binary financial contracts, which are indexed to water levels and priced according to predefined thresholds.

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The future of water resources systems analysis: Toward a scientific framework for sustainable water management

Water Resources Research

2015 This paper presents a short history of water resources systems analysis from its beginnings in the Harvard Water Program, through its continuing evolution toward a general field of water resources systems science.

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Mitigating hydrologic financial risk in hydropower generation using index-based financial instruments

Water Resources and Economics

2015 This study uses an integrated hydro-economic model of the Roanoke River Basin to characterize the financial risk faced by hydropower generators as a result of hydrologic variability, and develops several index-based financial hedging contracts intended to mitigate this risk.

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How Should Robustness Be Defined for Water Systems Planning under Change?

Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management

2015 Examples include Robust Decision Making (RDM), Decision Scaling, Info-Gap, and Many-Objective Robust Decision Making (MORDM). We propose a taxonomy of robustness frameworks to compare and contrast these approaches based on their methods of (1) alternative generation, (2) sampling of states of the world, (3) quantification of robustness measures, and (4) sensitivity analysis to identify important uncertainties.

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An integrated reservoir—Power system model for evaluating the impact of wind power integration on hydropower resources

Renewable Energy

2014 Despite the potential for hydroelectric dams to help address challenges related to the variability and unpredictability of wind energy, at present there are few systems-based wind-hydro studies available in the scientific literature. This work represents an attempt to begin filling this gap through the development of a systems-based modeling framework for analysis of wind power integration and its impacts on hydropower resources.

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