Dr. Rachael Jonassen

Rachael Jonassen

Dr. Rachael Jonassen

Associate Research Professor, Sustainable Urban Planning Program


Office Phone: (703) 969-4714

Rachael Jonassen is Director of the Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Management Program in the Environmental and Energy Management Institute at George Washington University. From 1978 through 2006 she served as Professor of Hydroclimatology (developing and applying climate downscaling techniques). She served as Program Director for Carbon Cycle at the National Science Foundation (NSF) where she received the Director’s Award. She also served as NSF representative to the US Global Change Research Program and helped manage it. From 2008-2013, Dr. Jonassen was Senior Scientist for Climate Change at LMI and advised numerous government agencies on climate, energy and water issues.

She is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and holds joint appointments at George Washington University in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (Professorial Lecturer) and as Associate Research Professor in the Program in Sustainable Urban Studies (College of Professional Studies). She actively advises international organizations such as the World Bank and Asian Development Bank.

She holds M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Geoscience from The Pennsylvania State University and a B.A. in Sociology-Anthropology from Dickinson College.

  • Director’s Award of the National Science Foundation
  • Fellow of the Geological Society of America
  • Best Paper of the Year
  • Sigma Xi Honor Society
  • Fellowships (2 at NASA; 2 at Battelle; Desert Research Institute, Princeton University)
  • Multiple awards for teaching, volunteerism and environmentalism
  • Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society
  • Climate change science
  • Computer simulation
  • Fluid dynamics
  • Greenhouse gas mitigation
  • Hydroclimatology
  • Pedagogy
  • Remote sensing
  • Science-policy interface
  • Statistical methods
  • Time series analysis

Rachael studies and advises on climate change risk and mitigation, supporting multiple projects on these topics, mostly in Asia.

  • PSUS 6221: The Scientific Basis of Climate Change Policy
  • PSUS 6220: Planning Resilient and Low-Carbon Cities


A total of 98 abstracts presented at professional venues, 68 published papers, 6 books edited/authored, 44 reports of funded research, 49 invited lectures, 140 professional talks delivered.

  • Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University
  • M.S., The Pennsylvania State University
  • B.A., Dickinson College