Tarendra Lakhankar

Tarendra Lakhankar
Research Scientist, City College of New York and Theme III Coordinator, NOAA CESSRST

Dr. Tarendra Lakhankar is a research scientist and co-leads the 'Water Prediction and Ecosystem Services' theme. His research interests include Remote Sensing of Floods and Droughts, Data Science and Data Assimilation, and Remote Sensing of Snow and Soil Moisture. He designed, and led three major field campaign sites, helped several Ph.D. and M.S. students’ research. These sites include Snow-SAFE, Caribou, ME, Soil moisture field campaign (CUNY-SMART at Millbrook, NY, and PR-SMART at Puerto Rico). He designed, executed, and made operational NYC Citywide field campaigns using 20 weather stations installed at NYC public schools, NYCHA properties, Botanical gardens, Library, and community colleges for research and education outreach within the NY City called NYC-urban HydroMet Testbed. These weather station sites could help find solutions to the urban climate crises (Flood and heatwave). Dr. Lakhankar is an extremely passionate and dedicated mentor to CESSRST students.

Key NOAA Partners and Collaborators:

  • Rob Cifelli, NOAA/OAR/ESRL/PSL
  • Mimi Hughes, NOAA/OAR/ESRL/PSL 
  • Kelly Mahoney, NOAA/OAR/ESRL/PSL 
  • Janet Intrieri, NOAA/OAR/ESRL 
  • Xiwu Zhan, NOAA/NESDIS/STAR 
  • David Radell, NOAA/NWS 
  • Nelson Vaz, NOAA/NWS 
  • Jordan Gerth, NOAA/NWS 
  • Martin Yapur, NOAA/TPIO 
  • Dennis Atkinson, NOAA/NWS

NOAA Mission Aligned Research Interests:

  • Remote Sensing of Floods and Droughts 
  • Data Science and Data Assimilation 
  • Remote Sensing of Snow and Soil Moisture

Honors, Awards, and Grants:

  • Principal Investigator, Ensemble flood forecasting system coupling WRF-Hydro with Satellite Data (JPSS and GOES-R) for Puerto Rico, NOAA/JPSS-PGRR, $130K, 07/18 – 06/20. 
  • Principal Investigator, “Validation and Application of JPSS/GCOM-W Soil Moisture Data Product for Operational Flood Monitoring in Puerto Rico”, NOAA/JPSS-PGRR, $140K, 07/15 – 06/19. 
  • Co-Investigator, “Assessing Impacts of Climate-Induced Change on River Flow and Associated Economic Output in the High Mountain Asia Region, Nepal", NASA/ROSES, $1.15M, 08/2016-07/2019. 
  • Co-Investigator, “Global Center for Advanced Studies on Water (GCAS-W): A Partnership with Mehran University of Engineering and Technology to Achieve Water Sustainability in Pakistan”, Co-I, USAID, 2015-2019, 1 month) 
  • Co-Investigator, “Participatory Biodiversity and Climate Change Assessment for Integrated Pest Management in the Chitwan-Annapurna Landscape, Nepal”, US-AID, $868K, 10/15 to 9/2019. 
  • Principal Investigator, “CREST-Snow Field Experiment: Development of Snow Wetness Model for Microwave Emission Model”, NOAA/CICS Grant, $50K, 07/2014 – 06/2015. 
  • Co-Investigator, “Adaptation for climate change by livestock smallholders in Gandaki river basin”, USAID Grant, $450K, 07/2012 – 06/2015. • Co-Investigator, "EPP Cooperative Science Center grant for CREST", NOAA, $15,000K, 2011-2016. 
  • Principal Investigator, “Analysis and Validation of Microwave Emission Model”, NOAA/CICS Grant, $50K, 07/2013 – 06/2014. • Principal Investigator, “Analysis and Validation of Snowpack Grain Size, Density and Temperature using Snow Physical Model”, NOAA/CICS Grant, $50K, Period 07/2012 – 06/2013. 
  • Principal Investigator, “Improvement of Snow Water Equivalent Estimation from Microwave Remote Sensing Data”, NOAA/CICS Grant, $50K, Period 07/2011 – 06/2012. 
  • Principal Investigator, “Estimation of snow grain size and snow characteristics: variations and distribution using microwave data” NOAA/CICS Grant, $50K, Period 07/2008 - 06/2010. 
  • Co-Investigator, “Establishment of a Network of Cooperative Science Centers and High Schools for Training High School Students in Geosciences” NSF Grant #1203009, $500K, Period 09/2012 – 08/2015. 
  • Co-Investigator, “Acquisition of Optical and Microwave Radiometers for Snow Remote Sensing Studies at the Field Research Station of City College of City University of New York”, DoD/Office of Naval Research, DURIP, Co-I, $270,000 (Funding for instrument purchase only).


  1. Agonafir C., Ramirez-Pabon A., Lakhankar T., Khanbilvardi R., N. Devineni (2021), Understanding New York City Street Flooding through 311 Complaints, accepted for publication in Journal of Hydrology. 
  2. Holtzman, N.M., Anderegg, L.D., Kraatz, S., Mavrovic, A., Sonnentag, O., Pappas, C., Cosh, M.H., Langlois, A., Lakhankar, T., Tesser, D. and Steiner, N., (2021). L-band vegetation optical depth as an indicator of plant water potential in a temperate deciduous forest stand. Biogeosciences, 18(2), pp.739-753. 
  3. Fang, L., Zhan, X., Yin, J., Liu, J., Schull, M., Walker, J.P., Wen, J., Cosh, M.H., Lakhankar, T., Collins, C.H. and Bosch, D.D., (2020). An Intercomparison Study of Algorithms for Downscaling SMAP Radiometer Soil Moisture Retrievals. Journal of Hydrometeorology, 21(8), pp.1761-1775. 
  4. Chiu, J., Paredes-Mesa, S., Lakhankar, T., Romanov, P., Krakauer, N., Khanbilvardi, R., & R. Ferraro (2020). Inter-comparison and Validation of MIRS, MSPPS, and IMS Snow Cover Products. Adv in Meteorology, 2020. 
  5. Krakauer, NY, Lakhankar, T., & D. Hudson (2019). Trends in Drought over the Northeast United States. Water, 11(9), 1834. 
  6. Krakauer, NY, Lakhankar, T, & GH Dars (2019). Precipitation Trends over the Indus Basin. Climate, 7(10), 116. 
  7. Olivieri J.N., Muñoz-Barreto J., Tirado-Corbalá R., Lakhankar T., and A Fisher (2017) Comparison and downscale of AMSR2 soil moisture products with in-situ measurements from the SCAN-NRCS network over Puerto Rico, Hydrology, 4(4), 46; doi:10.3390/hydrology4040046. 
  8. Nilawar A, Calderlla C., Lakhankar T., Waikar M., and J. Muñoz, (2017), Satellite Soil Moisture Validation using Hydrological SWAT Model: A Case Study of Puerto Rico, USA, Hydrology, 4(4), 45; doi: 10.3390/hydrology4040045. 
  9. Krakauer, NY; Lakhankar, T.; J.D. Anadon (2017) Mapping and Attributing Normalized Difference Vegetation Index Trends for Nepal. Remote Sensing. Vol: 9(10): Pages 986, doi:10.3390/rs9100986. 
  10. Seo D., Lakhankar T., Cosgrove B., Khanbilvardi R. and X. Zhan (2017) Applying SMOS Soil Moisture data into the National Weather Service (NWS)’s Research Distributed Hydrologic Model (HL-RDHM) for flash flood guidance application, In Remote Sensing Applications: Society and Environment, Volume 8, 2017, Pages 182-192, ISSN 2352-9385. 
  11. Pérez Díaz, CL; Lakhankar, T.; Romanov, P.; Munoz, J., Khanbilvardi, R.; Y. Yu (2017) Evaluation of MODIS land surface temperature with in situ snow surface temperature from CREST-SAFE, International Journal of Remote Sensing, 38:16, 4722-4740, DOI: 10.1080/01431161.2017.1331055. 
  12. Pérez Díaz, CL, Muñoz, J., Lakhankar, T., Khanbilvardi, R., & Romanov, P. (2017). Proof of Concept: Development of Snow Liquid Water Content Profiler Using CS650 Reflectometers at Caribou, ME, USA. Sensors, 17(3), pages: 647. 
  13. Bhattacharjee A., Anadón JD, Lohman D., Doleck T., Lakhankar T., Shresta B., Thapa P., Devkota D., Tiwari S., Jha A., Siwakoti M., Devkota NR, Jha PK, and N. Krakauer (2017) The impact of climate change on biodiversity in Nepal: current knowledge, gaps and opportunities, Climate, 5(4), 80. 
  14. Pérez Díaz, C.L.; Lakhankar, T.; Romanov, P.; Khanbilvardi, R.; Y. Yu (2015) Evaluation of VIIRS Land Surface Temperature Using CREST-SAFE Air, Snow Surface, and Soil Temperature Data. Geosciences, 2015, 5, 334-360. 
  15. Dahal, P., Shrestha, N., Shrestha, M., Krakauer, N., Panthi, J., Pradhanang, S., Jha A. and T. Lakhankar, (2015). Drought risk assessment in central Nepal: temporal and spatial analysis. Natural Hazards, 1–20. doi:10.1sss007/s11069-015-2055-5 
  16. Krakauer N.Y, S. M. Pradhanang, T. Lakhankar, and A. Jha, (2013) Evaluating Satellite Products for Precipitation Estimation in Mountain Regions: A Case Study for Nepal, Remote Sensing, vol. 5(8), 4107-4123. 
  17. Seo D., Lakhankar T., Mejia J., Cosgrove B., and R. Khanbilvardi (2012) Evaluation of Operational National Weather Service Gridded Flash Flood Guidance over the Arkansas Red River Basin, The Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 1-12, DOI: 10.1111/jawr.12087. 
  18. Lakhankar, T, Muñoz, J., Romanov, P., Powell, A. M., Krakauer, NY, Rossow, WB, and RM Khanbilvardi (2013) CREST-Snow Field Experiment: analysis of snowpack properties using multi-frequency microwave remote sensing data, Hydrology Earth System Science., 17, 783-793, doi:10.5194/hess-17-783-2013. 
  19. Temimi M., Lacava T., Lakhankar T., Tramutoli V., Ghedira H., Ata R., and R Khanbilvardi, (2011), A multi-temporal analysis of AMSR-E data for flood and discharge monitoring during the 2008 flood in Iowa. Hydrological Processes doi: 10.1002/hyp.8020 
  20. Lakhankar T., Krakauer N.Y., and R Khanbilvardi (2009), Applications of microwave remote sensing of soil moisture for agricultural applications, International Journal of Terraspace Science and Engineering, Vol. 2(1), pages 81-91.
  21. Lakhankar T., Ghedira H., Temimi M., Sengupta M., Khanbilvardi R., and R. Blake (2009) Non-parametric Methods for Soil Moisture Retrieval from Satellite Remote Sensing Data. Remote Sensing, Vol. 1(1), 3-21.

Featured News & Articles: