Portrait of Doug Boyle

Douglas Boyle

Professor, Chair, Department of Geography


Dr. Boyle is a watershed hydrologist with over 25 years of experience in the field of hydrology and water resources with an emphasis in the development, implementation, and evaluation of complex computer-based hydrologic models to simulate watershed response to precipitation (rainfall and snowmelt). He has served as the Director of the Nevada Water Resources Research Institute and is currently the Nevada State Climatologist. He earned a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Southern California in 1989, a M.S. in Hydrology and Hydrogeology from the University of Nevada, Reno in 1996, and a Ph.D. in Hydrology and Systems Engineering from the University of Arizona in 2001.

Research Areas of Interest

Integrated computer-based modeling of hydrologic processes to understand the impacts of historic and future climate on water resources in arid and semi-arid environments using paleoclimate information (e.g., pluvial lakeshore dating, tree ring records and other climate indicators), global climate model estimates (e.g., paleo, historic, and future precipitation and temperature estimates from both statistical and dynamically downscaled studies), and instrumental ground-based information (e.g., NWS Co-op data, NRCS SNOTEL data, and PRISM data sets). Additional research interests include streamflow forecasting, water leasing and banking, water markets, GIS, remote sensing, parameter estimation and uncertainty analysis, and automated multi-criteria optimization. Dr. Boyle is a former Director of the Nevada Water Resources Research Institute.


Peer-Reviewed Publications (* indicates supervised student advisee)

  • *Hatchett, B., Boyle, D.P., Garner, C., Kaplan, M., Bassett, S., Putnam, A., "The sensitivity of a western Great Basin terminal lake to winter Northeast pacific storm track activity and moisture transport," submitted for review in May 2016 to Geological Society of America Special Papers: From Saline to Freshwater: The Diversity of Western Lakes in Space and Time.
  • Hudson, A., J. Quade, G. Ali, D.P. Boyle, S. Bassett, K. Huntington, M. De los Santos, A. Cohen, K. Lin, X. Wang, "Stable C, O and clumped isotope systematics and 14C geochronology of carbonates from the Quaternary Chewaucan closed-basin lake system, Great Basin, USA: implications for paleoenvironmental reconstructions using carbonates," Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta (2017), in press doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gca.2017.06.024
  • *Barth, C., D.P. Boyle, B.J. *Hatchett, S.D. Bassett, C.B. Garner, K.D. Adams, 2016, "Late Pleistocene climate inferences from a water-balance model of Jakes Valley, NV," Journal of Paleolimnology, 56:109-122.
  • *Hatchett, B.J., D.P. Boyle, C.B. Garner, M.L. Kaplan, A.E. Putnam, and S.D. Bassett, 2016, "Magnitude and frequency of wet years under a megadrought climate in the western Great Basin, USA,"  Quaternary Science Reviews 152:197-202.
  • *Hatchett, B., D. Koracin, J. Mejia, D.P. Boyle, 2016, "Assimilating urban heat island effects into future climate projections: The example of Reno, Nevada, USA," Journal of Arid Environments, Vol. 128, 59-64.
  • Putnam, A., D. Putnam, L. Andreu-Hayles, E. Cook, J. Palmer, E. Clark, C. Wang, F. Chen, G. Denton, D.P. Boyle, S. Bassett, S. Birkel, J. Martin, I. Hajdas, J. Southon, C. Garner, H. Cheng, W. Broecker, 2016, "Little Ice Age wetting of interior Asian deserts and the rise of the Mongol Empire," Quaternary Science Reviews, Vol. 131A, 33-50.
  • *Hatchett, B.J., D.P. Boyle, A.E. Putnam, and S.D. Bassett, 2015, "Placing the 2012-2015 California-Nevada drought into a paleoclimate context: Insights from Walker Lake, California-Nevada, USA," Geophysical Research Letters, 42:8632-8640.
  • Boyle, D.P., C. Garner, J.S. Tilley, S. Bassett, A. Huggins, and C. *Barth, 2015, "Application of hydrologic models to assess the effects of cloud seeding on agriculture in the Walker River Basin of Nevada," Journal of Weather Modification, Vol. 47, 42-57.
  • Schumer, R., A. Knust, and D.P. Boyle, "Characteristics of ephemeral hydrographs in the Southwestern United States," Journal of Hydrologic Engineering, ASCE, 19(1), 10-17, 2014.
  • Boyle, D.P., C. *Barth, and S. Bassett, 2013, "Towards Improved Hydrologic Model Predictions in Ungauged Snow-Dominated Watersheds Utilizing a Multi-Criteria Approach and SNODAS Estimates of SWE," in Putting Prediction in Ungauged Basins into Practice, edited by J. Pomeroy, P. Whitfield, and C. Spence, published by the Canadian Water Resources Association and the International Association of Hydrological Sciences, 231-242.
  • Moore, D., R. Woods, D.P. Boyle, 2013, "Putting PUB into Practice in Mountainous Regions," Streamline Watershed Management Bulletin, Vol. 15(2), 12-21, 2013.
  • Caldwell, T., T. Wöhling, M. Young, D.P. Boyle, E. McDonald, 2013, "Characterizing Disturbed Desert Soils Using Multiobjective Parameter Optimization", Vadose Zone Journal, 12(1), 1-23.
  • Gupta, H. V., D.S. Brookshire, V.C Tidwell, D.P. Boyle, 2012, "Modeling: a basis for linking policy to adaptive water management," in Water Policy in New Mexico, Addressing the challenge of an uncertain future, edited by H.V. Gupta, D.S. Brookshire, and V.C. Tidwell, Resources for the Future Press Water Policy Series, 9-24.
  • Fain, X., D. Obrist, A. Pierce, C. *Barth, M. Gustin, D.P. Boyle, 2011, "Whole-watershed mercury balance at Sagehen Creek, Sierra Nevada, CA," Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Elsevier, Vol. 75, 2379-2392.
  • McAlpine, J.D., D. Koracin, D.P. Boyle, J.A. Gillies, and E. McDonald, 2010, "Development of a rotorcraft dust-emission parameterization using a CFD model," Environmental Fluid Mechanics, Vol. 10, 691-710.
  • Carroll, R.W.H., G. Pohll, D. McGraw, C. Garner, A. Knust, D.P. Boyle, T. Minor, S. Bassett, and K. Pohlmann, 2010, "Mason Valley Groundwater Model: Linking Surface Water and Groundwater in the Walker River Basin, Nevada," Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 46(3), 554-573.
  • McAlpine, J.D., D. Koracin, K. Veropoulos, D.P. Boyle, E. McDonald, and G. Lamorey, 2007, "Determining atmospheric dust concentrations during strong flow perturbations using a digital-optical technique," Lecture Notes in Computer Science: Advances in Visual Computing, 4841, 393-402.
  • Boyle, D.P., G. Lamorey, A. Huggins, 2006, "Application of a hydrologic model to assess the effects of cloud seeding in the Walker River basin, Nevada," Journal of Weather Modification, Vol. 38, 66-76.
  • Krause, P., D.P. Boyle, and D, F. Base, 2005, "Comparison of different efficiency criteria for hydrological model assessment," Advances in Geosciences, Vol. 5, 89-97.
  • Boyle, D.P., H.V. Gupta, and S. Sorooshian, 2003, "Multicriteria calibration of hydrologic models," Chapter 8 of Advances in Calibration of Watershed Models, Edited by Q. Duan, S. Sorooshian, H.V. Gupta, A.N. Rousseau, R. Turcotte, Monograph Series on Water Resources, American Geophysical Union.
  • Gupta, H.V., S. Sorooshian, T. Hogue, and D.P. Boyle, 2003, "Advances in Automatic Calibration of Watershed Models", Chapter 1 of Advances in Calibration of Watershed Models, Edited by Q. Duan, S. Sorooshian, H.V. Gupta, A.N. Rousseau, R. Turcotte, Monograph Series on Water Resources, American Geophysical Union.
  • Boyle, D.P., H.V. Gupta, S. Sorooshian, V. Koren, Z. Zhang, and M. Smith, 2001, "Towards improved streamflow forecasts: The value of semi-distributed modeling," Water Resources Research, AGU, 37(11), 2749-2759.
  • Wagener, T., D.P. Boyle, M.J. Lees, H.S. Wheater, H.V. Gupta, and S. Sorooshian, 2001, "A framework for development and application of hydrological models," Hydrology and Earth System Science, European Geophysical Society, 5(1), 13-26.
  • Boyle, D.P., H.V. Gupta, and S. Sorooshian, 2000, "Toward improved calibration of hydrologic models: Combining the strengths of manual and automatic methods," Water Resources Research, AGU, 36(12), 3663-3674.


  • University of Arizona - Hydrology with minor in Systems Engineering Ph.D. 2001
  • University of Nevada, Reno - Hydrology and Hydrogeology M.S. 1996
  • University of Southern California - Aerospace Engineering B.S. 1989