Skip to Main Content U.S. Department of Energy
Energy and Environment Directorate

Nathalie Voisin

Nathalie Voisin

(206) 528-3312


Dr. Voisin is staff water resources engineer at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory where she leads inter-disciplinary research on regional water-energy dynamics for the Department of Energy. She holds a dual appointment as assistant professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Washington. Her expertise lies in coupling climate, hydrology and water resources management models with power system models including production cost and aggregated building energy demand models. Most recent efforts led to a better understanding of drought and heat wave patterns that are most challenging for grid operations, quantified predictability of grid operations economics associated with climate phases, projections of hydropower that include the representation of environmental and power system regulation, a risk-based implementation of future water availability and climate-driven load disturbances into resources adequacy studies. Dr. Voisin holds a bachelor degree in Fluid Mechanics and Hydraulics Engineering from ENSEEIHT, France, a M.Sc. in Atmospheric Sciences from McGill University, Canada and a Ph.D. in Water Resources Engineering from the University of Washington, USA.

Nathalie Voisin has led research involving the following capabilities:

  • Hydrology Model: CLM (Fortran), VIC (C), DHSVM (C)
  • Water management model: MOSART-WM (Fortran), RiverWare, ColSim (Stella)
  • Power system models: PROMOD, PLEXOS, GENESYS, GCAM, Aurora, RPM
  • Energy Demand model: BEND, Northwest Power Council econometric demand model, GCAM
  • Spatial analysis: ArcGIS

Research Interests

  • Nathalie Voisin supports primarily DOE fundamental and applied science offices , along with other agencies and institutions such as NOAA, NASA and NSF, on climate-water-energy dynamics; Approaches include inter-disciplinary model development and coupling experiments involving ensemble hydrometeorological forecasts ( short term to seasonal to climate change), water resources management and power system models toward supporting water-energy planning questions.

Education and Credentials

  • Ph.D. (2010), Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle WA, USA
  • M.Sc. (2003) Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada
  • M. Eng. (2001) & B. Eng. (2000), Fluid Mechanics and Hydraulics Engineering, ENSEEIHT Engineering School, Toulouse, France

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • Associated editor for Water Resources Research: 2017-present
  • Member of the EWRI science committee: Hydroclimatic predictions for planning and management: 2014-present
  • Member of the HEPEX Science steering committee: 2010-present
  • Member of the American Geophysical Union: 2003-present
  • Member of the American Meteorological Society: 2004-present
  • Member of the European Geophysical Union: 2007-present

Awards and Recognitions

  • 2018 - Earth and Biological Sciences Directorate – BEST award
  • 2017 - Earth and Biological Sciences Directorate – BEST award
  • 2008 - AMS best student presentation award
  • 2003 - M.Sc. Dean Honor List

PNNL Publications


  • Hadjimichael A., J.J. Yoon, P. Reed, N. Voisin, and W. Xu. 2023. "Exploring the Consistency of Water Scarcity Inferences between Large-Scale Hydrologic and Node-Based Water System Model Representations of the Upper Colorado River Basin." Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management 149, no. 2:Art. No. 04022081. PNNL-SA-166032. doi:10.1061/JWRMD5.WRENG-5522
  • Li X., D. Fu, J.W. Nielsen-Gammon, S. Gangrade, S. Kao, P. Chang, and M. Morales-HernÁ;ndez, et al. 2023. "Impacts of climate change on future hurricane induced rainfall and flooding in a coastal watershed: A case study on Hurricane Harvey." Journal of Hydrology 616. PNNL-SA-174997. doi:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2022.128774
  • Voisin N., D.J. Rose, D.P. Broman, N. Sun, and I.P. Kraucunas. 2023. Exploring Multiscale Earth System and Human-Earth System Dynamics in the Puget Sound Region. PNNL-33801. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Exploring Multiscale Earth System and Human-Earth System Dynamics in the Puget Sound Region
  • Zhou T., S. Kao, W. Xu, S. Gangrade, and N. Voisin. 2023. "Impacts of climate change on subannual hydropower generation: a multi-model assessment of the United States federal hydropower plant." Environmental Research Letters 18, no. 3:Art. No. 034009. PNNL-SA-177814. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/acb58d


  • Dyreson A., N. Devineni, S. Turner, T. De Silva, A. Miara, N. Voisin, and S. Cohen, et al. 2022. "The Role of Regional Connections in Planning for Future Power System Operations under Climate Extremes." Earth's Future 10, no. 6:Art. No. e2021EF002554. PNNL-SA-168697. doi:10.1029/2021EF002554
  • Magee T., S. Turner, M. Clement, K. Oikonomou, E. Zagona, and N. Voisin. 2022. "Evaluating power grid model hydropower feasibility with a river operations model." Environmental Research Letters 17, no. 8:Art. No. 84035. PNNL-SA-169958. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/ac83db
  • McGrath C.R., C.D. Burleyson, Z. Khan, A. Rahman, T.B. Thurber, C.R. Vernon, and N. Voisin, et al. 2022. "tell: A Python package to model future total electricity loads." Journal of Open Source Software 7, no. 79:4472. PNNL-SA-173932. doi:10.21105/joss.04472
  • Oikonomou K., B. Tarroja, J. Kern, and N. Voisin. 2022. "Core Process Representation in Power System Operational Models: Gaps, Challenges, and Opportunities for Multisector Dynamics." Energy 238, no. Part C:Art. No. 122049. PNNL-SA-158707. doi:10.1016/
  • Steyaert J., L. Condon, S. Turner, and N. Voisin. 2022. "ResOpsUS, A Dataset of Historical Reservoir Operations in the Contiguous United States." Scientific Data 9. PNNL-SA-161017. doi:10.1038/s41597-022-01134-7
  • Turner S., and N. Voisin. 2022. "Simulation of hydropower at subcontinental to global scales: a state-of-the-art review." Environmental Research Letters 17, no. 2:Art. No. 023002. PNNL-SA-168239. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/ac4e38
  • Turner S., N. Voisin, and K.D. Nelson. 2022. "Revised monthly energy generation estimates for 1,500 hydroelectric power plants in the United States." Scientific Data 9, no. 1:Art. No. 675. PNNL-SA-173936. doi:10.1038/s41597-022-01748-x
  • Wessel J., J. Kern, N. Voisin, K. Oikonomou, and J. Haas. 2022. "Technology pathways could help drive the U.S. West Coast grid's exposure to hydrometeorological uncertainty." Earth's Future 10, no. 1:e2021EF002187. PNNL-SA-161905. doi:10.1029/2021EF002187
  • Yoon J.J., P. Romero-Lankao, E.Y. Yang, C. Klassert, N. Urban, K.E. Kaiser, and K. Keller, et al. 2022. "A Typology for Characterizing Human Action in MultiSector Dynamics Models." Earth's Future 10, no. 8:Art. No. e2021EF002641. PNNL-SA-170057. doi:10.1029/2021EF002641


  • Burleyson C.D., A. Rahman, J.S. Rice, A.D. Smith, and N. Voisin. 2021. "Multiscale Effects Masked the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Electricity Demand in the United States." Applied Energy 304. PNNL-SA-162206. doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2021.117711
  • Cohen S., G.C. Iyer, M. Brown, J. Macknick, M.A. Wise, M.T. Binsted, and N. Voisin, et al. 2021. "How structural differences influence cross-model consistency: An electric sector case study." Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews 144. PNNL-SA-149703. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2021.111009
  • Hill J., J. Kern, D. Rupp, N. Voisin, and G. Characklis. 2021. "The Effects of Climate Change on Interregional Electricity Market Dynamics on the U.S. West Coast." Earth's Future 9, no. 12:Art. No. e2021EF002400. PNNL-SA-161485. doi:10.1029/2021EF002400
  • Ralston Fonseca F., M.T. Craig, P. Jaramillo, M. Berges, E. Severnini, A. Loew, and H. Zhai, et al. 2021. "Climate-induced tradeoffs in planning and operating costs of a regional electricity system." Environmental Science & Technology 55, no. 16:11204-11215. PNNL-SA-164744. doi:10.1021/acs.est.1c01334
  • Ralston Fonseca F., M.T. Craig, P. Jaramillo, M. Berges, E. Severnini, A. Loew, and H. Zhai, et al. 2021. "Effects of Climate Change on Capacity Expansion Decisions of an Electricity Generation Fleet in the Southeast U.S." Environmental Science & Technology 55, no. 4:2522-2531. PNNL-SA-159369. doi:10.1021/acs.est.0c06547
  • Thurber T.B., C.R. Vernon, N. Sun, S. Turner, J.J. Yoon, and N. Voisin. 2021. "mosartwmpy: A Python implementation of the MOSART-WM coupled hydrologic routing and water management model." Journal of Open Source Software 6, no. 62:3221. PNNL-SA-161232. doi:10.21105/joss.03221
  • Turner S., J. Steyaert, L. Condon, and N. Voisin. 2021. "Water storage and release policies for all large reservoirs of conterminous United States." Journal of Hydrology 603, no. Part A:126843. PNNL-SA-161029. doi:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2021.126843
  • Turner S., K.D. Nelson, N. Voisin, V.C. Tidwell, A. Miara, A. Dyreson, and S. Cohen, et al. 2021. "A multi-reservoir model for projecting drought impacts on thermoelectric disruption risk across the Texas power grid." Energy 231. PNNL-SA-158805. doi:10.1016/
  • Vernon C.R., J.S. Rice, N. Zuljevic, K. Mongird, K.D. Nelson, G.C. Iyer, and N. Voisin, et al. 2021. "cerf: A Python package to evaluate the feasibility and costs of power plant siting for alternative futures." Journal of Open Source Software 6, no. 65:Art. No. 3601. PNNL-SA-164611. doi:10.21105/joss.03601
  • Voisin N., J.G. O'Brien, W. Xu, D.J. Rose, and M.F. White. 2021. Water Resource Opportunities at Lake Gazivode/Ujmani. PNNL-31059. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. doi:10.2172/1783167.Water Resource Opportunities at Lake Gazivode/Ujmani


  • Burleyson C.D., G.C. Iyer, M.I. Hejazi, S.H. Kim, P. Kyle, J.S. Rice, and A.D. Smith, et al. 2020. "Future western U.S. building electricity consumption in response to climate and population drivers: A comparative study of the impact of model structure." Energy 208. PNNL-SA-151017. doi:10.1016/
  • Cheng Y., N. Voisin, J. Yearsley, and B. Nijssen. 2020. "Reservoirs Modify River Thermal Regime Sensitivity to Climate Change: A Case Study in the Southeastern United States." Water Resources Research 56, no. 6:Article No.e2019WR025784. PNNL-SA-153299. doi:10.1029/2019WR025784
  • Cheng Y., N. Voisin, J. Yearsley, and B. Nijssen. 2020. "Thermal extremes in regulated river systems under climate change: an application to the southeastern U.S. rivers." Environmental Research Letters 15, no. 9:Article No. 094012. PNNL-SA-152660. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/ab8f5f
  • Turner S., K.M. Doering, and N. Voisin. 2020. "Data-driven reservoir simulation in a large-scale hydrological and water resource model." Water Resources Research 56, no. 10:Article No.e2020WR027902. PNNL-SA-153063. doi:10.1029/2020WR027902
  • Turner S., W. Xu, and N. Voisin. 2020. "Inferred inflow forecast horizons guiding reservoir release decisions across the United States." Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 24, no. 3:1275-1291. PNNL-SA-142797. doi:10.5194/hess-24-1275-2020
  • Voisin N., A. Dyreson, T. Fu, M. O'Connell, S. Turner, T. Zhou, and J. Macknick. 2020. "Impact of climate change on water availability and its propagation through the Western U.S. power grid." Applied Energy 276. PNNL-SA-150871. doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2020.115467
  • Voisin N., D. Bain, J. Macknick, and R.S. O'Neil. 2020. Improving Hydropower Representation in Power System Models - Report Summary of PNNL-NREL Technical Workshop Held March 6-7, 2019 in Salt Lake City, UT. PNNL-29878. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. doi:10.2172/1726280.Improving Hydropower Representation in Power System Models - Report Summary of PNNL-NREL Technical Workshop Held March 6-7, 2019 in Salt Lake City, UT
  • Zhou T., L. Leung, G. Leng, N. Voisin, H. Li, A. Craig, and T.K. Tesfa, et al. 2020. "Global irrigation characteristics and effects simulated by fully coupled land surface, river, and water management models in E3SM." Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems 12, no. 10:Article No. e2020MS002069. PNNL-SA-147925. doi:10.1029/2020MS002069


  • Iyer G.C., M. Brown, S. Cohen, J. Macknick, P.L. Patel, M.A. Wise, and M.T. Binsted, et al. 2019. "Improving consistency among models of overlapping scope in multi-sector studies: The case of electricity capacity expansion scenarios." Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews 116. PNNL-SA-134710. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2019.109416
  • O'Connell M., N. Voisin, J. Macknick, and T. Fu. 2019. "Sensitivity of Western U.S. power system dynamics to droughts compounded with fuel price variability." Applied Energy 247. PNNL-SA-136629. doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2019.01.156
  • Taylor Z.T., Y. Xie, C.D. Burleyson, N. Voisin, and I.P. Kraucunas. 2019. "A Multi-Scale Calibration Approach for Process-Oriented Aggregated Building Energy Demand Models." Energy and Buildings 191. PNNL-SA-134730. doi:10.1016/j.enbuild.2019.02.018
  • Turner S., N. Voisin, J. Fazio, D. Hua, and M. Jourachi. 2019. "Compound climate events transform electrical power shortfall risk in the Pacific Northwest." Nature Communications 10, no. 1:Article No. 8. PNNL-SA-136249. doi:10.1038/s41467-018-07894-4
  • Voisin N., V.C. Tidwell, M. Kintner-Meyer, and F. Boltz. 2019. "Planning for sustained water-electricity resilience over the U.S. ; persistence of current water-electricity operations and long term transformative plans." Water Security 7. PNNL-SA-142793. doi:10.1016/j.wasec.2019.100035
  • Yigzaw W., H. Li, X. Fang, L. Leung, N. Voisin, M.I. Hejazi, and Y. Demissie. 2019. "A Multilayer Reservoir Thermal Stratification Module for Earth System Models." Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems 11, no. 10:3265-3283. PNNL-SA-141532. doi:10.1029/2019MS001632


  • Burleyson C.D., N. Voisin, Z.T. Taylor, Y. Xie, and I.P. Kraucunas. 2018. "Simulated Building Energy Demand Biases Resulting from the Use of Representative Weather Stations." Applied Energy 209. PNNL-SA-125597. doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2017.08.244
  • Vernon C.R., J.S. Rice, N. Zuljevic, T.E. Seiple, M. Kintner-Meyer, C. Jin, and J. Olson, et al. 2018. "CERF - A Geospatial Model for Assessing Future Energy Production Technology Expansion Feasibility." Journal of Open Research Software. PNNL-SA-125186. doi:10.5334/jors.227
  • Vernon C.R., N. Zuljevic, J.S. Rice, T.E. Seiple, M. Kintner-Meyer, N. Voisin, and I.P. Kraucunas, et al. 2018. "CERF - A Geospatial Model for Assessing Future Energy Production Technology Expansion Feasibility." Journal of Open Research Software 6, no. 1:20. PNNL-SA-133523. doi:10.5334/jors.227
  • Voisin N., M. Kintner-Meyer, D. Wu, R. Skaggs, T. Fu, T. Zhou, and T.B. Nguyen, et al. 2018. "Opportunities for joint water-energy management: sensitivity of the 2010 Western U.S. electricity grid operations to climate oscillations." Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 99, no. 2:299-312. PNNL-SA-121241. doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-16-0253.1
  • Xie Y., C.D. Burleyson, I.P. Kraucunas, Z.T. Taylor, and N. Voisin. 2018. The Building ENergy Demand (BEND) Model: A Comprehensive Composite Building Energy Modeling Framework. PNNL-27687. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The Building ENergy Demand (BEND) Model: A Comprehensive Composite Building Energy Modeling Framework
  • Yigzaw W.Y., H. Li, Y. Demissie, M.I. Hejazi, L. Leung, N. Voisin, and R. Payn. 2018. "A New Global Storage-Area-Depth Data Set for Modeling Reservoirs in Land Surface and Earth System Models." Water Resources Research 54, no. 12:10372-10386. PNNL-SA-140190. doi:10.1029/2017WR022040
  • Zhao G., H. Gao, S. Kao, N. Voisin, and B.S. Naz. 2018. "A Modeling Framework for Evaluating the Drought Resilience of a Surface Water Supply System under Non-stationarity." Journal of Hydrology 563. PNNL-SA-135071. doi:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2018.05.037
  • Zhou T., N. Voisin, G. Leng, M. Huang, and I.P. Kraucunas. 2018. "Sensitivity of regulated flow regime to climate change in the Western United States." Journal of Hydrometeorology 19, no. 3:499-515. PNNL-SA-126508. doi:10.1175/JHM-D-17-0095.1


  • Voisin N., M.I. Hejazi, L. Leung, L. Liu, M. Huang, H. Li, and T.K. Tesfa. 2017. "Effects of spatially distributed sectoral water management on the redistribution of water resources in an integrated water model." Water Resources Research 53, no. 5:4253-4270. PNNL-SA-109215. doi:10.1002/2016WR019767


  • Anghileri D., N. Voisin, A.F. Castelletti, F. Pianosi, B. Nijssen, and D.P. Lettenmaier. 2016. "Value of long-term streamflow forecast to reservoir operations for water supply in snow-dominated catchments." Water Resources Research 52, no. 6:4209-4225. PNNL-SA-114678. doi:10.1002/2015WR017864
  • Leng G., M. Huang, N. Voisin, X. Zhang, G.R. Asrar, and L. Leung. 2016. "Emergence of new hydrologic regimes of surface water resources in the Conterminous United States under future warming." Environmental Research Letters 11, no. 11:Article No. 114003. PNNL-SA-117644. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/11/11/114003
  • Liu X., Q. Tang, N. Voisin, and C. Huijuan. 2016. "Projected impact of climate change on hydropower potential in China." Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 20, no. 8:3343-3359. PNNL-SA-111934. doi:10.5194/hess-20-3343-2016
  • Scott M.J., D.S. Daly, M.I. Hejazi, P. Kyle, L. Liu, H.C. McJeon, and A. Mundra, et al. 2016. "Sensitivity of Future U.S. Water Shortages to Socioeconomic and Climate Drivers: A Case Study in Georgia Using an Integrated Human-Earth System Modeling Framework." Climatic Change 136, no. 2:233-246. PNNL-SA-105762. doi:10.1007/s10584-016-1602-8
  • Voisin N., M.C. Kintner-Meyer, R. Skaggs, T.B. Nguyen, D. Wu, J.A. Dirks, and Y. Xie, et al. 2016. "Vulnerability of the US Western Electric Grid to Hydro-Climatological Conditions: How bad can it get?." Energy 115, no. Part 1:1-12. PNNL-SA-112684. doi:10.1016/
  • Zhao G., H. Gao, B.S. Naz, S. Kao, and N. Voisin. 2016. "Integrating Reservoir Regulation Scheme into a Spatially Distributed Hydrological Model." Advances in Water Resources 98. PNNL-SA-118481. doi:10.1016/j.advwatres.2016.10.014


  • Hejazi M.I., N. Voisin, L. Liu, L.M. Bramer, D.C. Fortin, J.E. Hathaway, and M. Huang, et al. 2015. "21st Century United States Emissions Mitigation Could Increase Water Stress more than the Climate Change it is Mitigating." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) 112, no. 34:10635-10640. PNNL-SA-105956. doi:10.1073/pnas.1421675112
  • Kraucunas I.P., L.E. Clarke, J.A. Dirks, J.E. Hathaway, M.I. Hejazi, K.A. Hibbard, and M. Huang, et al. 2015. "Investigating the Nexus of Climate, Energy, Water, and Land at Decision-Relevant Scales: The Platform for Regional Integrated Modeling and Analysis (PRIMA)." Climatic Change 129, no. 3-4:573-588. PNNL-SA-93553. doi:10.1007/s10584-014-1064-9
  • Li H., L. Leung, A. Getirana, M. Huang, H. Wu, Y. Xu, and J. Guo, et al. 2015. "Evaluating Global Streamflow Simulations by a Physically-based Routing Model Coupled with the Community Land Model." Journal of Hydrometeorology 16, no. 2:948-971. PNNL-SA-101748. doi:10.1175/JHM-D-14-0079.1
  • Li H., L. Leung, T.K. Tesfa, N. Voisin, M.I. Hejazi, L. Liu, and Y. Liu, et al. 2015. "Modeling stream temperature in the Anthropocene: An earth system modeling approach." Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems 7, no. 4:1661-1679. PNNL-SA-109347. doi:10.1002/2015MS000471
  • Sun N., J. Yearsley, N. Voisin, and D.P. Lettenmaier. 2015. "A spatially distributed model for the assessment of land use impacts on stream temperature in small urban watersheds." Hydrological Processes 29, no. 10:2331-2345. PNNL-SA-100832. doi:10.1002/hyp.10363
  • Yang Z., T. Wang, N. Voisin, and A.E. Copping. 2015. "Estuarine Response to River Flow and Sea-Level Rise under Future Climate Change and Human Development." Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 156. PNNL-SA-102982. doi:10.1016/j.ecss.2014.08.015


  • Tesfa T.K., L. Leung, M. Huang, H. Li, N. Voisin, and M.S. Wigmosta. 2014. "Scalability of grid- and subbasin-based land surface modeling approaches for hydrologic simulations." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 119, no. 6:3166-3184. PNNL-SA-96701. doi:10.1002/2013JD020493


  • Schumann G.J., J.C. Neal, N. Voisin, K.M. Andreadis, F. Pappenberger, K. Phanthuwongpakdee, and A.C. Hall, et al. 2013. "A first large-scale flood inundation forecasting model." Water Resources Research 49, no. 10:6248-6257. PNNL-SA-93769. doi:10.1002/wrcr.20521


  • Schaner N., N. Voisin, B. Nijssen, and D.P. Lettenmaier. 2012. "The contribution of glacier melt to streamflow." Environmental Research Letters 7, no. 3:Article No. 034029. PNNL-SA-82706. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/7/3/034029
  • Shukla S., N. Voisin, and D.P. Lettenmaier. 2012. "Value of medium range weather forecasts in the improvement of seasonal hydrologic prediction skill." Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 16, no. 8:2825-2838. PNNL-SA-85823. doi:10.5194/hess-16-2825-2012


  • Degu A.M., F. Hossain, D. Niyogi, R. Pielke, J.M. Shepherd, N. Voisin, and T. Chronis. 2011. "The Influence of Large Dams on Surrounding Climate and Precipitation Patterns." Geophysical Research Letters 38. PNNL-SA-77316. doi:10.1029/2010GL046482

Energy and Environment

Core Research Areas