Allan Frei


Chair, Professor, and Deputy Director, CUNY Institute for Sustainable Cities


Phone: 212-772-5322
Office: 1005 HN


Prof. Frei is a climatologist whose research interests have focused on issues related to climate change and changes in snow cover across Northern Hemisphere lands; and on issues of climate change and water resources. Recent projects include an investigation of potential impacts of climate change on New York City's water supply (in collaboration with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection).

Prof. Frei’s main educational interests have been in curriculum development for the Environmental Studies and Physical Geography branches of the department. Along with colleagues, he helped create the curriculum for the new Environmental Studies Major, and he played a major role in developing the Earth System Science course sequence. He continues to play an active role in updating the curriculum as the needs of the students and department evolve. Prof. Frei has taught a number of courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, mostly in physical and quantitative geography. In addition, Prof. Frei has served on the advisory committees for a number of graduate students, and has taught numerous independent studies to Graduate students.


Ph.D. 1997 Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, Geography
M.S. 1987 New York University, New York, NY, Applied Science
B.A. 1983 New York University, New York, NY, Computer Science

Research Interests:

Climate variations, snow cover fluctuations, water resources

Teaching Interests:

Weather & Climate, Earth Systems Science

Current Projects:

  • Understand linkages between sea ice and snow cover in the Arctic Climate System
  • Evaluate potential impacts of climate change on New York City water supply

Publications: selected publications since 2008

Frei, Allan, Marco Tedesco, Shihyan Lee, James L. Foster, Dorothy K. Hall, Richard E. Kelly, and David A. Robinson, 2011, A review of global satellite-derived snow products, Advances in Space Research, in press, doi:10.1016/j.asr.2011.12.021

Matonse, Adao H., D. Pierson, A. Frei, M. Zion, E. Schneiderman, A. Anandhi, R. Mukundan, S. Pradhanang, 2011, Effects of changes in snow pattern and the timing of runoff on NYC water supply system, Hydrological Processes, doi: 10.1002/hyp.8121

Anandhi, A., A. Frei , D. Pierson , E. Schneiderman , M. Zion , D., A.
Matonse, 2011, Examination of change factor methodologies for climate change impact assessment, Water Resour. Res., 47, W03501, doi:10.1029/2010WR009104

Ghatak, D., A. Frei, G. Gong, J. Stroeve, and D. Robinson, 2010, On the emergence of an Arctic amplification signal in terrestrial Arctic snow extent, J. Geophys. Res., 115, D24105, doi:10.1029/2010JD014007.

Frei, A., and S. Lee, 2010, A comparison of optical-band based snow extent products during Spring over North America, Remote Sensing of Environment, V114, p. 1940-1948, DOI:10.1016/j.rse.2010.03.015

Ghatak, D., G. Gong, and A. Frei, 2010. North American temperature, snowfall, and snow depth response to winter climate modes, Journal of Climate, V23, p. 2320-2332, DOI:10.1175/2009JCLI3050.I

Frei, A., 2009. A new generation of satellite snow observations for large scale earth system studies, Geography Compass 3: 10.1111/j.1749-8198.2009.00221.x

Frei, Allan, 2009, Invited Book Review: Snow and Climate: Physical Processes, Surface Energy Exchange and Modeling, Richard L. Armstrong and Eric Brun (ed.), Cambridge University Press, 2008, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, V90, no. 4, April 2009, p. 539-540

Stroeve, Julienne, A. Frei, D. Ghatak, and J. McCreight, 2008. Arctic Sea Ice Variability Revisited, Annals of Glaciology, V48, p. 71-81


Association of American Geographers Cryosphere Specialty Group