Dr. Ethan Coon is a computational hydrologist in the Climate Change Science Institute at ORNL. He has a background in applied and computational mathematics, and has done research in applying computational methods for the Earth, especially land surface and subsurface processes. Broadly, he is interested in process-based modeling, integrating models with data, and leverage modeling to understand the processes that govern our changing planet.
Most recently, he has developed coupled multi-physics models to explore the water cycle in a variety of applications, including Arctic permafrost evolution, watershed hydrology, flow and transport of chemical species within watersheds, and feedbacks between hydrology and other systems such as vegetation, geomorphology, and soil physics. A process-based understanding of these complicated systems often requires building understanding across scales, from pore- to continuum- to Earth system scales.
To build this understanding, Dr. Coon builds a variety of computational frameworks and software to allow easier and more efficient development of geophysical models on high performance computers. He is the principle developer of multiple open source projects, most notably the Advanced Terrestrial Simulator (ATS), and contributes to a variety of high performance computing frameworks for hybrid architectures.