Gillings School Directory

Gregory Characklis, PhD

Gregory Characklis, PhD

W. R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor
Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering
Center on Financial Risk in Environmental Systems
  • 139 Rosenau Hall
  • CB #7431
  • Chapel Hill, NC 27599
  • USA

Dr. Characklis serves as William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he holds appointments in both the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering and the UNC Institute for the Environment. His primary research interests involve developing solutions to water resource challenges through systems-based approaches that integrate consideration of both engineering and economic principles, with a particular focus on evaluating and managing environmental financial risk.  Dr. Characklis is also Director of the  Center on Financial Risk in Environmental Systems, an entity focused on translating environmental events (e.g., flood, drought) into financial outcomes, and one that bridges the Gillings School of Global Public Health and the UNC Institute for the Environment.  The Center is currently engaged in projects funded by NSF, DOE, NIEHS and North Carolina state government to quantify the financial risks of hydrologic extremes in a number of economic sectors, including water utilities, power utilities, agriculture, inland navigation (e.g., Great Lakes) and real estate.

Dr. Characklis serves on the Editorial Board of Water Security, and has previously held editorial positions with the journals Water Resources Research and Hydrology and Earth System Sciences. In 2014 he was selected as a Fellow by the National Academy of Sciences’ Kavli Frontiers of Science, and in 2010 he was named an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow by Stanford University's Woods Institute for the Environment.

Prior to joining UNC, Dr. Characklis spent two years as Director of Resource Development and Management at Azurix Corp. (a subsidiary of Enron Corp.). where his responsibilities centered around assessing the technical and financial merits of water supply development projects. Before entering the private sector, he spent two years in Washington, D.C. as a Fellow with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

Dr. Characklis holds a Ph.D. and an M.S. in Environmental Science and Engineering from Rice University and a B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from Johns Hopkins University.


PhD, Environmental Science and Engineering, Rice University, 1999

MS, Environmental Science and Engineering, Rice University, 1994

BS, Materials Science and Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, 1989

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