Nathan John Steiger is an Associate Research Scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. His work engages the fundamental problem of understanding the historical variability of the climate system and its relevance to human societies. In particular, he conducts research on the physical mechanisms of severe droughts and other climate extremes.
Nathan majored in physics as an undergraduate, doing thesis work in theoretical quantum mechanics. In graduate school at the University of Washington he developed new methods for reconstructing past climate using data assimilation, a technique that fuses climate models with paleoclimate proxy data. He received his PhD in Atmospheric Sciences in late 2015 and came to Columbia University as a NOAA Climate and Global Change Postdoctoral Fellow.