Dr. Yaling Liu received her BSc degree in Geography Education from Hubei University (China) in 2002, and MSc degree in Agro-meteorology from China Agricultural University in 2005. She then pursued her PhD degree in Atmospheric Sciences at Purdue University from 2011–2014. During 2015-2017, she worked a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), and since 2018 she works as an Associate Research Scientist at Columbia University. Her primary research interests and expertise lie in understanding how water affects and is affected by land, atmosphere and human activities in the intertwined Earth-human system. Her current research at Columbia University is to improve drought monitoring by incorporating plant hydraulics into land surface model and by use of microwave and solar-induced fluorescence observations. Dr. Liu has published nearly 40 peer-reviewed articles and has been awarded the Elizabeth Sulzman Outstanding Publication Award by the Ecological Society of America (ESA), and the Best Paper Recognition by PNNL.