National Drought Mitigation Center

Who We Are

About Michael

Dr. Michael Hayes is a Professor and an Applied Climate Scientist in the School of Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  His current appointment is a split between research/outreach activities and teaching for the Applied Climate Science Mission Area.  His research and outreach efforts will concentrate on drought risk management strategies, as well as assisting society to understand and prepare for climate variability and extremes.  He will be teaching climatology-related courses including the course titled “Climate and Society.”

Dr. Hayes began working with the National Drought Mitigation Center at UNL when it formed in 1995, and served as the NDMC director from August 2007 through September 2016.  In his time at the NDMC Dr. Hayes’s research centered on drought monitoring, impact assessment, and planning methodologies, and he assisted local, state, tribal, and federal officials with drought planning and mitigation. Hayes also helped organize and conduct drought workshops and conferences in the United States and around the world. He is the author or coauthor of more than 50 articles, book and technical report chapters, and conference proceedings.


  • Ph.D. in 1994 from the University of Missouri–Columbia in atmospheric science
  • M.S. in 1989 from the University of Missouri–Columbia in atmospheric science
  • B.S. in 1986 from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in meteorology