National Drought Mitigation Center

Who We Are

About Mark

Mark Svoboda, climatologist, is the Director of the National Drought Mitigation Center. He has been with the NDMC since it was established in 1995, and has been one of the U.S. Drought Monitor authors since it was established in 1999. Svoboda serves on the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) Implementation Team and co-chairs the NIDIS Portal Development Team. As of January 2010, Svoboda was serving on the American Meteorological Society’s Applied Climate Committee for a three-year term and is helping lead the effort on updating AMS’s Statement on Drought.

Before joining the NDMC in June 1995, Svoboda worked for two years with the Midwest National Technical Center of the USDA–Soil Conservation Service in Lincoln as a GIS/Climate Specialist. He served as regional coordinator for the center’s Global Positioning Systems program, and worked extensively on agro-climatic modeling.


  • Ph.D. in 2016 in natural resources with human dimensions specialization from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • M.A. in 1992 in geography with remote sensing, climatology, and GIS specialization from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Thesis examined the relationships between AVHRR satellite imagery and vegetative response to rainfall, using the normalized difference vegetation index
  • B.S. in 1989 in geography with a specialization in climatology and a minor in meteorology–climatology