• Catastrophe Modeling

    Climate Science, Geology, Natural Hazards, Re/Insurance

    Natural hazards research is a fascinating and complex scientific problem, but more than that, it demands an understanding of the interplay between hazard, economic conditions, public policy, and the business world. The re/insurance field is at the forefront of societal risk management, but it faces a range of challenges, both near-term, with the expansion of wealth and population into high-risk metropolitan areas, and long-term, as climate change enhances the risk of extreme storm surges, floods, and heat waves.


    A climate scientist and geologist by training, I am passionate about bridging the gaps between sources of new knowledge in the research world and end-users in the private sector. This is a two-way street, as my collaborations with researchers at Columbia University and NASA GISS have allowed me to highlight problems in the business world that opened up fruitful new avenues of academic research. My scientific specialty is the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, the largest driver of year-to-year climate variability, which is where changes in the ocean and atmosphere intersect most dramatically with short-term events like hurricanes and floods. However, my geology background and experience in the re/insurance sector allow me to be comfortable working with the full suite of natural perils.


    I am excited to bring a flexible toolbox of stochastic modeling, geospatial analytics, machine learning, open source datasets, and social media to the field of catastrophe modeling.

  • Experience

    Liberty Mutual

    Philadelphia, PA | 2020-present


    Director, Catastrophe R&D


    Corporate Catastrophe Solutions

    Philadelphia, PA | 2018-2020


    AVP, Senior Research Scientist

    Catastrophe modeling research and model validation, specializing in climate change and emerging risks.

    Chubb Tempest Re

    Stamford, CT | 2012-2017

    Formerly ACE Group, ACE Tempest Re


    AVP, Senior Research Scientist

    Catastrophe modeling research, specializing in El Niño-Southern Oscillation impacts and climate change. 

    • Build natural hazard models for developing markets, non-modeled perils
    • Lead new research initiatives that leverage nontraditional public and open source datasets
    • Develop tools to streamline historical disaster modeling
    • Work with senior management to develop new product lines
    • Communicate insights from emerging scientific research to improve risk assessments
    • Foster connections between the reinsurance industry and academic and government research divisions
    • Manage offshore account support for Zurich office
    • Ad-hoc underwriter support for full range of natural perils - hurricane, earthquake, European windstorm, flood, severe convective storm, wildfire, etc.

    Research Scientist / Analyst

    Integrate catastrophe models from RMS and AIR with remote sensing data, environmental measurements, stochastic event models, and social media information to improve loss projections.

    University of Texas - Austin

    Austin, TX


    Graduate Research Assistant | 2008-2012

    Conducted research related to dissertation. Analyzed customer samples and performed regular maintenance on lab equipment.

    Teaching Assistant | 2007-2011

    Taught 5 semesters of lab courses - 3-4 sections of ~15 students per semester. Helped lead two field courses. Developed new climate lab course materials.



    Climate: Past, Present, and Future

    Sustaining a Planet

    Physical Geology



    Field Geology - Summer field camp

    Honors Undergraduate Short Course - Florida Keys



    Anadarko Petroleum

    Denver, CO | 2008


    Geology Intern

    Assessed >900 well logs for coalbed methane potential.  Utilized literature review and stratigraphic information from logs to propose a model constraining reservoir size and distribution.  Collaborated with engineering team to estimate economic potential.

    Carleton College

    Northfield, MN | 2005-2007


    Lab Assistant

    Global Change Biology

    Sedimentology and Stratigraphy


    Introduction to Geology

    University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

    Alexandria, MN | 2005


    Ecology Intern

    Field assistant for prairie ecology study on Echinacea angustifolia.

  • Technical Skills




    Previously: Matlab, Java, C++



  • Education

    University of Texas - Austin

    Ph.D., 2012

    Geological Sciences - El Niño, Paleoclimate, Climate Change

    Carleton College

    B.A., 2007

    Geology, Biology

  • Professional Society Memberships


    International Society of Catastrophe Managers


    American Geophysical Union

  • Publications

    The frequency and duration of US hurricane droughts

    TM Hall and KA Hereid


    Geophysical Research Letters


    NASA GISS Best Publication Award, 2015


    We estimate the mean wait time for the 2006-2014 US major hurricane landfall drought to be greater than 175 years, and find that this wait time is not dependent on drought duration.

    Coral record of reduced El Niño activity in the early 15th to middle 17th centuries

    KA Hereid, TM Quinn, FW Taylor, C-C Shen, RL Edwards, H Cheng 




    Coral record of a century-scale period of low El Niño activity during the Little Ice Age. A switch between active and inactive El Niño states of this duration has not previously been recorded, and provides a new baseline for climate models and reconstructions.




    Assessing spatial variability in El Niño–Southern Oscillation event detection skill using coral geochemistry

    KA Hereid, TM Quinn, YM Okumura




    Paleoclimate proxies do not always record El Niño and La Niña with equal skill due to the varying spatial structure of each event type. Coral records in the central Pacific have a balanced response toward ENSO events, but the Western Pacific Warm Pool favors El Niño expression, and the South Pacific Convergence Zone preferentially records La Niña events.

  • Media

    NASA videos explaining hurricane droughts study (Hall and Hereid, 2015, GRL).

    10 year gap in US major hurricane landfalls continues.

    NASA video describing hurricane droughts study (Hall and Hereid, 2015, GRL).

    See more commentary via NASA GISS feature here.

    Harnessing the Power of Social Media in Atmospheric Science

    AMS Board for Private Sector Meteorologists

  • Featured Stories

    Man-made earthquakes in Oklahoma - A headache for insurers

    Changing weather may alter retirement plans

    The U.S. coast is in an unprecedented hurricane drought — why this is terrifying

  • More Press

    Yes, the US is on a historic lucky streak in dodging major hurricanes

    The U.S. Enters a Historic 10-Year 'Hurricane Drought'

    No major US hurricanes in 11 years. Odds of that? 1-in-2,300.

    Tons Of People Are Moving To The Coast Amid A Lull In Hurricanes

    Experts warn against complacency as U.S. endures hurricane drought

    US hurricane drought is 'basically dumb luck', scientists say

    U.S.' Longest 'Hurricane Drought' Due to Sheer Luck, Study Finds

    U.S. in longest 'hurricane drought' in recorded history

    Major hurricane 'drought' for U.S.? Yes, researchers say

    We've been in a hurricane drought for nine years

    May the odds be ever in our favor

    No major US hurricane landfalls in nine years

    Here is The The Chance of A Major Hurricane Hitting The U.S. Coast this Year

  • Conferences

    Wildfire in a Changing Climate

    Mod: KA Hereid, S McAllister, D Swain

    Evaluating Wildfire Risk And The Ways In Which Climate Change Is Increasing Exposures

    F Waisman, KA Hereid, M Hope, T Larsen

    Climate Risks and Opportunities

    K Bhattacharya, Y Chen, KA Hereid

    ISCM Education 2021

    Thunderstorm and Midwest Derecho Panel

    Mod: KA Hereid, D Hamilton, C Bednarczyk, J Grieser, D Smith

    Secondary Perils and Climate Risk Panel

    S Bowen, KA Hereid, A Weigel

    ISCM Education 2020

    Event Response in the Real World

    Designed and moderated interactive tabletop exercise

    Industry Geoscientist Panel

    M Bove, J Darr, I Dima-West, KA Hereid


    Earthquake Surprises 101

    KA Hereid

    Executive Summit: Resiliency, Risk & Response - Adapting to the Chaos of Climate Change

    M Bove, S Bogetich Klose, KA Hereid, R Sorkin

    Industry Geoscientist Panel

    M Bove, S Bowen, KA Hereid, K Roberts

    ISCM Education Event 2017

    Basics of Catastrophe Modeling Hazards

    KA Hereid

    Industry Geoscientist Panel

    M Bove, S Bowen, KA Hereid, B Wood


    Human-Induced Earthquakes Keep Oklahoma Rumbling

    KA Hereid

    An introduction to reinsurance for scientists

    KA Hereid, Invited

    RAA 2016

    Why Does Oklahoma Have More Earthquakes than California? Emerging Human-Induced Earthquake Risk

    KA Hereid

    RAA 2015

    El Niño: Impacts on global disaster risk

    KA Hereid

    EGU 2014

    A multi-proxy perspective on climate variability in the tropical Pacific over the last millennium

    TM Quinn, JW Partin, K Thirumalai, KA Hereid, CR Maupin, C-C Shen, FW Taylor

    AGU 2011

    ENSO variability at Vanuatu during the Medieval Climate Anomaly

    KA Hereid, TM Quinn, FW Taylor, RL Edwards, H Cheng, C-C Shen

    AGU 2010

    ENSO variability during the Little Ice Age from the perspective of a long coral record from the Western Pacific Warm Pool

    KA Hereid, TM Quinn, FW Taylor, C-C Shen, JL Banner

    Outstanding Student Paper Award


    Tales from the South (and West) Pacific in the Common Era: A Climate Proxy Perspective (Invited)

    TM Quinn, FW Taylor, JW Partin, CR Maupin, KA Hereid, MK Gorman

    AGU 2009

    Interannual to multi-decadal scale climate variability in the Western Pacific Warm Pool recorded by the geochemistry of 16th-17th century corals from Papua New Guinea

    KA Hereid, TM Quinn, FW Taylor, JL Banner

    AAPG 2009

    Modern isolated carbonate platform dimensional database collected from publicly available image catalogs

    S Bachtel, R Phelps, KA Hereid, J El-Azzi, EM Dunn, D Helbert, P Cardona, R Caber, K Singh, B Kiel

    AGU 2008

    Sea surface temperature from the Western Pacific Warm Pool (Misima Island, Papua New Guinea) using the geochemistry of modern and pre-industrial corals

    KA Hereid, TM Quinn, FW Taylor

  • Outreach, Service, Educational Lectures


    Education Committee: 2020 - Present, Chair 2021

    Board: 2021 - Present


    RAA Catastrophe Seminar Education Planning Committee

    2019 - Present


    University of Texas - Austin, Geology Foundation Advisory Council

    2019 - Present


    NOAA Science Advisory Board Focus Group



    ISCM/iCAS - Earthquake exam question development team for CSCR/CCRMP credential



    UCAR/NSF Coastlines and People Workshop



    Re/insurance as a geoscientist career outreach talks

    Carleton College 4/2021

    Appalachian State University 4/2021

    Ohio State University 3/2021, 11/2020, 11/2018, 10/2015

    University of Arkansas 1/2021

    University of Texas 11/2019

    Columbia University 10/2018


    Chubb Agency Education webinar - CAT Modeling & the Impact on Rate



    Guest speaker at CUNY CREST/NWS High School Summer Weather Camp


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