Distinguished Professor

Dr. Dupigny-Giroux is a Professor of Climatology in the Department of Geography & Geosciences, the Vermont State Climatologist since 1997, and the President of the American Association of State Climatologists from 2020-2022. In 2020, she was appointed by the Vermont House of Representatives to the Vermont Climate Council as the member with expertise in climate change science.

Dr. Dupigny-Giroux teaches introductory and intermediate-level courses in climatology, physical geography and remote sensing. Her advanced level capstone seminars delve into Climatology and Natural Hazards, as well as Satellite Climatology and Land-Surfaces Processes. Many of her courses are Service-Learning collaborations with municipalities across the state, State of Vermont Agencies Federal entities such as NOAA. She holds a B.Sc. in Physical Geography and Development Studies from the University of Toronto (1989), an M.Sc.(1992) in Climatology and Hydrology and a Ph.D. (1996) in Climatology and Geographic Information Systems from McGill University.

An applied climatologist by training, Dr. Dupigny-Giroux's research interests intersect a number of interdisciplinary fields including hydroclimatic natural hazards and climate literacy, climate services, geospatial climate and land-surface processes, all within the context of our changing climate. She is an expert in floods, droughts and severe weather and the ways in which these affect the landscape and peoples of Vermont and the US Northeast. She has worked extensively with K-12 teachers and students, bringing the use of satellites, climatology and climate change to all levels of the pre-university curriculum. She is the lead editor of Historical climate variability and impacts in North America, the first monograph to deal with the use of documentary and other ancillary records for analyzing climate variability and change in the North American context.

Quote: “Sharing knowledge and giving back to my community (of scholars, peers, students) are my two axioms in life. Watching students mature and flourish in their four years with us is a great privilege and the best part about being a teacher-scholar here at UVM.”

Fall 2023 Syllabus:

GEOG 2230: Climatology - Concepts & Tools (PDF)

Spring 2022 Syllabus:

GEOG 281: Satellite Climatology and Land-surface processes

Spring 2020 Syllabus:

GEOG 040: Weather, Climate, and Landscapes (PDF)

Awards and Recognition

Dr. Dupigny-Giroux was named a Distinguished Professor of Geography and Geosciences and the Vermont State Climatologist in 2024. She also received the Lynne Bond Outstanding Service-Learning Faculty Award that year. A Fellow of the American Meteorological Society, Dr.Dupigny-Giroux is currently serving 3-year terms on three committees/boards of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, including the Board of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate as well as the Committee to advise the U.S. Global Change Research program. She was invited by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Program (OSTP) to be a presenter on the"Climate Science Leading the Way" panel at the COP26 meeting in Glasgow, Scotland in 2021. She has contributed to all five National Climate Assessments, serving as the lead author for the Northeast Chapter of the 2018 Fourth National Climate Assessment of the US Global Change Research Program, and is an author on the national Water chapter of the Fifth National Climate Assessment. Dr. Dupigny-Giroux was also awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Association of Geographers Climate Specialty Group in 2022; the 2018 Association for Women Geoscientists Professional Excellence Award in the Academia/Research category; and the University of Georgia Franklin Visiting Scholar for Inclusion and Diversity Leadership.

Her grant highlights include: a 2022 NOAA RISA grant to work with mobile home residents on climate change vulnerabilities; the NSF-funded Satellites, Weather and Climate (SWAC) professional development program for in-service K-12 science and mathematics teachers; the NSF-funded Diversity Climate Network (D-ClimNet) to enhance diversity in climatology; AAUW Educational Foundation Shirley Farr Fellowship; and funding from the AAAS Women's International Science Collaboration (WISC) Program.

Associations and Affiliations

Nationally, Dr. Dupigny-Giroux served as the President of the American Association of State Climatologists from 2020-2022. She has served on the NOAA Science Advisory Board Climate Working Group helping to guide climate research across the US. Statewide, is the Co-Chair of the State of Vermont’s Drought Task Force, and with her students, has supported the Vermont Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security on the climate and climate change related sections of the 2023 FEMA-mandated Vermont State Hazard Mitigation Plan. In 2014, she was a Scholar-in-Residence for the Sustainability Graduate Institute at Goddard College, and their Commencement Speaker in Spring 2015. Also in 2015, Dr. Dupigny-Giroux was elected a Fellow of the Vermont Academy of Science and Engineering in recognition of her academic and outreach contributions to the state.

Lesley-Ann smiling broadly with green trees and bushes in the background

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

Climate variability and change, historical climatology, climate literacy, climate services, severe weather hazards, drought, remote sensing, Geographic Information Science, New England, Brazil, Caribbean.


  • Ph.D. , McGill University (1996)


  • 802-656-2146
Office Location:

Old Mill Rm 202

Courses Taught

GEOG 040 - Weather, Climate & Landscapes

Introduction to the fundamentals of weather, climate, landform evolution, and plant distribution using a systems approach. Focus on variation in processes over space and time.

GEOG 143 – Climatology

Polar Vortex, “Godzilla El Niño,” mega droughts in California, Hurricane Sandy, Tropical Storm Irene, Lake Champlain flooding. Why do these events occur? How do they fit into their geographic climatic locales vis-a-vis our changing climate? This class will equip you with the statistical techniques, tools and fundamental concepts to answer and explore these questions in much the same ways that climatologists do. Historical and near real-time data will be manipulated via statistics, weather map interpretation, indices, modeling and remote sensing. The various sub-fields of climatology will be explored as we delve into what drives climates, instrumentation challenges, teleconnections such as the North Atlantic Oscillation and El Niño-Southern Oscillation, hydroclimatological extremes and anthropogenic (human-induced) climate change.

GEOG 281 – Adv Topic:GIS & Remote Sensing

Forest fires in southern Canada and Alaska. Climate change impacts on water resources. Multi-view angles for quantifying wetland stress. This applied, capstone course will weave together the ENVI and IDRISI remote sensing packages with climate models and techniques to explore a) atmospheric issues at varying temporal and spatial scales, as well as b) the influence of topography, vegetation and land-water boundaries. Public and private sector data and professionals will enrich the course. The course is divided into three parts. In the first section, you will acquire the advanced techniques with which to interpret the land-surface. This will be followed by analysis of vegetation and surface moisture characteristics.