Dr. Yuhan “Douglas” Rao is a Postdoctoral Research Scholar with North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies (NCICS) at NC State University. His current research focuses on leveraging advanced statistical learning techniques to create high-quality climate data with multisource data, including satellite products, in situ observations, and model simulations. Dr. Rao’s broad research interests focus on advanced statistical models, satellite data development/validation, land-atmosphere interaction, and applied research for climate and environment monitoring. At NCICS, he is also supporting the development of the newly established NOAA Center for Artificial Intelligence. Dr. Rao is collaborating with NOAA researchers to develop community training resources and define standards of AI-ready environmental science data. He is a strong advocate for open science and community-driven approaches for training and development. 

Dr. Rao is actively engaged in national and international communities, including Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP), the American Geophysical Union (AGU), and the Young Earth System Scientists community (YESS)—an international early career earth scientist network. He is a member of the AGU Honors & Recognition Committee and a member of the YESS Executive Committee.

Before joining NCICS, Dr. Rao received his doctoral degree in Geographical Sciences from the University of Maryland, College Park, in 2019. His dissertation focused on using machine learning and satellite observations to reduce the uncertainty of regional near-surface air temperature datasets.

Dr. Rao received both his bachelor’s degree in statistics and master’s degree in cartography and remote sensing from Beijing Normal University. He worked for the GOES-R algorithm working group as a research assistant at the Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites–Maryland at UMD, where he supported the validation of the GOES-R ABI land surface temperature product using both station measurements and other satellite products.