Zachary Leasor

Zachary Leasor


Assistant Professor

School of Natural Resources

State Climate Extension Specialist

MU Extension


Missouri Climate Center

Research at a glance

Area(s) of Expertise

Research Summary

Zack’s research focuses on using hydroclimatic data to improve climate monitoring and prediction. He has published journal articles related to drought monitoring, soil moisture monitoring, and subseasonal-to-seasonal weather prediction. In addition to his research, Zack frequently engages in science communication and extension activities as the Missouri State Climatologist.

Zack is an assistant professor in climate science within the School of Natural Resources. He also works as State Climatologist and director of the Missouri Climate Center. He serves on panels dealing with adverse weather conditions such as drought and flooding. He also works with the National Weather Service offices and regional climate services to provide climate data and prepare special summaries of significant weather and climate events.
Originally from Louisville, Ky., Zack spent the last several years living in Columbus, Ohio, before moving to Missouri during the summer of 2023. Zack received a bachelor’s degree in meteorology, with a minor in water resources, from Western Kentucky University. His master’s and doctoral degrees in geography are from The Ohio State University (OSU). As a graduate student, Zack’s research focused on using hydroclimatic data to better understand land-atmosphere interactions and improve drought monitoring and subseasonal-to-seasonal weather prediction techniques. He previously worked as a postdoctoral scholar at OSU where he received funding from the National Science Foundation. He conducted research related to drought monitoring and prediction. This research examined biases in drought severity classification and how they contribute to uncertainties in trends of drought characteristics.

Educational background

  • Ph.D., 2021, Geography, The Ohio State University
  • M.A., 2017, Geography, The Ohio State University
  • B.S., 2015, Meteorology, Western Kentucky University