Venkat graduated from University of Roorkee in 1987 with a Bachelor degree in Civil Engineering and a Doctorate in Civil and Environmental Engineering in 1996 from Princeton. He worked at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center 1996-1999 as a research scientist in the Laboratory for the Atmospheres. His areas of interest are catchment hydrology, satellite data validation and assimilation, field experiments, land-atmosphere interactions, satellite data downscaling, vadose zone and water resources. He is the Carolina Trustee Professor and former Chair of the Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences at the University of South Carolina and has over 60 peer-reviewed articles and 200 presentations and thesis supervisor for 20 graduate students. He is currently is serving as Associate Editor of Journal of Hydrology and editor for Vadose Zone Journal and former chairman of the Chapman Conference committee for AGU.