Zaitchik’s research is directed at understanding, managing, and coping with climatic and hydrologic variability. Understanding variability requires examination of the natural processes that drive climate and surface change. Managing variability relates to our ability to control anthropogenic influences on climate and hydrology at the local, regional, and global scales. Coping with variability includes improved forecast systems and methods of risk assessment. In each of these areas of research he employs a combination of observation-both in situ and remotely sensed-and numerical modeling techniques.