Sean Schrag-Toso Wins Prestigious Presidential Management Fellowship

Photo Sean Schrag-Toso
Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Sean Schrag-Toso Wins Prestigious Presidential Management Fellowship

December 2019

Congratulations to Sean Schrag-Toso, HAS MS Hydrology student, who was recently selected to receive the very prestigious Presidential Management Fellowship award!

The purpose of this post-degree fellowship for advanced-degree candidates is to foster the spirit of public service, develop leadership skills, and provide a pathway for individuals pursuing professional careers in government. Sean hopes to complete his MS Hydrology degree by the summer of 2020 when he will begin a 2-year paid internship with a government agency of his choosing.

Currently, Sean is a University of Arizona Coverdell Fellow (returning Peace Corps volunteer) completing his thesis research under the direction of HAS Professor Jennifer McIntosh. His project is focused on the changing groundwater recharge conditions in the Sonoita Creek Watershed in southeastern Arizona. The Patagonia Mountains provide nearly a quarter of Sonoita Creek's base flow and little is known about how changing recharge conditions and increasing demand will affect spring flow and groundwater levels.

The first phase of his project will include an isotopic tracer study to analyze the geochemistry of the mountains. These insights, coupled with available data and knowledge of the area's hydrology, will guide the development of a conceptual model for groundwater flow in the mountains. The conceptual model will inform the second phase of the project: Creation of a monitoring plan, formation of a citizen science group, and the training of well owners and residents. These stakeholders will monitor, measure, and document precipitation events and groundwater use and their effects on spring flow and the water table to inform future water use-management decisions by the town council.

Upon completion of his Master's degree, Sean would like to work with the National Forest Service, the National Resource Conservation Service, the Army Corps of Engineers, or the Agency for International Development.

Congratulations and well done, Sean!

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HAS Doctoral Student Mostafa Javadian Research Featured on Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Website

September 2019

Congratrulations to HAS doctoral student Mostafa Javadian whose research paper, METRIC and WaPOR Estimates of Evapotranspiration over the Lake Urmia Basin: Comparative Analysis and Composite Assessment, was recently published in the online journal Water, and was also featured on the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations website.

Evapotranspiration is one of the main components of the water and energy balance. In this study, Javadian and co-authors compared 2 ET products suitable for regional analysis at high spatial resolution: the recent WaPOR product developed by FAO and the METRIC algorithm. WaPOR---based on ETLook (a two-source model) and relying on microwave images---is unique as it has no limitation under cloudy days, but METRIC is limited by clouds. METRIC is more sensitive to land surface temperature, and WaPOR is more sensitive to soil moisture.  Results of Javadian's testing suggest that the two products can complement each other.

Mostafa is currently completing his doctoral research under the direction of HAS Associate Professor Ali Behrangi. You can find a link to the full article at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations website devoted to WaPOR, remote sensing for water productivity (click on the article title, "METRIC and WaPOR estimates..." under Related Links).

Well done, Mostafa!

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Thomas Whipple and Tiffani Canez Win Top Prizes in 2019 CAP Awards for Water Research

July 2019

Congratulations to HAS Alumni Thomas Whipple and Tiffani Cañez who have won the top prizes in this year's Central Arizona Project Awards for Water Research competition!

Thomas Whipple's Master's thesis, Planning for depletion: optimal irrigation in the Pinal AMA under changing water sources, won the First Place award of $1,000. Thomas received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in hydrology from the University of Arizona and currently works as a hydrologist with the Arizona Department of Water Resources, Recharge Section.

Tiffani Cañez's Senior Capstone paper, Mapping fresh and brackish groundwater to inform better management of decreasing groundwater levels in the Willcox basin, southeast Arizona, tied* for the Second Place award of $500. Tiffani completed her Bachelor of Science degree in hydrology in May 2019 and will pursue her Master of Science degree in hydrology in HAS this fall. *UA doctoral student Shelby Hoglund, Department of Environmental Sciences, was co-recipient of Second Place. 

The CAP annual awards recognize the best student research statewide which focuses specifically on water issues that affect Central and Southern Arizona and the Colorado River. (Colorado River issues are a priority.) Topics range from legal, economic, political, environmental, or water management issues, as well as any other issue relevant to CAP or Arizona water users.

Our warmest congratulations go to Thomas and Tiffani. Job well done!

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Rachel Spinti & Tristan Dicke Win 2 of 3 Statewide AHS Intern Scholar Awards!

May 2019

Congratuations to Rachel Spinti, HAS Environmental Hydrology undergraduate, and Tristan Dicke, HAS MS Hydrology graduate student, who have won 2 of 3 Arizona Hydrological Society Intern Scholar Awards!

Rachel was selected by the AHS Tucson Chapter for the AHS Leonard Halpenny Intern Scholar award (news item here) and Tristan was selected by the AHS Flagstaff Chapter for the AHS Charles Avery Intern Scholar award (news item here). Both students will begin their internships during the summer of 2019. They will receive their awards and plaques in a more formal ceremony to be held in Tucson this September during the Arizona Hydrological Society's Annual Symposium.

Congratulations, Rachel and Tristan!

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Antonio Meira Elected to AGU Student-Early Career Leadership Council

October 2018

Congratulations to Antonio Meira, HAS doctoral student, who was recently elected to the American Geophysical Union's Student-Early Career Leadership Council! Antonio will begin his membership on the Student Council in January 2019.

The AGU created this council of students and early career scientists to represent a large percentage of the AGU membership with the knowledge that they would bring a forward-looking perspective to the Council and to the AGU. These representatives serve as advocates to their peers from the organization and to the organization from their peers. The Council's three distinct roles include:

  • Policy formation -- honors and recognition, editor criteria, sections/focus groups
  • Idea generation and science deliberation
  • Advisor/sounding board -- science and member issues

Student council members serve a 2-year term and may be re-elected or reappointed for up to 3 consecutive terms. Antonio would like to thank everyone in the department who supported his nomination and participated in the election process. In Antonio's words, "I feel very honored to be in this position and also very proud to represent our department and the University of Arizona within the AGU."

Congratulations, Antonio!

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Extraordinary Student Scholars and Leaders for 2018-2019

June 2018

Photo Image (left to right): Chloé Fandel, Adriana Arcelay, Rebecca Stolar, Katarena Matos, Jack Reeves Eyre, Sheila Solis-Arroyo, Erin L. Gray, and Victoria Hermosilla.

Early in May--just before final exams--a small but select group of students was called to a mysterious meeting with Dr. Martha Whitaker, Associate Professor of Practice and Director of Graduate Studies, only to be whisked down the hallway to find a overflowing assembly of cheering students, faculty, and staff waiting to celebrate them as this year's extraordinary student scholars and leaders!

Following the announcement of the individual awards by Dr. Tom Meixner, Associate Department Head, the shocked but happy group enjoyed a delicious cake with ample lashings of cold milk.

We owe an immense debt of gratitude to our founding faculty scholars whose work and lifetime achievements inspired these endowments AND to our wonderful alumni and donors whose contributions maintain them, so we extend a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has contributed, past and present.

For the upcoming year, Fall 2018-Spring 2019, a fantastic group of young men and women will join the rosters of these prestigious awards. Rest assured, the future of hydrology and atmospheric sciences is in good hands! 

Philip Krider Endowed Fellowship in Atmospheric Sciences

This year's award was bestowed by Professor Emeritus Phil Krider who joined the festivities!

  • Jack Eyre

John and Margaret Harshbarger Doctoral Fellowship in Subsurface Hydrology

  • Chloe Fandel

Donald R. Davis Endowment Scholarship for Undergraduate Excellence

  • Sheila Solis-Arroyo

Chester C. Kisiel Scholarship for Application of Statistics in Hydrology

  • Erin Gray

Shlomo and Yael Neuman Graduate Scholarship in Hydrology -- The inaugural year!

  • Yu-Li (Eric) Wang

Sol D. Resnick Scholarship for Graduate Research in Hydrology

  • Rebecca Stolar

Eugene S. Simpson Scholarship in Groundwater Hydrology

  • Adriana Arcelay

Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences Extraordinary Leadership Awards

  • Victoria Hermosilla (HASSA President and Coordinator, 2018 El Día del Agua y la Atmósfera)
  • Katarena Matos (HASSA Vice President and Coordinator, 2018 El Día del Agua y la Atmósfera)

Our warmest congratulations to our extraordinary student scholars!

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Yiyi Huang Selected as 2018 Carson Scholar

November 2017

A round of applause and warm congratulations to Yiyi Huang, HAS doctoral student, who has been selected as a 2018 Carson Scholar! 

The Carson Program, named for legendary scientist, conservationist, and author Rachel Carson, supports graduate students who are committed to interdisciplinary research on environment and society and is designed to further their capacity to communicate their work to the public and decision makers through training in writing, media, and outreach.

Carson Scholars are financially supported by the UA Institute for the Environment (which administers and sponsors the program) with additional support from the UA Agnese Nelms Haury Program in Environment and Social Justice, Biosphere 2, the College of Science Galileo Circle, and private donations. Every fall and spring semester the College of Science Borderlands Brewing Company Science Café Series showcases Carson Scholars and their current work.

Yiyi completed her undergraduate degree at Sun Yat-sen University, China, graduating with a BS degree in atmospheric sciences. Since January 2015, she has been working on Arctic cloud, radiation, and their feedbacks on Arctic sea ice with Professor Xiquan Dong. Under the background of global climate change, Arctic sea ice has been declining rapidly in the past few decades.

Based on multiple satellite/surface observations, reanalysis, and model simulations, Yiyi's current work focuses on the investigation of relationships between springtime cloud/radiation properties and September sea ice minimum so that we can better understand the Arctic sea ice trend and variability, both in the past and in the future. Thus far, she has published two first-authored articles in high-impact academic journals on this topic.

In general, her doctoral research will improve our understanding of the Arctic cloud-radiation-sea ice feedback mechanism which will not only help us to better predict the global state of climate, but also help local communities in the Arctic regions and other international communities adapt and respond to a changing Arctic.

Congratulations, Yiyi, for this well-deserved award. We look forward to hearing your science café talks next year!

To learn more about the Carson Scholars program or their Arctic research program, contact Yiyi Huang or Professor Xiquan Dong.

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Ravindra Dwivedi Receives 2017 AGU Horton Research Grant

August 2017

Our heartiest congratulations go to Ravindra Dwivedi, HAS doctoral student, who has been selected to receive the 2017 AGU Horton Research Grant. He will receive his award in a formal ceremony at the AGU Annual Conference in San Francisco this December. This nationally competitive award recognizes superior achievement in research related to hydrology, water resources, and closely related fields. The awards are limited to one to three students annually.

Dwivedi's doctoral research, directed by Tom Meixner, Professor and HAS Associate Department Head, is using a multi-tracer approach coupled with numerical models to characterize and improve understanding of water sources and flowpaths contributing to streamflow in high elevation mountain catchments. Dwivedi presented a poster and oral presentation on this topic at the 2017 El Día del Agua y la Atmósfera, the HAS department's annual student research conference.

Dwivedi completed a Master of Science degree in hydrology at New Mexico Tech in 2009, a Bachelor of Technology in mining engineering from the Institute of Technology (Banaras Hindu University) in 2004, and plans to complete his UA doctoral dissertation by May 2018.

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Congratulations, Students, for Another Successful El Día del Agua y la Atmósfera!

March 2017

EarthWeek 2017 started off with a bang, as the students from the Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences organized another successful El Día del Agua y la Atmósfera. The annual student research conference, held in the Student Union Memorial Center's Grand Ballroom, was bigger and better than ever!

This year's event featured HAS graduate and undergraduate students who made 13 Oral Presentations--including our HAS department representative for the EarthWeek Plenary oral competition--and 22 Poster Presentations--including several from local high school students representing The Gregory School in Tucson and the Immaculate Heart High School in Oro Valley.

A robust and invigorating Round Table Discussion, focused on the broad topic of communicating the science of climate change, had four breakout groups and was moderated by Chris Castro and Peter Troch, Jennifer McIntosh and Hoshin Gupta, Tom Meixner and Ty Ferré, and Martha Whitaker and Brittany Ciancarelli. The smaller groups discussed four subtopics:

Should we be moving towards more applied sciences to better address societal changes?  Do we need to change the way we, as scientists, are educated by broadening or adding more soft skills/social science?  To what extent do scientists need to be involved in decision making?  How much responsibility do scientists hold for increasing public understanding and awareness of scientific/environmental issues?

Our luncheon speaker, Amber Sullins, Chief Meteorologist with ABC15 in Phoenix, Arizona, and our afternoon keynote speaker, Scott Denning, Monfort Professor of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, inspired the audience--truly--with their talks on the urgency and the profound importance of better communicating the science we do

Following all talks and poster sessions, this year's student and faculty awards were presented:

Montgomery Prize Winner - Alissa White

Best oral presentation - Certificate and Award $2000 - Legacy Sponsor: E.L. Montgomery & Associates, Inc.
Judges: Jon Whittier, Martha Whitaker, Austin Carey

Hargis Awards - Neha Gupta (1st) & Nicole Weber (2nd)

Best technical presentation via visual communication (poster) - Certificate and Award $1000 (1st) and $400 (2nd) - Legacy Sponsor: Hargis+Associates, Inc.
Judges: Leo Leonhart, Dennis Scheall, Tim Corley

Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences Awards of Excellence - Tyler Rockhill (oral) & Furrukh Bashir (poster)

Best oral and poster presentations (excluding Montgomery and Hargis awardees) - Certificate and Award $400 each
Judges: (Oral) Hsin-I Chang, William Holmgren, Dick Thompson & (Poster) Matej Durcik, Suzy Stillman, Yang Cao

Donald R. Davis Undergraduate Distinction Award - Erin Gray

Outstanding undergraduate award (academic or research) - Certificate and Award $400
Judges: James Washburne and Thomas Galarneau

Eugene S. Simpson Undergraduate Poster Award - Mekha Pereira

Best undergraduate poster in hydrogeology, subsurface hydrology, or groundwater - Certificate and Award $400
Judges: James Washburne, Thomas Galarneau

High School Student Poster Presenters

Certificates of Participation for all winning entrants
Evaluators: Rachel Tucci, Rodrigo Valdés-Pineda

Aqua Person Awards - Jennifer McIntosh, Thomas Meixner, & Ave Arellano

HAS Outstanding Faculty Instructor Awards selected by entire HAS student body:  Trophy Figures of Storm (X-Men), AquaMan (DC Justice League), and Captain Planet (Turner/DIC Entertainment) awarded to Dr. Jennifer McIntosh, Dr. Tom Meixner, and Dr. Ave Arellano, respectively. The figures denote their awesomeness, not necessarily their areas of expertise.

Scholarship and Fellowship Awards

John W. Harshbarger Doctoral Fellow - Alissa White

Chester C. Kisiel Fellow for Applied Statistics in Hydrology - Rodrigo Valdés-Pineda

Sol D. Resnick Graduate Scholar - Yi Nan

Donald R. Davis Undergraduate Scholars - Jack Anderson, Nicole Weber, Mekha Pereira, Erin Gray

A huge THANK YOU to all our wonderful and generous sponsors, the organizers (students, faculty, and staff), and to our experienced judges. We could not have a successful event without your continued encouragement and support.

Congratulations, again, to all of our student and faculty winners.  Well done!

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HAS Graduate Student Receives NSF Fellowship

September 2016

Congratulations to Hydrology MS Graduate Student, Katarena Matos, who will receive a National Science Foundation Bridge to Doctorate Fellowship.  Katarena, who completed her BS in Environmental Hydrology at the UA in May 2016, was selected amoung a list of distinguished graduate students for her potential to obtain a Ph.D., which is the objective of the program.  BRAVA Katarena!!

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Official Haboob Report Published

July 2016

Congratulations to Aishwarya Raman, HAS graduate student, and co-authors of the newly published National Weather Service Report #290. Blowing Dust and Dust Storms: One of Arizona's Most Underrated Weather Hazards. Finally, a concrete report on Arizona haboobs! Congratulations as well to co-authors Glenn Lader, Jeffrey Davis, and Ken Waters.

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HASSA Student Officers Elected for AY2016-2017

May 2016

Please welcome the newly elected officers for the Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences Student Association for the coming year!  They include:

  • Tirthankar Roy, President
  • Tim Lahmers, Vice President
  • Tao Liu, Treasurer
  • Mohammad Moghaddam, Social and Fundraising Chair
  • Jack Eyre, Social and Fundraising Chair
  • Erin Gray, Undergraduate Representative
  • Mekha Pereira, Undergraduate Representative

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College of Science Graduate Student Awardees for 2016

April 2016

Applause, applause! Congratulations to our 2016 College of Science Graduate Student Awardees in Scholarship, Service, and Teaching.  Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences awardees include:

  • Rodrigo Valdes (Hydrology-Teaching)
  • Ben Paras (Hydrology-Scholarship)
  • Brianna McClure (Hydrology-Service)
  • Kerrie Geil (Atmospheric Sciences-Service)
  • Timothy Lahmers (Atmospheric Sciences-Teaching)
  • Wenfu Tang (Atmospheric Sciences-Scholarships)