December 2021: Meet the AGU 20 OSPA Winners
Get to know a bit more about the 2020 winners of the Science and Society Outstanding Student Presentation Awards (OSPA).
Name: Chris Jadallah
Affiliation: University of California, Davis, School of Education
Title: PhD Candidate and NSF Graduate Research Fellow
Tell us about your science and society experiences: As a learning scientist, I study how biophysical scientists, conservation professionals, and broader publics learn from each other through joint participation in collaborative and community-based approaches to scientific research. Drawing primarily on ethnographic and participatory methodologies, my current research specifically examines the knowledge co-production processes that occur through these initiatives as they relate to dam removal and watershed restoration efforts at multiple sites throughout the Western United States, with special attention to how power asymmetries between groups structure and mediate opportunities for community participation and engagement. Practitioner resources on this topic created with colleagues at the UC Davis Center for Community and Citizen Science can be found here. Ultimately, my work carries the dual goals of honoring and leveraging the expertise found within communities as an important resource for environmental problem-solving, as well as informing the design of collaborative learning environments that value multiple knowledge systems to cultivate just, resilient, and thriving social-ecological futures.
Name: Rachel Lamb
Affiliation: University of Maryland, College Park; Maryland Department of the Environment
Title: Post-Doctoral Associate; Maryland Sea Grant State Science Policy Fellow
Tell us about your science and society experiences: I am a geographer with a long-time interest in improving connections between science and policy. Using high-resolution forest carbon sequestration data, my doctoral research focused on advancing strategic reforestation in support of climate mitigation and other social and environmental goals alongside member states of U.S. Climate Alliance and partners at NASA’s Carbon Monitoring System. In this work, I focused on the potential applications of this new science to state climate action planning and the design and implementation of tree planting commitments. I continue to lead a project looking at how this same forest carbon science could be used to advance climate action planning and monitoring among universities, especially those with land-grant designations. As a Maryland Sea Grant State Science Policy Fellow, I currently work with the Maryland Department of the Environment’s Climate Change Program to advance coordination and integration of carbon sequestration science within the State’s climate action plan, greenhouse gas inventory, and other relevant climate policies. I focus specifically on natural and working lands, including forests and blue carbon ecosystems such as tidal salt marshes. More details about my recent work can be found here, here, here, and here.
Name: Vinicius Perin
Contact: vperin[at]ncsu.edu | viniperin.com
Affiliation: Center for Geospatial Analytics, North Carolina State University
Title: PhD student
Tell us about your science and society experiences: I am a geospatial scientist with a background in agronomy, geography, and environmental science. As part of my PhD work, I am investigating how on-farm reservoirs are impacting surface hydrology. The freshwater stored by these reservoirs is essential to global irrigation. Farmers use on-farm reservoirs to store water during the wet season for crop irrigation during the dry season. There are more than 2.6 million on-farm reservoirs in the US alone. Despite their importance for irrigating crops, reservoirs can contribute to downstream water stress by decreasing stream discharge and peak flow in the watersheds where they are built, thereby exacerbating water stress intensified by climate change and population growth. We are developing methods and algorithms to leverage a multi-sensor satellite imagery approach to improve on-farm reservoir monitoring, with the aim of supporting more efficient management of the reservoirs and mitigation of their downstream impacts. Upon successful implementation, this study can help policymakers and water authorities further understand the on-farm reservoirs’ water storage changes in space and time. Therefore, this study has the potential to enhance water conservation plans by allowing better assessment and management of water quantity. The last two years of my PhD will be funded by NASA through the Future Investigators in NASA Earth and Space Science and Technology fellowship. More information on this project can be found here (including related publications).
Name: Maro Pontiki
Affiliation: University of Delaware
Title: Graduate Research Assistant
Tell us about your science and society experiences: I am a Ph.D. candidate in Civil Engineering and my research investigates the response of natural flood defense systems to extreme events. I designed two laboratory experiments and, in the summer of 2019, I scaled and constructed dunes from Mantoloking, N.J., at O.H. Hinsdale Wave Research Lab, OR, in collaboration with scientists from Texas A&M and Oregon State University. We discretized a segment of Hurricane Sandy recorded between October 29-30 in 2012 in smaller test intervals and examined the impact of the waves and the rising water levels on the beach profiles. These near-prototype physical models allowed circumvention of challenges involved in intra-storm field surveys and provided high-quality data across the dune structures. I analyze the collected records to identify the fundamental hydrodynamic and morphodynamic processes that lead to dune erosion. My overarching objective is to develop a fragility framework to assess the failure probabilities of dunes and improve risk-based decisions for coastal infrastructure damage. I am excited to make all the datasets accessible to the public as they will be an asset for coastal managers and engineers to evaluate the socioeconomic impacts of hurricane-induced coastal inundations. This research effort is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Nos. 1756714, 1756477, 1756449.