Support from the Earth and Space Fellowship program of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will enable Arizona State University engineering doctoral student Tiantian Xiang to expand her examinations of hydrological processes in North America’s monsoon region.
Xiang’s studies in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment focus on hydrosystems engineering. Her research goal is to provide insights on how to improve water resources management in semi-arid regions such as the U.S. Southwest and northern Mexico.
She is among graduate students in earth science, astrophysics, heliophysics, engineering and planetary science from throughout the United States to be selected to receive fellowship grants from the NASA program.
Almost 400 students applied for the 2015 Earth Science Research fellowship awards. Fewer than 70 have been chosen to receive them.
The program aims to help students attain the expertise necessary to join the next-generation workforce in fields NASA relies on to achieve its scientific goals.
Xiang’s winning proposal involves a project using numerical modeling and spatial analysis of remote sensing images to assess the impact of natural hydrological processes on interactions between land and the atmosphere.
Her objective is to produce findings that can be applied to developing advances in land-atmosphere modeling systems. “These modeling system can be used to predict monsoon rainfall and stream flow, which are essential information needed for water resources management,” Xiang says.
She will have a collaborator on her project from the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
She will work under the supervision of her graduate research advisor, Enrique Vivoni, an associate professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, one of ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. Vivoni is also on the faculty of the School of Earth and Space Exploration in the College of Liberal Arts and Science, and a senior scientist with ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability.
The NASA award provides $30,000 per year, plus $6,000 to be split for student and university expenses.