The first ever Early Career Day of IAHS ICSH in Nanjing, China

A –Streams of Thought– contribution by Svenja Fischer.

For the first time in history of the International Commission of Statistical Hydrology (ICSH, former STAHY) of the International Association of Hydrological sciences, the annual conference was started with one day dedicated to the early career scientists only. At the beautiful campus at Hohai University in Nanjing, China the local organizing committee of STAHY 2019, Prof. Yuanfang Chen and Prof. Binquan Li, together with the Early Career Committee Representative of ICSH, Svenja Fischer, invited well-known statistical hydrologists to give insights in the challenges of statistical hydrology. 28 participants from 8 different countries listened to two excellent talks and actively contributed to the following Q&A session.

During the course by Salvatore Grimaldi at Early Career Day, STAHY 2019

The first talk was given by Prof. András Bárdossy (University of Stuttgart), mathematician and hydrologist as well as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Hydrology, on the topic “How to publish a statistical paper in hydrology”. He gave insight into the challenges of the writing and publishing process and how to make the difficult topic of complex statistics understandable for all readers. Take home messages from his presentation are: (1) State clearly the explanation of the choice of the method and the assumptions made, (2) Equations should be short and precise, (3) Small examples of the method help readers to understand the content and to apply the method themselves. 

The second talk was given by Prof. Salvatore Grimaldi (Tuscia University), founder and first president of ICSH, on “How to communicate statistics to the hydrological community and practice partners”. He told the early career scientists how he found his way to statistical hydrology and how complex but also how exciting statistical topics and their application in hydrology can be.

In the following Q&A session, the early career scientists could ask questions to András Bárdossy, Salvatore Grimaldi, Elena Volpi (University of Rome Tre, president-elect of ICSH), Yuanfang Chen and Svenja Fischer. The participants adopted this widely and interesting discussions arose. Many students took the chance to ask for personal advice by the speakers. But also ICSH profited very much from this day, since many of the participants decided to become members.

Participants of the Early Career Day at STAHY 2019

Due to the large success of the event, the next edition is planned for STAHY 2020 in Valencia, Spain.

As early career representative of ICSH I would like to thank the local organizing committee, especially Yuanfang Chen, for perfect organization, András Bárdossy, Salvatore Grimaldi and Elena Volpi for their great support for this event and all participants for their active contribution.

About the author:
Svenja Fischer ( is a Post-Doc at the Ruhr-University Bochum working on flood statistics and Vice-President of the IAHS (@IAHS_AISH)  International Commission on Statistical Hydrology for which she also serves as the Early Career Committee Representative.

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