South Asia Drought Monitor

A Streams of Thought contribution by Swamini Khurana (she/her), in conversation with Toma Rani Saha (she/her) and Pallav Kumar Shrestha (he/him)

The South Asia Drought Monitor (SADM) is a portal where people can monitor the condition of soil moisture in the South Asian subcontinent using time varying maps. SADM focuses on monitoring agricultural drought at a high-resolution (~27 km) (Saha et al., 2021). The portal transfers information from science to practice; scientific jargons are bypassed and the soil condition is presented as six categories of dryness, varying from no dryness through to exceptional drought. It is well known that drought is a creeping phenomenon that expresses itself through soil moisture which moves slowly. Therefore, in addition to monitoring, SADM also provides the opportunity to look into the near future based on current soil moisture conditions.

Caption: South Asia Drought Monitor displaying the 2009-2010 drought in the region.
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Profile Series: Aspen Anderson (she/her)

Let’s get the basics. Name, where you are from, and your current affiliation and advisor?

My name is Aspen Anderson and I am originally from Colorado, USA. I received a BSc in Geophysical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines. I am currently a Ph.D. candidate with Dr. Diana Allen at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, BC. 

What is the research you are currently working on?

My Ph.D. research focuses on fresh groundwater availability in coastal deltas. Many cities that are built on coastal deltas, like Vancouver, rely on groundwater to meet freshwater demand. My research uses numerical modeling to understand what geomorphic conditions affect delta formation and how this ultimately impacts the groundwater system.

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Profile series: Pertti Ala-aho (he/him)

Let’s get the basics. Name, where you are from, and your current affiliation, advisor and profile?

I am Pertti Ala-aho, from Oulu Finland. I am a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Oulu, Water, Energy and Environmental Engineering.

What is the research you are currently working on (projects/funding/teaching)?

My central focus is on snow isotope hydrology. I want to understand just how important snowmelt is for ecosystem water use and in recharging our water resources in groundwater and streams. Other important research themes and methods for me are numerical modeling and new snow hydrology measurement technology. My ongoing Postdoctoral Research Fellow project “Where does water go when snow melts” is funded by the Academy of Finland.

Share your experience of recent personal Academy of Finland (AOF) competitive funding you won and what would be your tips for young hydrologists applying to AOF funding.

The basis is a novel research question and a clear impact of your research, which you can articulate The basis is a novel research question and clear research impact, which you can articulate well. The competition is fierce, so you need to have an x-factor that sets you apart from other applicants. For me it was a 2-year postdoc position at the University of Aberdeen Northern Rivers Institute, which gave me a great opportunity to grow my international network and publish with some of the leading scientists in hydrology. You should find, or create, that something to raise the necessary extra interest, whatever that may be.

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The art of science communication

Gökben Demir (GD) in conversation with Sam Illingworth (he/him) and Louise Arnal (she/elle) from Consilience and ConciliARTe

Consilience is an inclusive online journal that provides space for people’s exploration between art and science. While Consilience creates a bridge between poems and science, ConciliARTe (part of Consilience) builds that connection with audio and visual arts.

Consilience special issue themed Geoscience

Gökben Demir (GD) caught up with Sam Illingworth (SI), founder of Consilience and Louise Arnal (LA), co-editor of ConciliARTe, to have a chat about how science and arts meet via Consilience and ConciliARTe.

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YHS Statement on the Russian invasion of Ukraine

We note with great sadness and worry the Russian invasion in Ukraine. We call on Russia to stop the unprovoked aggression immediately. 

Ukrainian and Russian students and early career researchers both in the conflict zones and abroad will be impacted by current events and should not be forgotten. We encourage the global scientific community to keep them in mind, and support them as much as possible in continuation of their research. The current conflict will have far reaching consequences on progress of science in both Ukraine and the world. 

We applaud the bravery of the Russian scientific community in calling out their government for the invasion.  At the same time we are deeply concerned about the cessation of research partnerships built over decades between Ukraine, Russia and the rest of the world. While all actions short of aggression should be considered to bring an end to the conflict, scientific relations should only be ceased with a heavy heart. We see science as a powerful diplomatic tool and an important step in reclaiming peace. 

We, at YHS, call for an end to violence in all forms, and stand in solidarity with all  academic and scientific communities in both countries who do so as well.

We would like to take this chance to express our solidarity with all victims of violent conflict, in any of its forms, in every part of the world. Beyond science, beyond hydrology.

Further resources for displaced scientists:

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