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Ph.D. Student Invited to Present at ARWA Spring Conference

Arash Modaresi Rad, Computing Ph.D. student in the Data Science emphasis, was recently invited to speak at the American Water Resources Association (ARWA) Spring Conference in 2022. He will present findings and accomplishments from the National Water Center’s Innovators Program: Summer Institute last summer with all expenses paid.

When asked what caused him to be interested in water resources, Moderasi Rad said, “I was born in Iran and observed first-hand how drought and poor water management decisions shaped the tragic water crisis in multiple basins, rendering some regions uninhabitable. I was motivated to learn more about water cycle and how one can model such a complex process to help protect environment while having sustainable development.”

Modaresi Rad summarized his findings from the Summer Institute, “I worked on next gen National Water Model. The new model is lumped compared to its predecessor which was a physics-based, distributed hydrologic model and attempts to reduce the computational burden of the former. I worked on different formulations of the lumped model to investigate ways to improve modeled streamflow performance through having finer computational time-steps, addition of more representative soil parameters, evapotranspiration module and alternative runoff-infiltration partitioning schemes.”

Modaresi Rad then went on to share about his current research, “I am currently tackling a daunting problem: understanding anthropogenic drought drivers and provide sustainable development scenarios in a remote, poor and arid/semi-arid region, in which water resources are shared between >7.8 million people in three countries of Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan. I am using a suite of multi-satellite remote sensing imagery, global climatic data and products, and a digital elevation model, along with statistical modeling and machine learning to disentangle the impacts of upstream development and climatic changes on the fluctuation of Hamun lakes water level in Southern Asia.”

Before entering into the Computing Ph.D. program at Boise State, Modaresi Rad completed his Bachelor’s of Science and Masters of Science in Water Engineering. His advisor in the program is Dr. Mojtaba Sadegh, Assistant Professor in the Civil Engineering department. Once Modaresi Rad completes his studies, he intends to find a job in research and development.