Featured DRI Graduate Students

Noah Fraser, Mar. 2013 Featured DRI Graduate Student

march-featured-grad-noah-fraser-thbMeet Noah Fraser, a Ph.D student in hydrologic sciences. His current area of study involves utilizing high resolution datasets of ephemeral streams to analyze flooding in non-instrumented river basins across the Southwestern U.S.

What brought you to DRI?

My wife and I moved to Reno four and half years ago to live in place with great outdoor adventures and an eclectic lifestyle. Working as a hydrologist in the area for two years gave me a great appreciation for the complexity of hydrologic systems in this region.  When it was time to return to school to pursue my Ph.D., DRI was a natural fit for me.

What are you studying? What research projects are you working on? And who at DRI are you working with?

I am using a wonderful dataset of high resolution ephemeral stream hydrographs that was part of a study done by my advisor, Rina Schumer. We are looking at flooding in ephemeral streams. These streams make up over 80 percent of the stream network in the southwestern U.S., but very few are instrumented. With statistical techniques - including multivariate analysis and copula modeling, along with other techniques like spline curves - we are working on transferring of flood characteristics to ungaged basins.  Justin Huntington (here at DRI) and Rich Niswonger (at the USGS) are also involved in advising this research.

What are your short-term and long-term goals while at DRI?

My short term goals include finishing my Ph. D. and doing more collaborative work with DRI scientists.  Eventually I would love to stay in Nevada. If my research direction fits with DRI goals then I could see myself potentially working at DRI in the future.

Tell us about yourself. What do you do for fun?

march-featured-grad-noah-fraser-river-thbI moved to Reno to be able to whitewater kayak every day after work.  When I am not kayaking you can find me mountain biking, skiing, bouldering, trout fishing, standup paddle boarding, hiking, traveling, surfing, playing classical guitar, and brewing beer.  Sports are also important to me, especially college football - “Go DAWGs”.

What problem in the world would you like to solve? And if given the chance and unlimited resources, how would you go about solving it?

As a person who spends all my time working in hydrology and free time on the river somewhere in the world, I have seen the devastation that flooding can cause.  With the amount of digital data available now for the whole world, it would be possible to conduct flood studies at the global scale.  We could work with developing countries that have no information on potential flooding.  A project of this scale with unlimited budget could to help save property and lives. 

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