Meet Ehsan Erfani, a PhD student in Atmospheric Sciences currently developing new methods for climate modeling and remote sensing.
What brought you to DRI?
I earned my B.S. degree in Physics and my M.S. degree in Meteorology both from the University of Tehran, Iran. I became aware of DRI by reading scientific papers by DRI researchers. DRI is internationally well-known, and has state-of-the-art research facilities. It provides unique opportunities for students to do research while they study for their graduate degree. Moreover, the climate and geographical location of Reno resembles those of my home city. After I was accepted at UNR graduate program in Atmospheric Sciences, I joined DRI as a graduate research assistant in 2012.
What are you studying? What research projects are you working on? And who at DRI are you working with?
I work under the supervision of Dr. David Mitchell. My first project was developing a partial mechanistic understanding of the North American monsoon by analyzing various satellite, rawinsonde and reanalysis data, and also performing numerical simulations by WRF model. It highlights the effect of Sea Surface Temperature in Gulf of California on the enhancement of moisture and monsoon precipitation in U.S. Southwest. The lack of such feature in global models causes biased simulated rainfall in this region. My second project involves the progress on microphysical properties of cloud ice particles and snowflakes by developing theoretical approach, analyzing ground-based and air-borne measurements, and performing numerical simulations of a snow growth model. It introduces a new method of representing the relationship between ice particle mass and dimension that is critical in the calculation of various microphysical factors such as fall velocity and effective diameter. Our method is simpler and more accurate than previous methods, and is applicable to both climate modeling and remote sensing.
What are your short-term and long-term goals while at DRI?
My short-term goals are accomplishing my research, writing and publishing the papers, and becoming graduated. My long-term goal is finding a research and/or academic job related to my research and education.
Tell us about yourself. What do you do for fun?
I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, and I remotely talk to my family members, relatives, and intimate friends that live abroad. I am also eager to know about various topics, and learn about different branches of science, history, social studies, and so on.