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Meet Graduate Researcher Saroj Dhital

  • Published in Featured Researchers

Introducing Saroj Dhital, a Ph.D. student in atmospheric science. At DRI, Dhital is working with Dr. Michael Kaplan from the Division of Atmospheric Science (DAS) to study dust storms that develop over the Sahara Desert, and the dynamics of dust transport. He is originally from Nepal.

What brought you to DRI?
I completed my master's degree in physics with a major in atmospheric physics from Tribhuvan University in Nepal. Since then, I have decided to pursue a Ph.D. in atmospheric science. I applied for this graduate program because the Desert Research Institute is one of the world's leading research organizations, performing a wide range of atmospheric research.

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What are you studying?
In my graduate program, I have studied atmospheric dynamics, weather forecasting, atmospheric turbulence, atmospheric modeling, and applied data analysis. This semester I am taking atmospheric measurement and Python programming to strengthen my skills in the field of atmospheric science.

What research projects are you working on? And who at DRI are you working with?
I am currently working with Dr. Michael L. Kaplan on a dust storm project. Our research focuses on the multi-scale dynamical analysis of dust storms that developed over the Sahara Desert at different times, and dust transport mechanisms. I will be using a Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model and a WRF-Chem (WRF coupled with chemistry) model for better understanding the dynamics of dust transport.

What are your short-term and long-term goals while at DRI?
My short-term goal for my time at DRI is to build a strong research foundation with the help of ongoing research projects and different graduate level courses. My long-term goals include the completion of my Ph.D. dissertation and involvement in atmospheric science research in the Himalayas.

Tell us about yourself. What do you do for fun?
I am from the Himalayas of Nepal, and spent most of my childhood and teenage years in the mountains. I love trekking, especially to catch scenic views of mountains. I also love to play soccer, volleyball and sometimes go swimming in my leisure time.

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