Geography PhD Students Named 2023 NASA’s FINESST

Three Geography PhD Students win a NASA Early Career Research grant.

February 1, 2024
NASA ECR patch
NASA ECR patch

We are excited to share that three of our Geography Department students have been named NASA Future Investigators in Earth Space Science and Technology in 2023, through the NASA FINESST program. The program offers funding for graduate students to develop and implement projects that align with the objectives of NASA's Science Mission Directorate. Their innovative research and commitment to advancing geographical knowledge have earned them notable recognition.

Ye Mu is a third-year Ph.D. candidate in the Climate Variations and Change (CLIVAC) lab. His proposal focuses on the low-level jet and precipitation in South America. Working with Professor Charles Jones, the research will advance our understanding of the variability and interactions between low-level jets and precipitation and their changes in response to global warming, which are important for agriculture, hydroelectricity power, water resources, and socioeconomic activities.

Conor McMahon is a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate in the Visualization and Image Processing for Environmental Research (VIPER) lab. His research under FINESST will leverage multispectral, hyperspectral, and thermal satellite imagery to interrogate long-term climatic impacts on groundwater-dependent ecosystems throughout the Southwestern United States and other global drylands.

Jean Allen is a third-year Ph.D. student in the Global Research on Vegetation Ecology (GROVE) and VIPER labs. His research will focus on applications of airborne and satellite imaging spectroscopy data for monitoring water stress and mortality risk in drought-vulnerable trees in arid ecosystems, including those in and around Santa Barbara County.

These awards are a testament to our department's innovative and impactful research. We are proud of our students' achievements and are confident that their work will significantly contribute to the field of geography.


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