2020 - 2021 Global Change Fellow
Statement of purpose:
I am a third year Ph.D. student under the supervision of Dr. Sankar Arumugam in the department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering at NC State University (NCSU). I am interested in understanding the interdependence of different systems on each other, for example: food, energy and water resources systems. Climate change will impact the availability of water resources and adaption will require innovative solutions. My long term goal is to be an academician and work with government authorities and other water users to tackle these water scarcity issues.
Description of research:
In my previous work at NCSU, I have studied the role played by climate on crop productivity across the United States for major crops. Based on the insights from that work, I am currently setting up a crop growth simulation tool called AquaCropOS for 6 major crops for the Flint River basin in the Southeast US. I am also setting up a hydroeconomic model using Positive Mathematical Programming framework. This model takes the inputs from AquaCrop along with other variables and maximizes the regional agricultural profits whilst minimizing the input resources. The near-term climate forecasts hint at increased temperatures and reduced summer precipitation in the southeast United States. This would result in major adaption challenges in the agricultural sector as reduced water resources would increase the competition between different water users. I wish to investigate several crop management scenarios under near term climate change. Along with this work I am also studying the impact of dams on river health on a basin scale as part of USGS Powell Center’s Budyko framework synthesis group.