A Civil Engineering and Environmental Science graduate student and National Science Foundation fellow has been awarded $90,000 to study flash flood prediction methods.
Gina Hodges’s goal is to better predict and monitor flooding to save lives and property. She is marrying her experience in two disciplines: meteorology and hydrology. The NSF fellowship award is for $30,000 a year for three years. Her research topic is “Prototyping a Flash Flood Prediction System Using Next Generation Radar Observations and Stormscale Rainfall Forecasts.”
Hodges was motivated by the flooding events of Spring 2010 in the United States. Those storms specifically impacted Nashville, Arkansas and Oklahoma City. She is working toward her master’s degree in water resources engineering.
The goal for her study is to develop and demonstrate a system that will increase the forecast lead time and identify specific locations about to be impacted by flash floods, said Jonathan Gourley, co-advisor to Hodges and research hydrometeorologist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Severe Storms Laboratory.
Hodges’s other adviser, Yang Hong, said that her research is part of the end-to-end, high impact event prediction system development that integrates meteorology, weather radar remote sensing and hydrological modeling approaches. Hong is an associate professor in Civil Engineering and Environmental Science and an adjunct professor in Meteorology.
She is considering potentially pursuing a Ph.D. and is active with the Women of Science Conference.