Experience in the 2016 Australian Climate and Water Summer Institute

By Sunny Yu, PhD Candidate in the Australian Rivers Institute

Studying in Australia for a PhD is one of the best decisions I have made. Although quite different to life in China, the more time I spend in Australia, the more I love it here.

I am so pleased to be studying at the Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University. I’ve got from my supervisors such relevant guidance and enormous supports that widen my views and sharpen my skills. It has also provided me with the opportunity to attend the 2016 Australian Climate and Water Summer Institute.

The Summer Institute is a prestigious event, which is organized by a consortium of government and research organizations, and provides a unique opportunity to work closely with peers and experts from academia and government agencies to enhance climate and water information and its practical applications.

Attracted by its high relevance to my PhD project, I decided to apply for a competitive fellowship to participate in the Summer Institute. Thanks to the encouragement and help from my supervisors (Mark Kennard, Nick Bond and Stuart Bunn), I was very pleased to be accepted into the Summer Institute.

During the first two weeks, I’ve travelled to several government and research organizations, such as the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, Geoscience Australia, the Bureau of Meteorology Head Office, CSIRO and National Computational Infrastructure Australia, where I received intensive hands-on training from experts in key data and tools and was highly impressed with the rapid development in satellite data assets, like Data Cube and Water Observations from Space, and observed and forecasted hydrological datasets, such as the AWRA –L model.

During the following four weeks, the project execution period, my project partner and I are working to convert daily runoff data from ARAW-L model to daily stream flow by using a routing process model (i.e. RAPID). This project is still undergoing and I am enjoying the collaborative work with other people.

My project partner and I discussing the schematic diagram for the project

This project provides me with relevant insights and skills in conducting a similar research in China. To my knowledge, there is a lack of water model developed to simulate stream flow at the national scale. If such models could be developed for China, it might be useful in forecasting hydrologic droughts and floods, which are the two most common natural hazards in China.

Experience in the Summer Institute is among the many benefits I received from studying in Australia. I hope there will be more collaborative works developed between the two countries in the future.

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