Grad Student Poster Earns Viewer’s Choice Award

Vesta Afzali Gorooh

Nov. 5, 2019 - Graduate student Vesta Afzali Gorooh’s poster presentation at the American Meteorological Society’s 2019 Joint Satellite Conference in October won the Viewer’s Choice Award. The conference, attended by more than 700 people, was co-organized by the AMS Committee on Satellite Meteorology, Oceanography, and Climatology; European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites; and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Afzali Gorooh’s poster presentation explained her efforts to classify clouds using deep-learning techniques and enhanced global satellite precipitation estimates. “Clouds are one of the least known elements of the atmospheric components of the Earth and play a crucial role in a wide range of hydrometeorological and engineering applications,” said Afzali Gorooh, a third-year doctoral student in civil and environmental engineering. “Recent developments in satellite technologies along with advanced machine-learning techniques and computational power provide great opportunities to create near real-time data-driven models that characterize cloud types and their precipitation potentials.”  

UC Irvine Distinguished Professor Soroosh Sorooshian, director of the Center for Hydrometeorology and Remote Sensing, is Afzali Gorooh’s adviser; her co-advisers are CEE Professor Kuo-lin Hsu and Phu Nguyen, assistant adjunct professor.

Originally from Iran, Afzali Gorooh focused her master’s degree research on the impact of climate change on Iran’s water resources. One of four recipients of the 2017-18 UCI Maseeh Graduate Fellowship, funded by Orange County entrepreneur and philanthropist Fariborz Maseeh, she expressed appreciation for her benefactor. “I am grateful for the support from Dr. Maseeh, whose generous gift gave me the opportunity to come to UCI and follow my dream of pursuing graduate studies,” she said.

Afzali Gorooh also was funded by NSF to attend the 2019 American Meteorological Society Summer Policy Colloquium and most recently, was awarded an AMS student travel grant to attend the 100th AMS Annual Meeting in Boston, in January 2020.

– Lori Brandt