Dr. Siraj ul Islam earns national accolades for his PhD thesis

June 17, 2016

Dr. Siraj ul Islam may be able to glimpse into the future when it comes to improving seasonal climate forecasting.

The UNBC Environmental Science Post-Doc spent five years working on his PhD thesis (from September 2009 to April 2015) entitled “Ensemble simulation and forecasting of South Asian Monsoon.”

During that time, he implemented a new method to improve monsoon rainfall forecast using comprehensive global climate models. He used cluster computational resources of UNBC high performance lab to run simulation models.

“It can be used for any seasonal forecasting system, like what will happen in the coming winter,” said Dr. Islam. “Seasonal forecasting is important for agricultural and water resources management.”

The thesis resulted in four papers being published in the Climate Dynamics Journal – three as the lead author and one as the co-author. His PhD was supervised by Environmental Science professors Dr. Youmin Tang and Dr. Peter Jackson.

His success also resulted in accolades from the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (CMOS). On June 1 at the CMOS conference in Fredericton, N.B., he received the Tertia MC Hughes Memorial Graduate Prize for 2015. CMOS hands out only two awards every year to graduate students for their excellent thesis work.

“I am pleased, honoured and humbled to accept this award.  A very special thanks to those who nominated me and supported my nomination and to UNBC for providing me an excellent research environment. I want extend my thanks to my family and friends for their love and support throughout my stay in Prince George.”

Upon completing his PhD, Dr. Islam is now working with another UNBC Environmental Science professor, Dr. Stephen Dery as a Post-doctoral Fellow and is focusing his attention on the Fraser River Basin. In January, they collaborated on a study detailing the impacts of a rapidly declining mountain snowpack on streamflow timing in the Fraser River Basin. The study was published by the Nature Publishing Group in their journal Scientific Reports.