Pedro Odon

 
Roland Stull
Rio de Janeiro
Brazil
International Tuition Award
 

Research Topic

Numerical weather prediction of extreme events in British Columbia

Research Group

Weather Research Forecast Team

Research Description

The high-impact events of greatest concern in British Columbia include heavy rain, strong winds, snowfalls, heat waves, and droughts.

Insurance companies' payouts for damages caused by high-impact events in the province have increased significantly since the 1980s. Economic and insured losses were beyond half a billion dollars in 2015 alone.

Additionally, BC Hydro has to make special preparations during droughts and heat waves due to record spikes in electricity demand. Furthermore, winter storms affect several of BC residents due to significant impacts on BC Hydro’s power grid.

My research involves forecasting high-impact events in BC and creating a website specifically designed for extreme weather forecasting, leading to more effective planning regarding power restoration and electricity balance due to high-impact events.

What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?

I love having the opportunity to TA. You meet students that you wouldn't have met otherwise; you meet other faculty members and learn a lot about the courses in your department.

What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?

There is a palpable feeling of citizenship here. People are genuinely concerned with the environment and societies well being. I'm mesmerized by how in general, people in province embrace this notion and try to do their part.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

UBC is a world-known and respected University. I felt I could learn a lot by coming here. Furthermore, my supervisor is a well-known scientist in Atmospheric Sciences. I thought it'd be a valuable experience to be under his tutelage.

What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?

I do research on numerical weather prediction. I've wanted to learn more about the models that forecast the weather and all the theory that goes behind it. As citizens, we get weather forecasts from the weatherman in the news, but there is so much research that goes into it. That is just the final wrapped package; I learn how make the gift!

 

Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

I love science. More specifically, I love atmospheric sciences. It is a warm feeling to sleep in on a rainy Sunday morning, but understanding all the processes and variables involved in raining uplifts the experience. I feel more connected to the planet because I understand and admire its details, and respect its complexities. Additionally, combining knowledge with improving life quality in the province is an indescribable feeling of purpose and gratitude for such an opportunity.

What do you see as your biggest challenge(s) in your future career?

Making sure I have the necessary skills to meet the job requirements.

How do you feel your program is preparing you for those challenges?

I feel I'm overly preparing! Writing scripts for data analysis was definitely one of my weak points but it seems that by the time I'm done, it'll be one of my strongest skills.

What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?

Moving around a lot internationally has helped me learn how to adapt faster to a new culture.

What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?

Ironically I'm a indoor person. I love staying home, drinking a cup of coffee with my wife and reading.

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

Get out of your office/lab or even department. There are people from all over the world with completely different life experiences. Find them and get to know them. You might learn a lot about yourself doing so.