Oxford Water Network: Report on Hydro-JULES Internships (2019)

By Marcus Buechel and David Crowhurst

This summer, three Oxford Water Network postgraduate students joined the inaugural eight-week Hydro-JULES Summer Student Programme in Wallingford. This summer internship allowed them to work on specific research projects related to the new Hydro-JULES programme
recently launched by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH).

The Hydro-JULES project is a Natural Environment Research Council-funded programme aiming to develop a global leading, three-dimensional, open source community model of the terrestrial water cycle. The resulting model will enable UK scientists to tackle a range of outstanding scientific questions related to hydroclimatic extremes, hydrological forecasting, and land-atmosphere feedbacks. Professor Simon Dadson from Oxford’s School of Geography and the Environment leads the project in conjunction with a range of scientific and academic partners including the Met Office, the National Centre for Atmospheric Science, and the British Geological Survey. Culminating the two-month internship, all interns received positive feedback after presenting their work at the Next Generation Land Surface and Hydrological Predictions conference on 11 September.

The Oxford interns worked on a variety of projects:

  • Olivia Becher, MSc (Water Science, Policy and Management): Flood inundation modelling in Africa: evaluating large-scale model predictions with satellite earth observation
  • Marcus Buechel, DPhil (Geography and the Environment): Developing climate and landscape change scenarios for large-scale modelling with Hydro-JULES
  • David Crowhurst, DPhil (Geography and the Environment): Deriving in situ actual evaporation from the COSMOS-UK environmental monitoring network

Thanks to this internship opportunity, they gained valuable insights and skills to advance their careers in water research and were able to be part of research that is providing a strong foundation to the new programme at CEH. For Marcus, the internship really improved his understanding of running complex earth system models and analysing large datasets. This will be invaluable as he takes his DPhil further, investigating how future climate and landcover change will impact hydrological systems in the UK. David will continue his internship in the fall and aims to publish with CEH colleagues a paper on a new evaporation data system for COSMOS-UK, which David developed during his internship. This dataset is producing the first in situ evaporation dataset from a UK environmental monitoring network. Olivia’s internship involved evaluating a global flood inundation model against earth observation data before its application in coupled studies of feedbacks between inland waters and regional climate. She plans to continue to collaborate with CEH in quantifying the risk of compound flood events in the UK through interactive model coupling.

The Hydro-JULES Summer Student Programme will return in Summer 2020, and applications will open in March 2020. More information about Hydro-JULES can be found on its website: https://hydro-jules.org/.