From the left: Prof. Burt Jones, Prof. Suzana Nunes, Jorge Rosas, and Prof. Matthew McCabe.
On November 11th, Jorge Rosas, a Ph.D. student under the supervision of Prof. Matthew McCabe, successfully defended his thesis entitled "Advancing the Utility of Thermal Remote Sensing in Irrigated Arid-Lands Agriculture." The research aims to improve estimates of Land Surface Temperature (LST) over irrigated arid-lands. LST gives information on how hot (or cold) the "surface" of the earth would feel to the touch in a particular location. It plays a crucial role in the energy balance of the planet, tracking climate change and water stress, among several other applications.
Rosas received his undergraduate degree in Engineering Physics at the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) in Mexico, and a master's degree in environmental science and Engineering from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). As he was finishing his MSc, Rosas got interested in Prof. McCabe's research about the possibility of using satellite and drone observations to monitor the earth and in particular, to predict crop water use; thus, he joined WDRC and the Halo Lab in 2011.
As with most postdoctoral students, Rosas agrees that dealing with the unexpected could be one of the biggest challenges in doing research. But despite the many things that were not going his way, he maintained that staying positive and focused the whole time made all the difference. "I would like to thank my advisor, Prof. Matthew McCabe, for his constant support throughout my time at KAUST. I would also like to extend my gratitude to KAUST for the life-changing opportunity to live, study, and conduct research in a formidable campus, and to my friends and colleagues in the WDRC for providing me with an excellent working environment." was Rosas' parting message.
Rosas now works as a senior research manager for a company in Bahrain.