Jessica Eisma to advance TWIGA project at Delft University of Technology in Spring 2020
Civil Engineering PhD candidate Jessica Eisma (advised by Dr. Venkatesh Merwade) was named a recipient of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide (GROW) award. Jessica will be using the award to spend the Spring 2020 semester at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands working on the Transforming Weather Water data into value-added Information services for sustainable Growth in Africa (TWIGA) project with Prof. Nick van de Giesen.
The project aims to improve the availability and quality of weather-related data in Africa while enhancing the utility of this data for various stakeholders. TWIGA will assimilate in situ data provided by innovative, low-cost sensors and citizen scientists with satellite data to feed various weather, water, and climate models. The models will then be used to generate actionable information to be delivered to agricultural producers, insurance providers, energy providers, drinking water companies, and disaster and natural hazard managers via an internet platform.
Jessica’s PhD research focuses on understanding the local and regional ecological impacts of small-scale water harvesting structures in semi-arid regions of the world. She was previously awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Grant and a Borlaug Graduate Student Grant for Global Food Security to support one year of field work in Tanzania investigating the environmental responses to sand dams, a type of water-harvesting structure popular in the region.