NASA earth sciences fellowship awarded to TTU's Ling Tang

Ling Tang, doctoral student in Tennessee Tech University's civil and environmental department, was one of 50 nationwide to receive the prestigious NASA Earth System Science Fellowship.

"The research is designed to solve the paradox of rainfall error estimation over remote regions," said Faisal Hossain, civil and environmental engineering assistant professor and Tang's adviser.

Satellite data for rainfall estimation is checked against ground data to ensure accuracy in the satellite information. However, most regions, particularly those remote and in the developing world, do not have ground information to check against the satellite reading.

Ironically, these are the regions that can benefit from satellite rainfall date most and yet they lack a ground benchmark for setting the standards on how satellite data should be used, said Hossain.

According to Tang, her proposed research, has the potential, to help people in these areas make wiser decisions on any application that require the use of rainfall, such as crop management, irrigation and flood monitoring.

She also said that successful research could flourish satellite information in these regions of the world.

"As a student coming from China, a country with a vast territory and frequent disasters, I understand deeply how the natural calamities, such as the quake-related floods that recently happened in central China, could destroy people's home and their lives," said Tang. "I hope my research on the satellite rainfall error estimation could benefit people in developing countries when these flood disasters happen."

Tang was chosen out of 200 applicants nationwide across various disciplines of earth science for her proposal on solving the paradox of rainfall error estimation over non-instrumented regions.

"Her award, being the first in Tennessee's history, is a clear testament of the increasing recognition that peers from other institutions are beginning to place on TTU's graduate program," Hossain said.

The NASA ESS program is one of the few federal programs currently open to international students.

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