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From Legazpi to Taiwan: 2 meteorology students travel to present research on super typhoon Goni (Rolly)

May 5, 2023

With the success of his advisees’ final undergraduate thesis defense last December 16, 2022, Dr. Jason P. Punay, a faculty member of the College of Science (CS) encouraged his students, Jan Mark B. Diesta, Earl Jeffrey B. Dineros, and Henric R. Jandoc, to submit the abstract of their undergraduate research entitled “On the Evolution of Tropical Cyclone Goni (2020): Environmental Conditions, Deep Convective Clouds, Precipitation, Cloud Microphysics, and Wind Structure” for presentation in the 7th Taiwan-Philippines Earth Sciences International Conferences at Zenda Suites, near National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan on February 6 to 7, 2023.

The objectives of the conference are to provide an opportunity for earth scientists (Geophysicists, Meteorologists, Chemists, Environmental Scientists, etc.) from Taiwan and Philippines to share their science and discuss their recent findings in all aspects of earth sciences, and to provide a platform for further in-depth cooperation between Taiwan and Philippines.

Dr. Punay believe that this conference is an important opportunity for his advisees to interact with experts of the field, and for them to find research collaborators and future adviser or laboratory for graduate studies.

Additionally, this conference can also be used to gauge the level of the undergraduate BS Meteorology students of BUCS as compared to their Taiwanese counterparts. With climate change and extreme weather events becoming more prevalent, the work of meteorologists has never been more critical, and the opportunity to participate in an international forum like this conference is a significant achievement for these students, the department, and the university.

A week after the submission, the chairman of the conference, Dr. Ruey Juin-Rau of the National Cheng Kung University, accepted the abstracts of Earl Jeffrey Dineros and Henric Jandoc for poster and oral presentations, respectively. With just under a month to prepare for the conference, Dineros and Jandoc successfully managed to complete  the requirements for international travel despite unfamiliarity and inexperience with the requirements of the university’s office of student affairs and services. The preparation process was also intensive, as Dineros shared that it took him five nights to finish making the poster while Jandoc said that it took him more than a week to finish his presentation slides.

Both Dineros and Jandoc aimed at making the presentation as concise as possible while retaining the most vital information, to communicate their results efficiently. In addition, they also studied and read journal articles that are related to their topic as additional preparation for possible inquiries by the audience.

The poster presentation of Dineros is on the environmental conditions of Super Typhoon Goni (2020), which is the part 1 of the study entitled “On the Evolution of Tropical Cyclone Goni (2020): Environmental Conditions, Deep Convective Clouds, Precipitation, Cloud Microphysics, and Wind Structure, was held during the 1st day of the conference, on Feb. 6. Due to the concise nature of the poster and relevance of the topic, it garnered many Filipino and Taiwanese audience. In particular, Filipinos  from University of the Philippines Los Banos were among the first ones to inquire about the poster. Among the Taiwanese, Dr. Mong-Ming Lu, a professor from National Taiwan University’s Department of Atmospheric Sciences, also inquired a lot about the poster. Dr. Chian-Yi Liu, a research fellow from Academia Sinica, and Dr. Punay’s doctoral thesis adviser gave various insights on the results and discussion of the poster.

Meanwhile, the oral presentation of Jandoc on the second part of the study (Deep Convective Clouds, Precipitation, Cloud Microphysics, and Wind Structure), was held during the 2nd day of the conference, on Feb. 7. The presentation was clear and concise according to his thesismate Dineros, and thesis adviser Dr. Punay. Although there were no inquiries about the study during the presentation session, some Filipinos and Taiwanese have inquired during session breaks. In particular, Jandoc discussed some of the results with Marco Polo Ibanez, a science research specialist from DOST-PAGASA’s numerical modeling section, and other employees of DOST-PAGASA. 

For Earl Jeffrey Dineros and Henric Jandoc, participating as a presenter in an international conference as an undergraduate student can be a transformative experience. Presenting research at an international conference means that the student’s work is being recognized and valued by experts in the field, which can boost their confidence and motivate them to continue pursuing their research interests. Overall, this trip to Taiwan was described to be one of the best experiences of their lives so far. They both saw that even though the difference between Taiwan and Philippines was big in terms of infrastructure, facilities, and transportation, the research presented by fellow Filipinos are just as good as their Taiwanese counterparts. Both of them also realized that the skill gap between undergraduates and doctorates was huge but nevertheless, could be bridged as one gains more experience. This trip also made both students more mature and responsible, as they realized that living and studying in a foreign country could bring countless new experiences and career opportunities in the future. As for their thesis adviser, Dr. Jason Punay, he believes that with proper mentorship, BU’s undergraduate research could be at par with international researches. He also believes that the administration and thesis advisers should look at the undergraduate research with a new perspective, that is – the undergraduate thesis should not only be seen as another minimum requirement to obtain a degree but rather, it should be viewed as an opportunity to generate new knowledge that can be presented in international conferences, as these conferences are avenues to establish research collaborations and linkages. Future graduate school advisers can also be scouted at conferences. Jandoc and Dineros were the only undergraduates present in the international conference. Both expressed satisfaction with their preparations, saying that they successfully delivered their presentation and received positive feedback from the audience. The participation of these BU meteorology students at the conference demonstrates the importance of international collaboration in the field of earth science and the valuable knowledge exchange that occurs when experts come together from across the globe. The team’s passion for atmospheric science is a testament to the importance of pursuing one’s interests and continually seeking opportunities to improve oneself in the field of science.

(by Henric Jacob & Earl Jeffrey B. Dineros, BUCS students)