Student Spotlight: Karem Belen Meza Capcha

July 26, 2021

July 26, 2021 — Meet Karem Belen Meza Capcha, a first-year PhD student in the college's irrigation engineering program. Meza also is pursuing a graduate specialization/minor in climate adaptation science, or CAS, sponsored by a National Science Foundation fellowship. Originally from Huancayo, Peru, Meza worked as a research assistant for several years, and after completing her PhD, she hopes to work as a researcher or extension program leader.

Karem is an irrigation engineering PhD student with a passion for climate adaptation science and flying drones.

Karem is an irrigation engineering PhD student with a passion for climate adaptation science and flying drones.

Q: Why did you choose to attend USU?
A: I choose USU because the Utah Water Research Lab provides limitless opportunities and great facilities, from professional programs and research projects related to irrigation and remote-sensing topics in urban and agricultural areas. Also, USU has the renowned AggieAir program, which focuses on new technologies for use remote-sensing research.

Q: What can you tell us about your research?
A: I am currently working under the supervision of Drs. Alfonso Torres and Lawrence Hipps. We are quantifying evapotranspiration drivers in an urban environment where it's challenge to apply traditional energy and water balance approaches. We study the potential adaptation of energy balance models for urban green spaces using an eddy covariance flux tower, unmanned aircraft system (drones, for example), and satellite information.

Q: What is your favorite class?
A: My favorite class was Remote Sensing of Land Surfaces. This class motivated me to explore more about image processing with open sources and programing using Python and JavaScript.

Q: Are you involved in any clubs or student organizations?
A: Currently, I am a fellow of the Climate Adaptation Science traineeship program. I will start the training this coming fall, attending classes throughout the year and doing an internship next summer. Also, I am a trainee at AggieAir and am being trained to fly an unnamed aircraft system.

Q: What are your hobbies?
A: Traveling and hiking

Q: What topic do you wish more people would learn about?
A: Climate adaptation.

Q: What is the best thing you’ve read in the past month?
A: I have been reading “Dream Big” by Bob Goff. .

Q: What is the most exciting thing you have done in 2021?
A: Start my PhD studies at USU!

Q: What’s your favorite place you’ve ever visited?
A: Iguazu Falls in Brazil.

Q: Favorite food?
A: Ceviche, a famous dish from the coast of Peru.

Q: Favorite holiday?
A: Christmas, because I usually travel and spend time with family.