Degree: Ph.D. in Earth Systems Science
School: School of Environment, Arts and Society
College: College of Arts, Sciences & Education
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Oscar Guzman completed his Ph.D. while balancing being an entrepreneur and business owner.
In 2016, after experiencing a series of financial setbacks, Oscar changed the direction of his life. He’d earned a bachelor’s degree in geodesy and a master’s in meteorology in Colombia, but always had the dream of going one step further and pursuing a doctorate. After earning a Fulbright scholarship, he had his pick of different universities but went with FIU, his top choice.
Oscar wanted his research to have broader, more far-reaching impact, and to gain a comprehensive knowledge about Earth as an intricate system. FIU’s Ph.D. in Earth Systems Science was the perfect fit.
Under the guidance of Haiyan Jiang, Oscar studied something many in South Florida know very well — hurricanes. By examining NASA satellite imagery dating back to 1998, he was able to quantify the amount of rain produced by nearly 2,000 hurricanes. Overall, he found precipitation had increased one percent per year. Accumulated over two decades, that’s a tremendous amount of water for coastal cities. His findings have been published in important academic journals, including Nature, where his research was selected to be featured by the editors’ highlights. Only a small percentage of papers receive this sort of acknowledgement.
While working on his Ph.D., Oscar also made time to run his business, a geospatial services company that creates maps — like those on a cell phone.
After graduation, Oscar will work as a postdoctoral scientist in Jiang’s lab. He’ll also be focusing on growing his business.
By Angela Nicoletti
College of Arts, Sciences & Education