This text is intended to help student candidates in our research group to better understand our work philosophy, our vision for the future, and what to expect when joining our group.
Our work philosophy is based on scientific research, focused on finding answers to 21st century environmental problems and publishing results in international journals of high editorial standard. Our research is interdisciplinary, focusing on interactions between various sciences, such as climatology, hydrology, ecology and agronomy, among others. Our working methods include modeling, field-observed data analysis, geospatialized database construction and analysis, and remote sensing, with emphasis on the former.
Candidates for graduate students should keep in mind that they are expected to publish their research in the world's leading scientific journals. To have his scientific production published in high editorial journals is an indication of the high quality of the research developed, guaranteed by the reputation of the scientific society that publishes the journal, its editor and anonymous reviewers.
Part of our work involves getting students into science, training masters, doctors and postdocs.
The goal of the doctorate is to effectively train the scientist, emancipating him to pursue his academic career independently. This emancipation process includes achieving two goals:
(a) prepare at least two complete research projects (usually one during the master's degree and one during the doctorate);
The objective of the master's degree is to start the scientific formation of the future scientist. It is necessary to measure the complexity of the research to be developed with the scholarship provided by the funding agencies (usually 24 months). Thus, each master student is expected to write only one complete scientific paper, and submit it for publication in a scientific journal.
(b) The student should be able to independently perform the publication of scientific articles in international journals, which typically includes research, data analysis, article drafting, article review (which usually includes rewriting 6 to 15 times), respond to reviewers in an acceptable manner, prepare all figures and illustrations in their final form, and review the preprints of the article. Independence is only achieved by repeating this whole process several times, until the presence of the advisor is no longer needed. Although the number of times this process should be repeated varies from scientist to scientist, I believe that three published articles is the minimum necessary to reach this level, although this number may be higher if the student publishes in two languages, such as Portuguese and English. Therefore, I recommend that each PhD student carry out research that will make him / her publish at least two articles, which, added to the Master's article, total three articles. In our research group, we recommend and encourage our PhD students to write their thesis in English.
On the other hand, the postdoctoral goal is to consolidate the scientist's scientific career. Postdoctoral activities are generally considered to be the activities of the newly PhD in the first five years after the completion of the doctorate. During this period the new doctor should consolidate his academic independence by learning to:
(a) Fully achieve independence in the publication of articles, with the co-authorship of the advisor gradually becoming less important until completely unnecessary;
(b) Initiate evaluations to contextualize their scientific production on the international stage. That is, to go beyond merely publishing by publishing, to have its own line of research; stop conducting research of a purely confirmatory character and seek innovative and unpublished research; stop worrying about the number of publications and start worrying about citations and the impact your publications are having.
Finally, there are some minimum skills that a graduate student should have to better fit the guidelines above and my lines of research. These skills include:
(a) Training in the area of environmental sciences with strong physical-mathematical-computational basis - such as Meteorology, Environmental Engineering, Agricultural and Environmental Engineering, etc. - or other courses with a strong physical-mathematical-computational, or biological-mathematical-computational basis such as Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Engineering in general, Biology or Ecology, among others. Note that the ability to master knowledge in other branches of environmental science is very important.
(b) Strong knowledge of computers, especially Unix / Linux operating system and Fortran programming language, as well as basic Windows / text editor / spreadsheet / presentations / illustrations.
(c) Ability to read and write in English. Reading the book Style - "Ten Lessons in Clarity and Grace, by Joseph M. Williams" is critical.
(d) Some group members may have to master geoprocessing software and languages. We have our own high performance geoprocessing philosophy where depending on the size of the application, problems are solved in Geographic Information Systems, Linux scripting using CDO or NCO, NCL - NCAR Command Language scripting scalar or parallel processing in Fortran90, and for really heavy problems, cloud processing using Earth Engine.
We are aware that selecting a graduate student with all of the above characteristics is virtually impossible, and acquiring all these skills is part of postgraduate training. On the other hand, candidates who can demonstrate competence in the above skills and have a good academic record may benefit from the postgraduate selection process.
We generally recommend that members of our group have basic Linux training, Fortran programming, scientific data visualization using NCL, and geoprocessing. We offer online courses at the UFV Distance Learning Center for members to obtain this training.
Regarding our lines of research for the coming years, we have the following vision of the future:
Over the next 5 years, we intend to develop the tools needed to make integrated modeling of environmental systems a reality in Brazil, while we intend to use these tools to study emerging environmental problems in Brazil. Our goals focus on three areas:
1. Training of qualified professionals to develop high level environmental modeling activities.
These training activities are divided into two, including in-depth training of masters, doctors and scientists through mentoring graduate and postdoctoral students, and extensive student initiation into modeling activities through level extension courses. basic or intermediate.
2. Development and testing of integrated models of environmental systems
For the past five years, we have been working on developing INLAND, an integrated model of near-surface environmental processes. While most development and integration activities were completed in 2013, we plan to continue to work on developing and testing this model in the coming years.
3. Studies of interactions between climate, hydrological, ecological and agricultural systems.
Using the integrated models we developed, plus other models, and the construction and analysis of databases, we study the interactions between climate, hydrological, ecological and agricultural systems in order to generate the science needed for a sustainable biosphere. In this context, our research enters several disciplines, such as Hydroclimatology, Ecohydrology, Ecosystem Ecology, Agricultural Climatology, Biogeochemistry, among others. We have been studying typical environmental problems of the 21st Century, such as the influence of deforestation on climate, water resources and agricultural activity, the effect of climate change on water resources, ecosystems and agricultural activity, various aspects of the carbon cycle, and aspects of sustainable agriculture and food security.
Updated May 2, 2018