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Summary

I am a civil engineer with a strong background in hydrology, mathematics, statistics, probability and data analysis, and the abilities to lead and to communicate information effectively and efficiently. I am also capable of conducting research at multiple levels, working both individually or as part of interdisciplinary groups, thinking in abstract and coding in different programming languages. My main interests are extreme value analysis, probabilistic and statistical modelling of natural processes, data analysis, stochastic models applied to hydrology and eco-hydraulics.

Work experience

2018Present
University of Costa Rica (UCR)

Lecturer

  • Stochastic Hydrology (Master of Science course in Hydraulic Engineering )
2012Present
Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE)

Hydrologist

  • Hydrological and sedimentological studies for hydropower development and environmental impact assessment.
  • Adaptive (compensatory) flow studies for hydropower development.
  • Sediment management and reservoir maintenance.
  • Planning and supervision of flushing maneuvers.
  • Hydraulic modelling of river reaches using one and two dimensional models (e.g. HEC-RAS and Iber models).
  • Hydrological modelling using probability theory and data analysis methods.
  • Technical counseling to the Republic of Costa Rica Government in contentious proceedings before the International Court of Justice involving a claim of transboundary environmental damage arising from road works.
20122012
Setecoop R.L.

Hydrologist/ Hydraulic engineer

  • Hydrological studies for hydropower development.
  • Hydraulic design of small dams, intake structures, weirs, penstocks and channels for hydropower development.
  • Feasibility studies and dam site selection using Geographical Information Systems
20112011
DECH S.A.

Engineering assistant

  • Hydrological studies.
  • Land development design.
  • Storm drain and sanitory sewer systems design.
  • Irrigation and drinking water distribution systems design.
20092010
National Laboratory of Materials and Structural Models (LANAMME-UCR) - University of Costa Rica

Research assistant

  • Spatial analysis using Geographical Information Systems
  • Maintenance of the national bridge database
20082009
Seismic Engineering Laboratory (LIS-UCR) - University of Costa Rica

Research assistant

  • Earthquake mapping using GMT (Generic Mapping Tools) software.

Main projects

Change in the runoff pattern in the upper basin of the Tempisque River under climate change scenarios

Statistical down scaling of precipitation and temperature monthly time series from General Circulation Model's (GCM) was conducted via Principal Component  Analysis (PCA), Canonical Correlation Analysis (CCA) and Delta Scheme. The downscaled time series served as input to a water balance model and the change in the mean value of runoff was estimated for two different time horizons.

  • Leitón-Montero, J.J (2011). Change in the runoff pattern in the upper basin of the Tempisque River under climate change scenarios. Licentiate thesis. University of Costa Rica.

Report on hydrology and sediments for the Costa Rican river basins draining directly to the San Juan River

Conceptualizing, planning and conducting hydrological and sedimentological studies in the San Juan river basin in order to determine the average liquid and solid discharge regimes and to elaborate a detailed sediment budged for the main basin system using the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE).

  • Technical counseling to the Costa Rican legal team during the oral proceedings before the International Court of Justice at The Hague, The Netherlands (April 2015).

Methodology for the determination of adaptive flow

Regionalization of hydrological descriptors (mean annual runoff, variance, and flow duration curves) in three Costa Rican basins using the hydrostochastic interpolation approach.

  • Krasovskaia, I., Gottschalk, L., Leitón-Montero, J.J., Zuñiga-Mora, J.A. & Leblois, E. (2014). REGINA - Regionalisation of hydrological descriptors. In I. Krasovskaia & L. Gottschalk (Eds.), Compensatory Flow Phase 2: Methodology for the determination of adaptive flow - Final Report. (English edition, pp. 25-79). San José, Costa Rica: Costa Rican Electricity Institute.

Statistical analysis of multi-model climate projections with a Bayesian hierarchical model over Europe

A hierarchical Bayesian model was used to analyze seasonal temperature and precipitation projections, over the PRUDENCE regions, of the CH2018 multi-model ensemble (RCP8.5). The implementation of this model expands the work done by Kerkhoff (2014), Tay (2016) and Künsch (2017) by evaluating both temperature and precipitation variables for every region-season combination.

Posterior distributions for the parameters associated to bias assumption coefficients, climatological means, inter-annual variability, and additive bias were estimated. Similarly, climate change estimates, with respect to year 1995, were calculated for five different time horizons. A generalized pattern of variation was found for temperature along all the region-season combinations analyzed, while season dependent and region dependent patterns were identified for precipitation.

Reduction of the absolute additive bias due to dynamical scaling was evaluated by comparing the bias components associated to the RCM-GCM chains and their corresponding drivers. Results were evaluated in terms of the probabilities of having a reduction of at least 20% in the said component and region-season-chain combinations were classified based on this value.

  • Leitón-Montero, J.J. (2017). Statistical analysis of multi-model climate projections with a Bayesian hierarchical model over Europe. Master thesis. ETH Zürich

Education

2014Present
University of Costa Rica

Master's degree in Mathematics with emphasis in Applied Mathematics (currently enrolled)

  • Thesis pending
20162018
 Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich (ETHZ)

Master's degree in Statistics 

  • Master thesis: Statistical analysis of multi-model climate projections with a Bayesian hierarchical model over Europe.
20052012
University of Costa Rica

Licentiate's degree in Civil Engineering

  • Graduated with honors
  • Licentiate's thesis: Change in the runoff pattern in the upper basin of the Tempisque River under climate change scenarios.

Skills

Hydraulic modelling
  • One and two-dimensional hydraulic modelling using HEC-RAS and Iber, respectively, for river modelling and environmental impact assessment studies
Geographic information system (GIS)
  • Hydrological analysis
  • Spatial and geostatistical analysis
Statistical modelling
  • ANOVA
  • Linear models (time-series, spatial statistics)
  • Extreme value theory
  • Bayesian models
R programming
  • Data manipulation and visualization.
  • Statistical inference.
  • Multivariate data analysis.

References

Prof. Hans-Rudolf Künsch, PhD                     
Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich
Email: [email protected]hz.ch

Prof. Lars Gottschalk, PhD                     
Wuhan University
Email: [email protected]

Prof. Etienne Leblois, PhD
IRSTEA
Email: [email protected]

Prof. Colin Thorne, PhD
The University of Nottingham
Email: [email protected]

Eng. Alberto Serrano Pacheco, PhD
University of Costa Rica
Email: [email protected]

Eng. José Alberto Zúñiga Mora
Costa Rican Institute of Electricity
Email: JZunigaM@ice.go.cr