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Summary

I am an engineer with a strong background and experience in hydrology, applied mathematics, statistics, and data analysis. I have excellent communication and synthesis skills, explaining abstract concepts and ideas effectively and efficiently. I am also fluent in R and have working experience with other programming languages as SQL and Matlab. My main interests are extreme value analysis, geostatistical modeling, data analysis, and data visualization.

Work experience

Lecturer

University of Costa Rica (UCR)
2018Present

Licentiate in Civil Engineering

  • IC0914 Advanced Hydrology (2020, 2021)

Master of Science in Hydraulic Engineering

  • PF3981 Stochastic Hydrology (2018, 2021)
  • PF3963 Hydrological Processes and Catchment Modeling (2020)

Master of Science in Statistics

  • SP1669 Computational Statistics (2021)

Hydrological data analyst

Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE)
2012Present
  • Statistical programming, data analysis, and visualization
  • Extreme value analysis of environmental and hydroclimatic variables
  • Time series analysis of environmental and hydroclimatic data
  • Multivariate analysis of environmental and hydroclimatic data
  • Probabilistic and stochastic modeling of hydroclimatic processes
  • Geostatistical analysis of hydroclimatic data
  • Hydroclimatic risk management using quantitative methods
  • Hydraulic modeling using numerical models.
  • Hydrological and sedimentological studies for hydropower development and environmental impact assessment.
  • Adaptive (compensatory) flow studies for hydropower development.
  • Sediment management and reservoir maintenance.
  • 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 (Route 1856).

Hydrologist/ Hydraulic engineer

Setecoop R.L.
20122012
  • 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

Engineering assistant

DECH S.A.
20112011
  • Hydrological studies.
  • Land development design.
  • Storm drain and sanitary sewer systems design.
  • Irrigation and drinking water distribution systems design.

Research assistant

National Laboratory of Materials and Structural Models (LANAMME-UCR) - University of Costa Rica
20092010
  • Spatial analysis using Geographical Information Systems
  • Maintenance of the national bridge database

Research assistant

Seismic Engineering Laboratory (LIS-UCR) - University of Costa Rica
20082009
  • Earthquake mapping using GMT (Generic Mapping Tools) software

Main projects

Bathymetric data viewer (2020)

An R Shiny app was developed to store and access the bathymetric survey maps of the Costa Rican Electricity Institute's reservoirs. The dashboard allows the user to visualize and download the bathymetric maps and the elevation-area-capacity curves for more than one hundred surveys carried out by the Hydrology Department of the Costa Rican Electricity Institute during the last 18 years.

Suspended sediment rates across the Costa Rican territory (2020)

Suspended sediment loads were estimated for more than 50 different basins across the Costa Rican territory as a request from the Central Bank of Costa Rica. Robust regression models were fit based on +18.000 sediment samples collected by the Hydrology Department of the Costa Rican Electricity Institute over the past seven decades. Then, the fitted models were used to estimate sediment production rates to serve as ground truth for the calibration of the InVEST sediment model.

The project was a collaboration between the Natural Capital Project of Standford's University, the Central Bank of Costa Rica, and the Costa Rican Electricity Institute.

Statistical analysis of hydro-power time series (2019)

More than 15 years of 5-minutes power data from a cascade hydropower system were retrieved from the Centro Nacional de Control de Energía (CENCE) and combined into several datasets. Generalized additive models were fitted and used to estimate the energy production of the downstream plant as a function of both the river discharge and the energy production of the upstream plant.

The models were used to approximate the hypothetical energy production of the downstream plant before its construction. The main objective was to assess if the current energy production values were due to a change in the operation regime of the upstream plant or due to climate variability.

Statistical analysis of multi-model climate projections with a Bayesian hierarchical model over Europe (2017)

A hierarchical Bayesian model was used to analyze the 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 with bias assumption coefficients, climatological means, inter-annual variability, and additive bias were estimated. Similarly, climate change estimates were calculated, for five different time horizons, with respect to 1995. A generalized variation pattern 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 with the RCM-GCM chains and their corresponding drivers. Results were evaluated in terms of the probabilities of reducing at least 20% in the said component, and region-season-chain combinations were classified based on this value.

Report on hydrology and sediments for the Costa Rican river basins draining directly to the San Juan River (2013-2015)

Conceptualizing, planning, and conducting hydrological and sedimentological studies in the San Juan river basin to determine the average liquid and solid discharge regimes. Building a sediment-budged for the main basin system using the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE). Analyzing +60.000 storms, 2350 sediment samples, and +60 years of hydrological data.

      Methodology for the determination of adaptive flow (2014)

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

      Change in the runoff pattern in the upper basin of the Tempisque River under climate change scenarios (2011)

      Statistical downscaling 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 (in Spanish). Licentiate thesis. The University of Costa Rica.

      Education

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

      University of Costa Rica
      2014Present

      Courses

      • Real Analysis
      • Data analysis I: exploratory methods
      • Data analysis II: predictive methods
      • Numerical methods
      • Ordinary differential equations
      • Statistics
      • Probability theory
      • Linear models
      • Stochastic processes
      • Symbolic data analysis

      Master thesis

      • Pending

      Master's degree in Statistics

      Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich (ETHZ)
      20162018

      Grade point average 5.4/6

      Courses

      • Applied statistical regression
      • Applied analysis of variance and experimental design
      • Multivariate statistics
      • Time series analysis
      • Fundamentals of mathematical statistics
      • Stochastic simulation
      • Smoothing and non-parametric regression
      • Statistical modeling of spatial data
      • Causality
      • Likelihood inference
      • Analysis of climate and weather data
      • Climate change uncertainty and risk: from probabilistic forecasts to the economics of climate adaptation
      • Eco-hydraulics and habitat modeling
      • Water resources management
      • Watershed modeling

      Master thesis

      Licentiate's degree in Civil Engineering

      University of Costa Rica
      20052012

      Grade point average 9.1/10

      Licentiate's thesis

      • Change in the runoff pattern in the upper basin of the Tempisque River under climate change scenarios (in Spanish).

      Skills

      Quantitative risk management
      • Extreme value analysis
      • Time-series analysis
      R programming
      • Data wrangling
      • Data visualization
      • Statistical modeling
      • Probabilistic modeling
      Statistical modeling
      • ANOVA
      • Generalized linear models
      • Non-parametric regression
      • Stochastic simulation
      • Geostatistical models
      • Spatio-temporal models
      • Multivariate statistics (PCA, CCA, ICA, MDS)
      • Cluster analysis (k-means, fuzzy clustering, hierarchical clustering, DBSCAN, OPTICS)
      • Hierarchical bayesian models
      Geographic information system (GIS)
      • Spatial and geostatistical analysis
      • Hydrological analysis
      • Map analysis and visualization

      References

      Prof. Hans-Rudolf Künsch, PhD                     
      Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich
      Email: hans-ruedi.kuensch@stat.math.ethz.ch
      Prof. Lars Gottschalk, PhD                     
      Wuhan University
      Email: igc_ik@telia.com
      Prof. Etienne Leblois, PhD
      IRSTEA
      Email: etienne.leblois@irstea.fr
      Prof. Colin Thorne, PhD
      The University of Nottingham
      Email: Colin.Thorne@nottingham.ac.uk

      Alexia Pacheco Hernández, MSc
      Costa Rican Electricity Institute
      Email:
      apacheco@ice.go.cr

      Berny Fallas Lópe, MSc
      Costa Rican Electricity Institute
      Email: befall@ice.go.cr

      Prof. Alberto Serrano Pacheco, PhD
      University of Costa Rica
      Email: alberto.serrano@ucr.ac.cr