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Jerry Jien has been studying Environmental Science at UTSC since 2004, starting with an undergraduate degree, completing his Masters and now pursuing a PhD

Hi. My name is Jerry Jien and I'm a PhD student in Environmental Science at UTSC. I started studying here in 2004 - first doing my undergraduate degree in Environmental Science, then my Masters and now I'm still here doing my PhD. I've always been passionate about the environment but it wasn't really until my third year that I decided to pursue the field. I never actually thought I'd pursue any PhD program but while I was working as a graduate assistant for the Department Chair and Vice-Dean William Gough, I learned about the school's new PhD in Environmental Science. His work on climate change really inspired me to make up my mind to apply, considering my interest in the topic.

I've really enjoyed my time at UTSC. I always feel like I belong here and am needed. From the school administrators and faculty to the students, I feel I'm really connected with people on campus. Especially after meeting with professors and lecturers from the Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences, I thought: these are the kind of life-long mentors I would want to learn from.

All of the students in the program greatly benefit from the many all-star-researchers who are at the forefront of conducting scientific research in their respective fields and from the multidisciplinary approach at UTSC. The program applies techniques and knowledge from the fields of Geography, Chemistry and Physics, drawing students with similar interests from different backgrounds. We might have different areas of research that we're focused on, but after years of studying different disciplines as undergrads, it's nice to be with a group of students who are all equally passionate about the environment in one way or another.

So for me, it seemed a natural fit. Growing up in Taiwan, we always had to deal with severe typhoons - what we call hurricanes here. Natural disasters like landslides and floods associated with the influence of typhoons are disastrous to the livelihood of the local population. So I'm motivated to contribute to a better understanding of the physical process pertaining to the development, distribution and movement of tropical cyclones (TCs).

That's why my research of interest is the interrelated climate and meteorological phenomenon of TCs. I'm particularly interested in the effect of climate change on the intensity, duration and the frequency of TCs originated from the Eastern North Pacific basin. As all good researchers, I'm seeking external collaboration with interested individuals who share the same research interest.

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