Walter Yerk

Graduate student
Drexel University
Philadelphia, PA

What led you to Earth and Space science?

I remember that as early as in the elementary school I became fascinated by flow of water and grandiose posture of trees. Walking through a forest I was imagining how the small rills coalesce and eventually become the mighty Volga river. Then later I saw a sea and realized that oceans rule the planet; it led me to my Oceanography degree.

How long have you been a member of AGU and why did you join?

I’ve been a member for three years. I joined because I wanted to be an active member of the geoscience community, and I also liked the online resources offered by AGU.

What are you working on now?

Now I’m pursuing a doctorate degree in water resource management. My research interest is urban ecohydrology – an interdisciplinary study of interaction of plants and water flow. I am studying how a vegetated canopy partitions rainfall into throughfall which reaches the ground and a vapor flux which returns into atmosphere. This interaction known as interception is an important ecosystem process, or service, that regulates watershed hydrology. In a city with its enormous impervious surface interception is one of the processes which reduce the adverse effect of runoff. The aim of my study is to understand which specific physical mechanisms are responsible for surprisingly high levels of interception in urban setting.