People

Current Members

Dr. Josué Medellín-Azuara,
Acting Associate Professor

Josué Medellín-Azuara is an Associate Professor of Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Merced. He is also an Associate Director of the UC Agricultural Issues Center, and an Adjunct Research Fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California. His areas of expertise include the development of large-scale hydro-economic models for water supply, the economics of agricultural, environmental and urban water uses, adaptation to climate change, integrated water management, and consumptive water use. He has a special interest in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and other areas of California. Josué’s expertise also includes economic impact studies with an emphasis on the agriculture-related sector. He has experience working for industry and as a consultant for government agencies, NGOs, industry, and academia including the Natural Heritage Institute, the Stockholm Environment Institute, The World Bank, the Catholic University of Chile and the University of Rio Grande do Sul. Josué has served as an official for the California Water and Environmental Modeling Forum since 2013. Josué has degrees in engineering, business and economics, and he obtained his Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis with a dissertation on managing water in the Colorado River.

Curriculum Vitae (Download)


Dr. Angel S. Fernandez-Bou,
Postdoctoral Scholar

Angel S. Fernandez-Bou works on multidisciplinary projects to preserve resources and habitat for society and nature. His focus is on finding solutions for Biosystems challenges that require combinations of Engineering, Environmental, and Socioeconomic approaches. His current research on Water Systems multi-benefit scenarios to fulfill the water needs He also works to democratize scientific knowledge by developing low-cost devices for environmental monitoring, and he has coordinated tens of outreach programs to teach science and engineering topics to children in the Central Valley. He has experience in teaching higher education courses about Engineering Economic Analysis, Hydrology and Subsurface Hydrology, and Capstone Engineering Design.

Angel S. trilingual in English, Portuguese, and Spanish, holding a PhD in Environmental Systems from the University of California, Merced, a MSc in Biosystems Engineering and Water Resources from the Fluminense Federal University (Brazil), and a BEng in Agricultural Engineering from the Polytechnic University of Madrid (Spain). 


Dr. Jina Yin,
Postdoctoral Scholar

Jina Yin received a PhD degree in Civil Engineering from Louisiana State University in December 2019. Her research focuses on multi-scale groundwater flow model and saltwater intrusion model, multi-objective water resources management optimization and model
uncertainty quantification using Bayesian framework. She has a special interest in finding Pareto optimal solutions for water system management by developing machine learning surrogates on High Performance Computing together with multiple programming languages. Her current work is about water allocation identification for irrigated agriculture in California’s San Joaquin Valley using integrated hydrologic model, hydro-economic and statistical modeling under water scarcity. Furthermore, she is very interested in assessing climate impact and human stress on
agricultural adaptation and subsurface system response. She would like to investigate how is supply-demand-driven agricultural adaptation at scales relevant to water-management decisions by conjunctive use of surface water and groundwater. She is committed to academic work and actively participates in research meetings. Besides, she has experience in teaching Hydrology and Reservoir Optimization Design in her graduate studies. She enjoys working in a team environment and interacts with a range of colleagues.


Jina Yin holds a M.S. and B.S. in Xi’an University of Technology, China. In her spare time, she likes hiking and playing badminton. She also enjoys traveling with her families.


Dr. Mahesh Maskey,
Postdoctoral Scholar

Mahesh Lal Maskey has a Doctorate in Hydrologic Sciences from the University of California, Davis (UC Davis). He held several lead teaching assistant positions in undergraduate and graduate-level courses, including Physical Hydrology, Systems Hydrology, and the Principles of Hydrologic Modeling. For his Ph. D. research, he was delighted to study the usage of the Fractal-Multifractal (FM) method, a novel geometric approach to model hydrologic signals, such as rainfall, streamflow, and temperature. Further, he envisions the use of the FM ideas he refined in investigating several other natural phenomena in the nexus of climate, energy, and food. Beyond his dissertation, his expertise is on multidisciplinary theoretical and applied research on agriculture, irrigation, crop modeling, and climate models, together with intensive skills in multiple programming languages. He believes that integrating diverse information into a single computational platform is critical to investigate natural systems and better develop adaptation strategies to climate change in the context of the climate-water-energy-food nexus.  In this spirit, he is also interested in developing and refining hydrological models that suit diverse communities under different climate projections. Furthermore, he wants to expand his horizon in investigating economic and social value of natural resources like air, water, and land impacted by ongoing climate changes. Having both academic and industrial experience, he enjoys the challenges that are posed when conducting research in an interdisciplinary setting to develop a concrete scientific agenda. He is committed to scholarly work at the highest level, performing research, and disseminating it to diverse communities in an all-inclusive way.

His education background also includes two Master of Science degrees: Hydroinformatics from the UNESCO-IHE, The Institute for Water Education from the Netherlands (Delft) and Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Iowa. Primarily, he was a civil engineer certified by a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the Tribhuwan University of Nepal (Lalitpur).


Jorge Valero,
PhD Candidate

Jorge Valero is a Ph.D. student of Environmental Systems at the University of California, Merced. He was a Civil Engineer at the Universidad Industrial de Santander (2004) and a M.Sc in Hydro Systems (2008) at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, both in Colombia. His research interests include hydraulics, simulation of hydrological processes, simulation of aqueducts and sewer systems, watershed management, GIS, and geostatistics.


José M. Rodríguez-Flores,
PhD Candidate

José Rodriguez is a Ph.D. student in the Environmental Systems program at University of California, Merced. José obtained his B.S and M.S in agricultural economics at Universidad Autónoma Chapingo and Colegio de Postgraduados, México. His research interests include water resource management, hydro-economic models, agricultural economics and water resource policy.


Alexander Guzman,
Jr. Research Specialist/Lab Manager

Alex Guzman is a researcher in the Water Systems Management lab at University of California Merced. He holds a B.S. in Earth Science from University of California, Santa Barbara. Alex was introduced to UC Merced as a part of the UC Water Academy class of 2018. His research interests include water resource policy & management and system modeling.


Spencer Cole,
Jr. Research Specialist

Spencer Cole graduated from the University of California, Merced with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering in 2019. He began working with the Water Systems Management Lab in 2018 as an undergraduate assistant. His research interests include water resource management, agricultural modeling, behavior-driven optimization, sustainable materials development and spatial analysis in environmental systems.


Humberto Flores,
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Humberto Flores is an undergraduate student pursuing a degree in Environmental Engineering. He transferred to University California Merced from Santa Rosa Junior College. His primary interests are climate change, water resources management & policy, water availability, and the water-energy nexus.


Zhiyu (Chris) Yan,
Visiting PhD Student

Zhiyu Yan is a visiting student from Dalian University of Technology, China (DUT, http://www.dlut.edu.cn/). He is now a third-year Ph.D. student, whose research interests include optimization of hydro-power system operations and coordination of large-scale hydro-thermal-wind power systems.


Past Members

Ulises Yepiz Yepez,

Ulises Yepiz Yepez was an undergraduate student pursuing a degree in Earth Systems and Sciences at the University of California, Merced and an undergraduate researcher for the Water Systems Management Lab. His interests include GIS, agricultural production, and water resources management. He currently works for UC Merced Sustainability.


Selina Davila-Olivera,

Selina graduated from UC Santa Cruz in 2017. She was a Jr. Research Specialist for the Water Systems Management Lab. She currently works for USGS.