Josh's interdisciplinary research introduces a new statistical model for analyzing the influence of the Pacific Ocean on local precipitation. The new statistical model can potentially be combined with other tools to help individual communities better anticipate local changes to climate. The statistical model can also be extended to analyze other remotely linked phenomena. Interdisciplinary research can be challenging to publish because it is intended for multiple audiences and often requires readers to link concepts from different scholarly disciplines.
The CSU Writes peer editing group, led by Director Kristina Quynn, included graduate students from the Departments of English and Chemistry. According to Josh, the group’s outside perspective helped him emphasize interdisciplinary contributions while narrowing the paper’s audience and main ideas. The group also improved the paper’s flow by finding and helping to revise awkward sentences. Josh plans to use the experiences with CSU Writes to help build a research career with a record of strong communication, developing statistical models and computational methods that use data to answer complex sustainability questions about climate, ecology, and the natural environment
In 2019, Josh received his PhD from the Department of Statistics at Colorado State University under the supervision of Jennifer Hoeting. Dr. Hewitt is now a Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Statistics at Duke University, where he continues to research Bayesian formulations and computing methods for hierarchical spatio-temporal statistical models.