Jordan Pino has been interested in climate and weather ever since he was a young child. “I remember, growing up right here in Baton Rouge, experiencing many hurricanes. Ever since then I have become fascinated with them.” Pino graduated from the College of Humanities & Social Sciences with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Geography in December 2013. After completing his undergraduate degree in only three and a half years, Pino jumped straight into pursuing his master’s in Geography in the spring of 2014 with a focus in Climatology.
Based on his interest in climatology and hurricanes, Pino sought a student worker position at LSU’s Earth Scan Laboratory (ESL) as a sophomore. The ESL is part of the Coastal Studies Institute, an organization that brings together five colleges throughout LSU for interdisciplinary research in coastal issues. Under the guidance of the ESL’s Director, Dr. Nan Walker, Pino was able to work on several important research projects throughout his undergraduate career including researching the BP Oil Spill, hurricanes, and the climate. Learning to use the resources of the ESL has enhanced Pino’s education. “My undergraduate research strengthened my abilities to critically analyze and evaluate information.”
Pino found a mentor in Dr. Robert Rohli of the Geography & Anthropology Department, who recognized the unique skill set afforded Pino by his undergraduate research, such as his programming and climate analysis experience. Dr. Rohli believes that “undergraduate research is important because it gives students the opportunity to synthesize knowledge and skills acquired from different courses, faculty/staff, and their own experiences to address issues and answer questions from their unique perspective.” He sees undergraduate research as a significant advantage for students entering the workforce or pursuing advanced degrees. “Experiencing the research process helps undergraduates to think creatively, logically, analytically, and critically, and to communicate their findings clearly and fairly, just as they will be expected to do in graduate school and the professional world.”
“My thesis topic seeks to understand the influence that ocean thermal structure and translation speed have on the intensification of tropical cyclones”. As Pino continues his graduate studies he credits his research experience with providing him the confidence to continue his education. “Undergraduate research allows students to find their niche. It can open up many doors and help undergraduates find their true passion.” Upon graduation in the fall of 2015, Pino will further his graduate studies with a Ph.D. in Climatology at Texas A&M University.