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Nazimul Islam (The Dream Chaser)

Hi, I am Nazimul Islam, a geographer and a traveler, heading towards completing my PhD in Geosciences. I love tree-ring dating and I am always very much passionate about measuring tree ring widths from both living and dead trees which allow me to be called a dendrochronologist. I would like to welcome you to my website on my studies, research interest and places I travel. Being a believer of the proverb 'time and tides wait for none', I do agree and have experience that ours lives constantly flow like rivers. 

I belong to a small city called 'Cooch Behar' located in the state of West Bengal, India where I born, brought up and spent 17 years (1993-2010) before I moved to Kolkata (capital of West Bengal) for pursuing my graduate (BSc) studies. I lived in this metropolitan city for three years and again moved to the capital of India, i.e. New Delhi and pursued my Postgraduate studies (MSc and PG Diploma) for another three years (2014-2017). After I had finished my studies in India, I shifted to England for higher studies to acquire specialised trainings on the domain of mountain hydrology and natural hazards (e.g. glacial lake outburst floods, landslides).

I lived in Leeds, UK from September 2017 till January 2019 during which I pursued my second Masters (MSc) in River Basin Dynamics and Management with GIS from the School of Geography, University of Leeds and then I returned back to my home country where I have worked for one and a half years at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur as a Junior Research Fellow (JRF) before moving to Switzerland for pursuing the Doctoral Research (PhD) in Geosciences, focusing on dendrochronology (i.e. tree-ring dating and stable isotopes) at the Institute of Earth Surface Dynamics (IDYST), University of Lausanne.

Motivations to study Physical Geography

Being very passionate about mountains, glaciers and rivers, I developed an interest in Glacio-fluvial geomorphology and flood risk management. I strongly believe that 'Why', 'How' and 'When' are the three most important querying words which express mankind's unquenchable thirst of knowledge, and they have laid the foundation of sciences, whether it be natural sciences or social sciences; These queries have helped us to find answers and solutions to problems throughout history from the domestication of the fire to Darwin's Theory of Evolution; from the Cyclic Theory of Erosion by W.M. Davis to the landing on the Moon and so on. For me, curiosity and critical thinking are crucial in understanding our world and I too share this curiosity often.

A river (Torsa River) flows near my house and in my childhood, I always used to wonder where it comes from, what are the reasons behind its continuous flowing and most importantly how can this natural feature with outstanding natural beauty turn into the giant river and flooded our locality. Later on, this personal interest naturally led me to geography and in an instant, I fell in love with the subject.  Geography has inspired me from a young age and I do believe, growing up in the Indian Himalayan foothills has had an important role to play in this. For me, this country's geography cannot fail to create a marked impression on a young mind, particularly the Himalayan part of the Country, the peaks of which dramatic landscape I could see from after in fascination from my home.

My passion for geography was enhanced further during my graduate level studies, where I studied various natural processes and felt interested in hydrological processes in fluvial systems and occurrence of floods in particular, and have started gaining knowledge about behaviour, morphology and the dynamics associated with riparian landscapes and the mechanisms of flooding.

Main Research Interests:

I am fascinated by the morphology and hydrological processes of fluvial systems and their dynamics of changes that occur over time which generate devastating natural hazards. My research interests lie on the River Basin Management with the major focuses on glacial hydrological processes (e.g. snow, glaciers melt and their role in surface runoff, Glacial Lake Outburst Floods and their downstream risks), fluvial processes (e.g. sediment transport, river bank erosion, river meandering, formation of braided rivers) in the Himalaya under the present and future climate change scenario for disaster risk reductions.

My research mind often becomes curious to find the solutions of problems which the local people in the mountain regions (particularly in the Himalayas) have been facing from many decades. I always passionate about the natural environment as I am fascinated by the outstanding natural beauties of Himalaya from my young age and my interest for doing PhD research has been started since my undergraduate days when I studied geography as the core subject which I believe finally let me to enter into the doctoral research arena. By considering myself as a promising and responsible doctoral researcher, I am very confident that my PhD project is going to make a significant contribution to the understanding the role of high mountain glaciers on streamflow and under the the past and present climate change scenarios and assess their possible risks in the future climate projections in the Himalayas, Alps and in other mountain regions. To answer some of my specific research questions, I am keen to utilise my geospatial and hydrological modelling skills using a range of software, modelling approaches and fieldwork activities. To know more about my PhD project and other research activities, do visit to my webpage often and keep an eye on the Research section in particular.


Figure: Fieldwork in the Eastern Himalaya as part of my MSc Dissertation on GLOF studies

My Research Activities:

I do flood modelling using a range of 1D, 2D and 3D software. GIS and Remote Sensing are two of my major strengths which I prefer to use in all of my research works and I am a proficient user of Erdas Imagine for satellite image processing and ArcGIS, QGIS and MapInfo for spatial analysis. I also use Pix4D Mapper, Agisoft Photoscan using structure from motion (for 3D point clouds); HEC-RAS, basic Flood Modeller (for flood modelling).

I used GIS and HEC-RAS for modelling the Glacial Lake Outburst Flooding of Sikkim Himalaya (India) to assess the potential risk in my MSc dissertation. Moreover, I conducted one week fieldwork in the higher altitude (>4000m) in the state of Sikkim in Eastern Himalaya. Recently I have finished my employment at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur in India where I worked on the climate change and flood risk management project as a Junior Research Fellow (JRF) and prior to join the IIT-Kharagpur, I was part of the 'Wales National Flood Risk Assessment (Wales-NFRA)' team as a junior flood modeller at JBA Consulting and also worked on the Environmental Agency funded project titled 'Upland Landscape Assessment for the River Wyre Catchment' at the same consultancy.

I am also eager to publish my research work and discuss research findings with larger audience and following this, I have attended few national and international conferences and workshops in three different countries (including India, Bangladesh and the United Kingdom) so far.

My Passion and Hobbies: 

Alongside of my academic and research activities, I am passionate about sports as I am a soccer player and do play football often. I am a Manchester United fan and watch premier league. My main hobby is travelling and I love to visit new places for exploring natural beauties. During my free time you can often find me around the Lake Geneva and in the weekend or in other holidays, I travel different cities and mountains in this beautiful country Switzerland. However, it is completely a different experience of hiking in the Swiss Alps and exploring the places having glaciers, snows and less to no people around as compare to visiting cities like London, Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham, Sheffield, Birmingham, Oxford, Cambridge and so on, as well as the country sides (e.g. Yorkshire national park, lake district, Essex, Skipton) and coasts (e.g. Whitby, Robin hood Bay, Cardiff Bay, Mersea etc) in the United Kingdom. But since I love mountain, glaciers and snows, I never get bored to climb up to the Swiss Alps again and again and walking along the rivers in mountains because the sounds of the flowing water comes from the rivers give me immense pleasures. Moreover, as being very concerned about others, I do not enjoy the nature alone, instead I do vlogging and film all those places I visit and upload on my YouTube channel (Geonaz) for showing the beauty of nature to the global audience.

Besides travelling  and making vlogs, I love music and Ed Sheeran and Bruno Mars (male artists) and Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande (female artists) are my favourite. Moreover, I like to help others (mainly my fellow juniors) to inspire and motivate them for higher studies by providing any required information, guidance through face to face meeting or via social media. This makes me happy and motivates me to make valuable contribution for the welfare of the society.


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