Thank you for your birthday wishes.

As I turn a year older, I would like to reflect on my past year and welcome you to share your experiences from last year with me.

In the past year, I continued my master’s in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University. I advanced my understanding of water processes through coursework and caught a glimpse of the far-reaching impacts innovations in water space can have on human life while working with a Silicon Valley start-up. To me, this learning comes at an appropriate time as several regions around the world such as Cape Town are dangerously close to having their taps run dry.

Beside courses, I spent a substantial amount of time pursuing research in ecohydrology, specifically in devising methods to quantify forest mortality. I developed an inclination for conducting original scientific studies to such an extent that I decided to go on for a Ph.D. in Earth Sciences at Stanford. As part of my Ph.D., I aim to design forest health monitoring systems wth the help of satellites.

As a wish for my birthday, I ask all of us to express our inner feelings and emotions, perhaps because I am terrible at it. Last year I learnt that supressed emotions surface in frightful ways which may lead to friction in relationships (in my case), depression, anxiety, or even violence. I hope in the coming year our inner emotions are not contained but expressed, not read but heard, not felt but seen, not neglected but celebrated, and finally, not despised but loved. Because life without beauty is dull and beauty without expression is hollow.

Thank you for filling my past year with beauty.

Krishna Rao