Alumni conduct climate-change research in Banglade...

Alumni conduct climate-change research in Bangladesh

MTSU alumnus Thomas Hartzog, now a graduate student at Vanderbilt University, helps two men drill a tube well in Bangladesh. The simple technique can drill a 100-meter-deep well in a day. (photo by Steven Goodbred of VU, courtesy of National Science Foundation)

Two MTSU alumni are collecting data in Bangladesh for research on how climate change affects Himalayan rivers and southern Asia delta regions.

2010 geosciences graduates Jennifer Pickering of Wapakoneta, Ohio, and Tommy Hartzog of Nashville are now in graduate school at Vanderbilt University. They are working under the auspices of the Partnerships in Enhanced Engagement in Research program, a joint project of the National Science Foundation and the United States Agency for International Development.

“Tommy, Jennifer and future Vanderbilt graduate students will be using our (MTSU) labs to conduct geochemical analyses of core samples collected during fieldwork in Bangladesh,” said Dr. Warner Cribb, an MTSU professor of geosciences. “Vanderbilt also is employing an MTSU geology undergraduate, Matt Cooley of Camden, Tenn., as a laboratory research assistant on the PEER project.”

PEER connects U.S. institutions that have received competitively awarded NSF grants with international counterparts that are eligible for similarly competitive USAID funding. The purpose is to create bonds to facilitate scientific and technical research in the developing world.

“It is a great example of MTSU alumni working on significant international research science programs while also making the effort to involve current MTSU students in their work,” Cribb said.

— Gina K. Logue, gklogue@