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K-State Today

February 7, 2013



Marston to lead workshop in Kathmandu, Nepal

By Richard A. Marston

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Richard Marston, K-State university distinguished professor of geography, will be one of the leaders for an international workshop from Feb. 18-27 in Kathmandu, Nepal.

The Association of American Geographers, or AAG, secretariat for the My Community-Our Earth, or MyCOE, program, has formed a partnership with the NASA SERVIR program that is designed to bring geographic research tools to the Himalayan region. The association leader of the My Community-Our Earth program is Patricia Solis, a native Kansan and K-State graduate who has been named a K-State Alumni Fellow for 2013.  

The workshop is offered at the beginning of a 10-month-long fellowship program for capacity building on the theme of "Climate Change in Mountain Areas," supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development and NASA. The My Community-Our Earth and NASA SERVIR workshop is designed for university students and their faculty mentors from south Asian countries and will provide customized training in geographic information science, or GIS, remote sensing, global positioning systems, GPS, and environmental geography of the Himalayas.

From a total of 130 student applications, 15 undergraduate and graduate students and their faculty mentors were selected from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan.  Each student authored a proposal as part of the application process for a project they will pursue subsequent to the workshop, with a report due at the end of the 10-month period. Participants are supported by funding from U.S. Agency for International Development and NASA. The workshop will be hosted by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development in Kathmandu who provide some of the additional leaders of the workshop.  

Marston's participation in the workshop is a natural outgrowth of his Jefferson Science Fellowship in the U.S. Department of State during the 2011-12 academic year.  He will cover the following topics, including lectures, exercises and discussions.

  • Overview of climate change science in the Himalayan region
  • Implications of climate change for glaciers, snow, permafrost, monsoon rain
  • Geomorphology in the Himalayan region
  • Role of science in the landscape of global climate change policy, environmental security, sustainability
  • Research skills: Proposal writing, literature search and academic publishing
  • Outreach activity discussion: Ethics and career resources

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