Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Weldon Hammond: Amy Shelton and V.H. McNutt Distinguished Professorship in Geology

Weldon W. Hammond

Weldon W. Hammond

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UTSA College of Sciences Professor Weldon W. Hammond holds the Amy Shelton and V.H. McNutt Distinguished Professorship in Geology. The endowed professorship was established in 1998 by the trustees of the V.H. McNutt Memorial Foundation.

An expert in hydrogeology, Hammond heads UTSA's Center for Water Research (CWR), an interdisciplinary research center active in San Antonio and throughout Texas, Mexico and Central America. Through CWR contracts and partnerships, faculty and student scientists work with local communities to study water quality and improve water resources.

Vachel H. McNutt was a pioneer petroleum and mining geologist, most famous for his 1925 discovery of the first commercial potash deposits in the United States. His discovery broke the German domination of the substance used in munitions as well as in industry and agriculture. After his death in 1960, his wife, Amy Shelton McNutt, established the V. H. McNutt Memorial Foundation to support education and research in the sciences.

The Center for Water Research projects often take Hammond and his graduate students to remote areas in the developing world where access to clean water transforms community health. Endowment funds have supported the acquisition of sophisticated and expensive geophysical equipment -- such as a resistivity instrument -- that makes locating and drilling for water in remote locations more accurate.

"It's done a world of good," Hammond said. "All the graduate students have access to state-of-the-art geophysical research equipment."

One such ongoing project is in the Departamento del Paraiso in Honduras, to the south and east of Zamorano, an area of small agricultural villages with critical water problems. UTSA partners with the National Autonomous University of Honduras, training students and faculty, drilling and developing wells, and training locals in sustaining each project. With the data Hammond and his students have gathered in Honduras, he plans to submit a grant this fall to the National Science Foundation to support further water resource research projects in Honduras.

The fund also is used to support travel for staff and students to conferences and special training seminars, such as one held recently by the Advanced Geophysics Company in Austin.

"These funds give us the opportunity to work with students on problems that involve people -- it gives us the opportunity to find solutions at the community level," Hammond added.

"In view of the importance of water resources to the San Antonio area, the trustees of the Foundation requested that the Distinguished Professorship be awarded to a professor whose primary area of study and teaching is hydrogeology," said trustee Valerie Guenther. "We have been very pleased with Dr. Hammond's achievements and vision."

Did You Know?

Sometimes you have to see the little picture

UTSA researchers are exploring matter at the atomic level with Helenita. It's one of the most powerful microscopes in the world, with the ability to operate near the theoretical limit of resolution. At 9 feet, 2 inches tall and weighing more than two tons, Helenita can dissect almost anything. With Helenita's resolution, researchers can study particles atom by atom to see how they behave.

That's critical in developing nanotechnology that will help diagnosis early-stage breast cancer or make helmets that are uber strong. Moreover, the detail that Helenita provides will allow nanotechnology researchers to create new therapies and treatments to fight a wide range of human diseases.

Did you know? Helenita can magnify a sample 20 million times its size, which would make a strand of human hair the size of San Antonio.

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Events
July 30, 5 - 7 p.m.

Networking and happy hour with AIA San Antonio's Women in Architecture

Join AIA San Antonio’s Women in Architecture group for their networking and happy hour event, where all design professionals are welcome.
Liberty Bar, 1111 S. Alamo St.

Aug. 1, 9 p.m.

"Inside Peace" documentary screening

This documentary, presented by the San Antonio Film Festival, documents the experience of re-entry after incarceration. The film features Michael Gilbert, associate professor in the department of criminal justice and director of the Office of Community and Restorative Justice program at UTSA.
Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, 100 Auditorium Circle

Aug. 4, 6 - 8 p.m.

Free Teacher Tuesday: Los Tejanos Workshop

Discover resources and strategies for teaching Tejano history and culture and get a special educator's tour of the new long-term exhibit, Los Tejanos.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. César E. Chávez Blvd.

Aug. 9, 12 - 5 p.m.

Vaquerocation 2015

This cowboy-themed programming, offered in conjunction with Our Kids Magazine's Kidcation Week, gives families the opportunity to visit with cowboy docents, enjoy readings and visit activity tables.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.

Aug. 22, 6 p.m.

UTSA Alumni Gala

The UTSA Alumni Association hosts this annual gala honoring the Alumna of the Year, Alumnus of the Year and the Alumnus of the Year Lifetime Achievement award winners.
Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa, 9800 Hyatt Resort Dr.


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