(April 20, 2010)--Research Assistant Professor Blake Weissling in the UTSA Department of Geological Sciences is getting a first-hand look at one of the only pieces of glacial ice left in the tropical northern hemisphere.
Weissling and Michael Lewis, a doctoral candidate in environmental science and engineering, are teaming up with colleagues from Southwest Research Institute and the University of Veracruz to study Pico de Orizaba's summit glacier on a research expedition April 17-25. They are funded, in part, by a fellowship from the UTSA Mexico Center through a program that encourages joint faculty/student research and collaboration between UTSA and researchers in Mexico.
Sitting at 18,490 feet, Pico de Orizaba is Mexico's highest point and the third highest peak in North America. The dormant volcano is part of the Eje Volcanico Transversal mountain range, situated due east of Mexico City on the border between Veracruz and Puebla.
While in Mexico, Weissling and Lewis's team will take measurements to determine the glacier's current area and mass. They will use GPS to map the edges of the glacier and ground penetrating radar to estimate its thickness. The radar recordings also will reveal information about the bedrock surface that lies beneath Pico de Orizaba's summit glacier.
"We know the glacier is melting, but we don't know how fast that's happening or why," said Weissling. "Is it melting due to climate change, or is it because the volcano is heating up from within? To study that, we need to know how much glacial ice is there."
UTSA Mexico Center fellowship program
Established in October 2005, the UTSA Mexico Center is the umbrella organization that connects the university's Mexico-related experts. It is engaged in research and educational projects to promote greater knowledge and understanding of issues facing immigrants from Mexico.
Through a generous gift by the Carlos and Malu Alvarez International Study Fund, the center offers fellowships for students to travel to Mexico for research related to U.S.-Mexico relations or Mexico-related projects. The fellowships are competitive and selected by the UTSA Mexico Center advisory board. The Orizaba study is the first to be funded for research by the College of Sciences.
The Leadership Storytelling Homecoming Brunch brings together UTSA alumni and students to share a delicious meal as well as a roundtable conversation about how experiences in college carry us forward on unique leadership journeys.
University Center, Denman Room (UC 2.01.28), Main Campus
The conference is dedicated to sharing recent knowledge and experiences gained in the area of Big Data by researchers in academia, industry and the government sectors within the areas of business, national security, infrastructure, healthcare and visualization.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom (HUC 1.104), Main Campus
Former National Security Advisor Susan Rice, via webcast, will examine America’s economic, political and security relations with China during CHINA Town Hall, an 80-city live discussion and Q&A on China and Sino-American relations.
Building Building, Richard Liu Auditorium (BB 2.01.02), Main Campus
The African American Studies program proudly presents William "Cruz" Shaw, San Antonio City Councilman and UTSA Alumnus. Event is free and open to the public.
University Center, Retama Auditorium (UC 2.02.02), Main Campus
The graduate fair is an opportunity for the UTSA student body and local San Antonio community to learn about graduate education opportunities. The event is free and open to the public.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom (1.104), Main Campus
President Taylor Eighmy is inviting all UTSA students to "Pizza With The Prez." Come grab a slice of pizza and take the opportunity to introduce yourself to the President. Pizza while supplies last.
Frio Street Building, Food Court Commons Area, Downtown Campus
President Taylor Eighmy is inviting all UTSA faculty and staff to "Tacos With Taylor." Take the opportunity to introduce yourself to the President at any one of these casual meet and greets.
Biotechnology, Science and Engineering Building atrium, Main Campus
The College of Engineering Student Council and the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce host this fun and education event. Erika Camacho is the keynote speaker. Children and families are welcome.
East Campus Parking Lot, Valero Way, Main Campus
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