(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.
Take Back the Night is an international initiative to end violence. The event begins with banner making, followed by a march, presentations and poetry reading.
Sombrilla, Main Campus
Members of the UTSA community have published “Adapt and Overcome: Essays of the Student Veteran Experience,” an important book to help active duty military and veterans successfully transition to college life. The event includes a panel discussion with UTSA alumni student veterans who contributed chapters to the book. Guests can also purchase the book. All proceeds benefit the UTSA Student Veteran Association.
Business Building, University Room (BB 2.06.04), Main Campus
The Graduate School is hosting a panel discussion for all of our current students, alumni and members of the San Antonio community who are interested in learning more about graduate education.
Graduate School and Research Building (GSR 1.204), Main Campus
The annual UTSA Graduate fair gives students an opportunity to meet representatives who can provide the information on admission requirements, fellowship opportunities, and other key information.
University Center, Main Campus
A recruiter will speak to potential candidates for the Archer program. The Archer program has helped students land successful careers in public service.
Durango Building (DB 2.208), Downtown Campus
Canadian scholar Jasmin Hristov will present a lecture on paramilitarism, complex type of politically-motivated violence in different parts of Latin America. This presentation will explain paramilitary violence as a tool of economic globalization.
Buena Vista St. Bldg., Aula Canaria Lecture Hall (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus
The UTSA College of Engineering Technology Symposium showcases innovative student projects and research performed across multiple disciplines including engineering, science and business. The public is invited.
H-E-B UC Ballroom (HUC 1.104), Main Campus
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