Thursday, May 15, 2014

University of Wyoming and Jackson State University Students Study Ecohydrogeophysics in Mississippi

Rain could not stop University of Wyoming and Jackson State University students from going into the field Wednesday. Although Mississippi isn’t known for cold temperatures in May, wet weather came in mid-week to chill and soak students working in an area called Buck Chute, north of Vicksburg and near the Yazoo River in Mississippi.  Despite the elements, the field work continued, and smiling faces still peeked through shrouded raincoat hoods as students used geophysics tools to better understand what lies beneath their feet in a lush green wetlands enclosed by an important levee system.

“I was very impressed by all our students,” said Dr. Ezat Heydari with a grin. Dr. Heydari is a professor in the Department of Physics, Atmospheric Sciences, and Geoscience at Jackson State University, and an important partner to the Wyoming Center for Environmental Hydrology and Geophysics (WyCEHG) for the Ecohydrogeophysics Field Course and educational exchange between UW and JSU.

Professor Steve Holbrook instructs students placing
geophysics equipment in an area called
Buck Chute in Mississippi
The day before the rain, students learned how to use the seismic and resistivity equipment in a large yard on the Jackson State Campus in bright 80 degree weather. This equipment allows scientists to “see” what is underground and help answer important questions about the properties of the earth. Although the two days were different by way of conditions, students felt the exercise was very interesting and didn’t mind getting a little wet in the field.

“I really liked using the seismic equipment and then seeing the data in the computer lab later,” said Naomi, a senior at Jackson State.

This is the second year for the Ecohydrogeophysics Field Course. Last year, students from JSU came to Wyoming, and this year UW students left on May 10th for Mississippi. The two week course is made up of Ecology, Hydrology, and Geophysics sessions and field experience.

By Elizabeth Nysson
Photo by Elizabeth Nysson

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