BASSETERRE, CFBC (22nd August 2018) – A four-member team of CFBC Faculty and Students visited Mississippi State University, located at Starkville in the United States, during the week of 15-21 August 2018 as part of an ongoing partnership between the two educational institutions.
The CFBC Team comprised of faculty members Dr. Quincy Edwards and Glenroy Blanchette, while the two students were Nichiel Huggins and Aleksei Burroughs. Dr. Edwards lectures Environmental Science and Chemistry, and Mr. Blanchette lectures Geography and Primary Science & Technology Education. The students are pursuing courses in Environmental Science and Geography.
While at MSU, the CFBC Team had the opportunity to visit the MSU Geosciences Department (Earth, Marine, Atmospheric, and Geospatial Sciences), MSU Library and Virtual Reality Lab, the Social Science Research Center, the Geosystems Research Institute, the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and Aquaculture, the MSU Delta Extension and Research Experiment Station for agriculture (crops and fish farms). The group also met with MSU officials of various departments and discussed areas for future research collaboration between CFBC and MSU, particularly in the areas of groundwater quality, aquaculture, rainfall variability and sargassum seaweed.
The CFBC Team participated in practical demonstrations of the use of virtual reality in applied research and physical planning during their visit to the MSU Library Virtual Reality Lab. And was exposed to new groundbreaking research in GIS technology that investigates the use of night light to understand population dynamics and economic development in coastal areas around the world.
The CFBC group also participated in a seminar whereby Mr. Blanchette made a presentation on the History and Geography of St. Kitts-Nevis and the federation’s development challenges and opportunities while Dr. Edwards presented his research on surface water quality in Barbados. The presentations were well received by the audience and several MSU students expressed their interests in conducting research in St. Kitts and Nevis.
“The visit to MSU was very educational and we learned a lot about the natural environment in that part of the USA and how MSU is applying scientific research to solve many of the problems they face,” said Burroughs.
“I was impressed with the facilities at MSU and the educational opportunities for the students,” said Ms. Huggins. “I learned a great deal about the importance of research and the visit has motivated me to pursue a university education after I finish my tenure at CFBC,” she added.
Dr. Quincy Edwards noted the importance of the trip towards student learning and environmental research.
“The visit to the MSU was timely and a fulfilling experience that enabled both faculty and students of CFBC to better understand international environmental problems and the use of technology and student-based research as mitigation measures,” he said.
“The visit to MSU has great potential for developing faculty and student exchange programs between CFBC and MSU. Moreover, we have developed an educational bridge for students at CFBC to advance their education in undergraduate and graduate programs at MSU. Additionally, collaborative research with MSU can help us to solve some of our environmental issues such as rainfall variability, groundwater quality and further development in agriculture and aquaculture via the use of advanced technology,” Dr. Edwards added.
Mr. Blanchette expressed thanks on behalf of his colleagues. “We are eternally grateful to Dr. John Rodgers and MSU for their exceptional hospitality and the opportunity to visit MSU and learn more about what they offer. We are very excited about the future possibilities for collaboration in research between CFBC and MSU,” said Blanchette.
“We are also thankful to the CFBC Board of Governors and Senior Administration for facilitating our trip to MSU,” Blanchette added.
The trip was funded by the 100K Strong in the Americas partnership which aims to improve bilateral exchange in climate and coastal science education between US and West Indian university students while jointly conducting citizen science and environmental monitoring projects.
The partnership between CFBC and MSU also hopes to establish a climate citizen science program (called the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network; CoCoRHaS) and create pathways for MSU students to gain a deeper understanding of global climate and marine environmental changes and how those processes affect coastal communities. The partnership also seeks to develop a bilateral exchange to implement MSU’s faculty-led, credit-bearing study abroad program in West Indies that advances coastal and climate sciences.
View Photo Gallery
Pix 1 and 2: Field visit to MSU Delta Extension and Research Experiment Station (l-r:Dr. Quincy Edwards, Aleksie Burroughs, Nichiel Huggins, Glenroy Blanchette; back row: Jimmy Avery)
Pix 3: Nichiel Huggins tries out the Virtual Reality headgear.
Pix 4: Aleksie Burroughs tries out the Virtual Reality headgear.
Pix 5: The CFBC Team takes a short break while visiting the Memphis Zoo.
Pix 6: Nichiel collects data on the sun’s reflexivity on a pond under the supervision of Dr. Padmanava Dash and his colleagues of the MSU Geosciences Department.
Pix 7: Aleksie collects data on the sun’s reflexivity on a pond under the supervision of Dr. Padmanava Dash and his colleagues of the MSU Geosciences Department.
Pix 8: CFBC Team observes a presentation by Dr. Padmanava Dash on water quality.
Pix 9: Aleksie and Nichiel pose for a photo op.