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U.S. - Bangladesh trip to Mississippi Delta

posted May 28, 2018, 4:42 PM by Michael Steckler

The Vanderbilt team taught its TIES:Bangladesh course again in Spring 2014,

being co-taught by Goodbred, science-policy scientist Jonathan Gilligan, and social-justice researcher

Brooke Ackerly. PIRE post-doc Carol Wilson and PhD student Jennifer Pickering also contributed to

the course. Thirteen students were involved in the course, including 8 PhDs, 2 MS, and 3

undergrads. The course focused on geohazards and human-environment coupling in both the

Bengal and Mississippi deltas. Due to political unrest during elections in Bangladesh, the instructors

decided that it not safe to take students for the trip to Bangladesh and thus decided to do a

comparison with the Mississippi delta, including issues of subsidence, sea-level rise, and tropical

storms. To augment the Bangladesh course component, the instructors invited a cohort of

Bangladeshi colleagues, 3 faculty and 6 students, from Dhaka and Khulna Universities to join the field

trip to the Mississippi delta. The joint trip in the US was an outstanding learning experience for both

sides, and US students gained tremendous insights from the Bangladeshi perspective on U.S. deltarelated

engineering, hazards, and social issues.

Columbia undergraduate trip to Bangladesh

posted May 28, 2018, 4:27 PM by Michael Steckler   [ updated May 28, 2018, 4:31 PM ]

For the Spring 2015 semester, M. Steckler again taught a course on hazards in Bangladesh in the Columbia University undergraduate Sustainable Development program, SDEV 3550, Bangladesh: Life on a Tectonically-Active Delta.  The class included 10 undergraduate students.  The TA was a graduate student in Southeast Asian Studies with previous experience in Bangladesh.  The highlight of the course was an 11 day trip to Bangladesh during Spring Break.  However, due to the ongoing political violence, it was not possible to travel between cities safely at the time.  To cope with the situation, the entire trip, outside of Dhaka, was conducted by boat.  We leased the M/V Kokilmoni, a boat we have previously used for our research.  The boat met us at Dhaka and we traveled through the river system to SW Bangladesh.  In the Southwest, we visited Bhanderkote and the compaction meter we installed there; Polder 32 recovering from the devastation of being flooded for 3 years by Cyclone Aila; Hiron Point, Katka, Kachikhali, and Bird Island in the Sundarbans Mangrove Forest; and Moddya Barisal. As before, we were accompanied by 8 Dhaka University students and 2 professors for the entire trip.  The inclusion of a similar size contingent of Bangladeshi tremendously enhanced the experience. In the villages the students either interviewed farmers for their land use change project or measured As levels in drinking water wells, in addition to learning about the region and contrasts between villages with and without access to fresh water.  Having sufficient Bangla speakers to translate was a key factor in these activities. While our time on the ground was sometimes limited by the limited pace of boat travel and need to consider the timing of the tides, it was offset by the greater opportunities for seeing the country and conversation on the boat.

Bangladesh video at American Museum of Natural History

posted Oct 3, 2013, 2:57 AM by Michael Steckler   [ updated Oct 3, 2013, 3:09 AM ]

A video about our project is now the featured video at the AMNH in the Hall of Planet Earth.  It will be on a continuous loop on the main screen for the next 6 months.  It is also available for viewing in the AMNH Science Bulletins web page. click here.  Plus a set of videos and text in their Curriculum Collection for students click here.

Field School in Bangladesh

posted Oct 3, 2013, 2:29 AM by Michael Steckler   [ updated Oct 3, 2013, 3:10 AM ]

February 21 - March 7, 2014.

We are offering a field school for graduate students and postdocs on the sedimentary and tectonic processes, and their interaction in the geologically dynamic Ganges-Brahmaputra River Delta.  

 Review of applications will begin December 1, 2013, with December 20 as the cutoff date for receipt of applications.   

 See Education page for more information 

BanglaPIRE video on YouTube

posted Aug 1, 2013, 6:39 AM by Michael Steckler   [ updated Aug 10, 2013, 9:30 AM ]

Filmmakers Doug Prose and Diane LaMacchia of the Earth Images Foundation accompanied project members to Bangladesh and produced this video about the project.

YouTube Video

GPS Installation

posted Feb 12, 2013, 10:59 AM by Ellie Ferguson

Michael Steckler blogged about installing GPS in Bangladesh in October 2012.

To Comilla and Back Oct. 18, 2012

Khepupara to Kokilmoni Oct. 21, 2012

Polder 32 Oct. 21, 2012

State of the Planet Blog

posted Feb 12, 2013, 10:52 AM by Ellie Ferguson   [ updated Feb 12, 2013, 11:04 AM ]

February 2013: Michael Steckler continues his blog on the Columbia University Earth Institute's State of the Planet: Geohazards in Bangladesh feature. These posts describe our BanglaPIRE team fieldwork and meeting in Sylhet, Bangladesh.

Hartal! Feb. 8, 2013

Wrapping up in Sylhet Feb. 11, 2013

Fieldwork blog for middle schoolers

posted Feb 12, 2013, 10:43 AM by Ellie Ferguson   [ updated Feb 12, 2013, 11:05 AM ]

February 2013: Graduate student Ellie Ferguson (Columbia University) once again blogs about fieldwork in Bangladesh and NE India for the 8th graders she works with at Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School as part of an NSF fellowship program.

Class Trip - to Bangladesh!

posted Mar 14, 2012, 12:17 PM by Ellie Ferguson   [ updated Aug 6, 2012, 8:13 AM ]

This spring, Michael Steckler taught a new course for students in Columbia University's Undergraduate Program in Sustainable DevelopmentThis course explored the interaction of riverine processes, water and hydrology, sedimentary processes, tectonics, land subsidence and sea level rise, environmental issues, cultural setting, and sustainable development in the world's largest delta. The course explored both the hazards and resources for life in this dynamic environment through lectures, a field trip to Bangladesh during Spring Break and guest lecturers in earth and social sciences.

Read Michael's blog posts about their spring break trip to Bangladesh: 

More information about the course:

Information about the final student presentations:

More Fieldwork in Bangladesh and Meghalaya, and a Blog

posted Jan 17, 2012, 8:51 PM by Michael Steckler   [ updated Mar 14, 2012, 12:13 PM by Ellie Ferguson ]

Nano Seeber, Ellie Ferguson and Humayun Akhter are in the field again.  This time joined by Dhiman Mondal (Dhaka U), Antje Lehnert (Bremen U) and Cecilia McHugh (Queens College).  After a week together in Sylhet, northern Bangladesh, most of the team crossed the border to continue their work in India, while Cecilia headed south along the Bangladesh coast with Dhaka University students to search for geologic records of past earthquakes.
During the trip, Ellie Ferguson is blogging for her 8th grade Earth Science students.  Read it here at msfergusoninthefield

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