2003 Seattle Annual Meeting (November 25, 2003)
Paper No. 10-11
Presentation Time: 10:30 AM-10:45 AM

UNIVERSITY GEOLOGY LECTURER, SOILS SCIENCE DEPARTMENT, AGRICULTURAL UNIVERSITY MALAYSIA 1975-1977 (GROUP 76) U.S. PEACE CORPS

CONNOR, Cathy L., Natural Sciences, Univ Alaska Southeast, Environmental Science Program, 11120 Glacier Highway, Juneau, AK 99801, cathy.connor@uas.alaska.edu.

Emerging from Stanford University Geology Department in the summer of 1975 with co-terminal B.S & M.S degrees in Geology, I accepted a U.S. Peace Corps position as a university geology lecturer. The job was in peninsular Malaysia, in the Soils Science Department of the National Agricultural University (UPM) about 14 miles south of Kuala Lumpur. The campus was located near one of the world's largest open-pit tin mines at Sungei Besi and my other job objective was to help establish a new geology department and to develop a geology curriculum. At that time, many of the Malaysian faculty were overseas receiving Master's degrees, and Peace Corps volunteers were used to cover the courses that needed teaching in their absence.

I taught courses in physical geology and oceanography to soils science majors of Malay, Chinese, and Indian ancestry. During semester breaks I took students on geology field trips into northwestern Malaysia to Pangkor Island. We mapped local limestone and granitic intrusive rocks and camped in beach huts where the diverse dietary and religious needs of this multi-cultural student body could be met. I worked with UPM Soil Science faculty colleagues and visited many red soil pits learning much about soil chemistry and agriculture in the tropics. I carried out a preliminary site study for a proposed University Marine Research Station on Pulau Besar along the South China Sea coast in Terengannu State.

Research included a bedrock geology report for the then proposed Endau Rompin National Park in northern Johore State with the Federal Game Department. I visited working tin mines and also local farmers living on mine dump lands. I collaborated on a paper entitled Food Production on Tin Tailings in the Seri Kembangan-Balakong Area, Malaysia that was presented at the Conference on Food and Agriculture held at UPM in July 1977.

Joining the Geological Society of Malaysia I enjoyed seminars and field trips by local and visiting geologists. My best contribution to the country was teaching swimming lessons to Islamic female fisheries students, who needed to pass a swimming test to obtain their B.Sc. degrees.

2003 Seattle Annual Meeting (November 25, 2003)
Session No. 10
Geologists in the U.S. Peace Corps: The Contribution of Peace Corps Geologists to International Development and the Contribution of the Peace Corps Experience to the Development of the Geosciences in America
Washington State Convention and Trade Center: 400
8:00 AM-12:00 PM, Sunday, November 2, 2003

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 35, No. 6, September 2003, p. 39

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