2005 Salt Lake City Annual Meeting (October 16–19, 2005)

Paper No. 2
Presentation Time: 1:45 PM


WILLIAMS, Douglas F., Department of Geological Sciences, Univ of South Carolina, SC Honors College, Columbia, SC 29208 and KARABANOV, Eugene B., Department of Geological Sciences, Univ of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, ekarab@geol.sc.edu

Beginning in 1992, the co-authors have worked collaboratively to engage American and Russian undergraduates in field-based learning experiences in Siberia, Russia, in parallel with their NSF-EAR grant-related research. In 1994 we mentored a group of 6 USC and 5 Russian students called the Baikal Undergraduate Research Group (BURG). With private and university funding, the BURG pioneers designed and implemented a 17-day, multidisciplinary expedition on Lake Baikal to study of the lake's ecology, paleoclimate and carbon cycle. In 1995, we worked with faculty of Irkutsk Technical University to create RESET, the Russian-American Environmental Science Education and Training partnership. The goal of RESET was to involve American and Russian students in multidisciplinary studies of the Angara River, Lake Baikal's only outlet, and how Soviet industrialization policies had affected the environmental health of the Angara. In 1995 and 1996, with private and university funding, two RESET expeditions were conducted on the Angara from Irkutsk to Bratsk involving students from USC, Clemson, College of Charleston, Frostburg State and HBC Benedict College. For the1996 RESET expedition the Russian team converted a barge for river workers into a “floating observatory” that served as living and analytical quarters for 30 students and scientists. In 1997 these research-cultural experiences led to the creation of a 25-day, multicultural exploration of democracy and freedom called Horizon Mississippi by 20 Russian, American and Bulgarian students, faculty and staff, and traveling from Columbia, SC, through Nashville to St. Louis, then down the Mississippi as an educational pathway to New Orleans, returning full circle through Atlanta and Charleston. Building upon BURG and RESET we developed in 2000 a 4-week cross-disciplinary expedition to the Lake Baikal region for 20 Russian-American students called "A Moment in Time: Researching Siberia in Transition". Then for two months in 2003, we brought a team of 8 US students trained in the USC Marine and Aquatic Research program (http://schc.sc.edu/MARE/mare.htm) on a 3800km expedition on the Lena River through the heart of Siberia to the Laptev Sea of the Russian Arctic. The purpose of our presentation will be to show how we linked these experiences to both our research and teaching.