South-Central Section - 51st Annual Meeting - 2017

Paper No. 28-7
Presentation Time: 3:50 PM


YIN, Zoe1, TANDON, Saloni1, AGUILERA, Kimberly N.2, ETZEL, Thomas M.2, CATLOS, Elizabeth J.2, ELLIOTT, Brent2 and KYLE, J. Richard3, (1)Dept. of Geological Sciences, UT Austin, 110 Inner Campus Dr, MAI, Rm 132, Austin, TX 78712-1140, (2)The Jackson School of Geosciences, The Unversity of Texas at Austin, 2275 Speedway Stop C9000, Austin, TX 78712, (3)Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712,

International Research Experience for Students (IRES) is a NSF-funded program designed to provide underrepresented, globally-engaged U.S. science students exposure to field research in an international setting. Three U.S. undergraduate geoscience students were chosen to participate and, under the guidance of three faculty members, they partnered with Slovak researchers from Comenius University and the Slovak Academy of Sciences to conduct a 3-week field season in Slovakia in the summer of 2016 aimed at bolstering their understanding of processes related to the formation of the Western Carpathians. The students returned to the U.S. with an increased understanding of key geologic concepts and with rock samples for analysis. Each student then formulated an individual research project with the goal of producing novel and relevant scientific contributions which are in progress and will be submitted for presentation at future research symposiums.

Students felt that the most beneficial aspects of the program included the degree of autonomy that they were allowed in selecting and executing research projects and in learning how fieldwork is conducted internationally. They felt that their influence over research topics and approach granted them a valuable “seat at the table” and that they benefited from learning about the processes involved firsthand: from applying for funding to formulating and publishing research. They experienced the challenges of international field work and, thus, benefited from having a graduate student mentor to whom they could ask questions in a low stakes environment. The international setting also allowed them to compare diversity in the geosciences across disparate cultures. It is the recommendation of the students involved that the productive aspects of their program be incorporated into other projects aiming to broaden diversity in the geosciences.