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Planning a Master’s International Peace Corps Project in Natural Disasters Introduction. Michigan Technological University’s (MTU’s) Peace Corps Master’s International Program (MIP) in the Mitigation of Natural Geologic Hazards is the only geology-related MIP program in the country. This program focuses on increasing awareness and reducing geologic hazards to communities in Peace Corps countries. Students attend classes at MTU for one year followed by two years of Peace Corps service where the students work simultaneously on their Peace Corps’ and Master’s Projects. The goal of this poster is to present examples of preparation, obstacles and strategies encountered by Peace Corps MIP students in the geology MIP program in planning their master’s project and also gives an example of my project goals. Conclusion. Students in the MIP program face numerous obstacles in developing and conducting their research projects both before they leave and after they arrive at their site. While they have two years to complete the field part of their project, they are dealing with limited resources, adjusting to living in a new culture and environment as well as completing their Peace Corps projects. Students should remain flexible and resourceful and keep their eyes open for research opportunities they did not know existed before they arrived at their site. Resources: Peace Corps Master’s International Program in the Mitigation of Natural Geologic Hazards. Michigan Technological University. Peace Corps Official Website. The Program. The MIP program in geology at MTU began in the fall of 2004. Two students have returned to MTU to finish their research projects conducted during their Peace Corps assignment. Their projects include volcano seismology in Guatemala and an aquifer study in Nicaragua. There are currently eight students in the Peace Corps that are conducting a range of volcanic studies in El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, and the Philippines. Two students have recently received assignments in Africa (Benin and Tanzania) where they hope to study water-related issues and two more are awaiting their assignment. Students in the program: Above. A picture of the first group of geology MIP students at MTU during the fall semester 2004. Above right. The second group of geology MIP students at MTU the following year. Right. In this photo MIP student John Lyons and two local members of his Peace Corps community stand in front of Fuego Volcano with the volcano Acatenango in the background. John has turned his research into a PhD project focused on volcano seismology and acoustics at Fuego. Volcanic hazards in Guatemala: Above Left. Santiaguito Volcano erupting as seen from the local observatory. Above. This photo shows Pacaya lava flows in the foreground with Cerro Chino and Agua Volcano in the background. Fuego is hidden behind Agua in the clouds. Left. Students taking thermal infrared images and video recordings of an erupting Santiaguito Volcano from the top of Santa Maria Volcano. Developing My Project. My research goals: To be placed in a Latin American country and particularly at a site near a volcano. To work with my community to determine what they believe is a major geologic hazard and to utilize their local knowledge to help develop a project To develop a hazards map using participatory methods or to conduct a participatory disaster risk assessment in my community. Preparation. Required classes for geology students: Community Planning and Analysis and Intercultural Hazards Communication in Latin America which includes a film series. A number of other classes are also available to students in the geology and other departments based on their research goals. Obstacles. Not knowing their host country. Most students do not know their host country until their second semester at MTU. Not knowing their site location until after they have arrived in their host country. Working in a new culture and environment. Not being fluent in the local language Strategies. Remain flexible. Students may not get into the host country they want, or sometimes even into the region. It is also possible that if they want to study volcanic hazards they may get sent to a country or site that does not have volcanoes. Remain open to new ideas. Students may learn that while they wanted to study one subject, after living their community, they find out there is another subject that is more interesting or who’s results would be more beneficial to the community. Image ©2007 Google. Data ©2007 Europa Technologies, LeadDog Consulting, MapLink/ Tele Atlas, NAVTEQ Right. Tourists at Pacaya Volcano National Park, a Peace Corps volunteer site, examine active lava flows up close. Above. Professor Bill Rose, two students, and a MTU Peace Corps volunteer examine volcanic deposits from an old eruption of Santa Maria. The MIP program in geology at MTU is focused on Latin America. L. N. Kapelanczyk, Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences, Michigan Technological University – 1400 Townsend Drive, Houghton, MI 499311. firstname.lastname@example.org Management, Communications, and Health Session ?
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