RICHARDSON, Texas (June 24, 2004) – A student working on a doctoral degree in geosciences at The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) has been selected by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to participate in its 2004 East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes (EAPSI) program, which provides top graduate students from universities in the United States unique research experiences half a world away.
Ulysses S. “Trey” Hargrove, III, 32, of Baton Rouge, La., will spend seven weeks this summer at a university in Japan studying the chemical composition of volcanic rocks.
Hargrove is one of 150 advanced science and engineering graduate students from the U.S. that will take advantage of hands-on research opportunities this summer in Australia , China , Japan , Korea and Taiwan through the EAPSI program. Participants also will receive an introduction to the culture and the language of the country they visit.
“This is the largest contingent of U.S. graduate student participants in the program’s 14-year history,” said Larry Weber, who manages the NSF program. “These research experiences abroad offer exciting discovery opportunities for talented American science and engineering graduate students, and the program will enable them to have the skills necessary to operate in a competitive international research arena and global marketplace in the future.”
Hargrove’s host institution will be Shimane University in Matsue , Japan , located on the Japan Sea coast west of Tokyo . Following a one-week orientation in Tokyo , he will spend seven weeks in the university’s laboratories, where he will dissolve rock samples in acid and analyze the solutions for their chemical compositions utilizing a process known as Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry.
“The EAPSI program will allow me to work with Dr. Jun-Ichi Kimura, a geologist who specializes in the geology and geochemistry of volcanic rocks,” said Hargrove. “Rock chemistry holds vital information about how the rocks formed and allows the discrimination between rocks formed by different geological processes and in different environments.”
While in Japan , Hargrove also plans to climb Mt. Fuji and visit several sites of geological interest on Honshu and Shikoku Islands .
Since the fall of 2000, Hargrove has been conducting research for a Ph.D. degree under Prof. Robert J. Stern, head of the Geosciences Department at UTD. The research is intended to further scientific understanding of how continental crust evolves by studying the remnants of ancient volcanic systems in western Saudi Arabia .
The area under study is part of one of the largest, best-preserved and most poorly understood tracts of continental crust of its age in the world, called the Arabian-Nubian Shield. Covering some three million square kilometers of northeast Africa and Arabia , it represents the bulk of continental crust that formed directly from the Earth’s mantle during the Neoproterozoic Era, 540 million to 1,000 million years ago.
Hargrove’s research has involved three trips to Saudi Arabia for field work and collecting rock samples, a trip to Stanford University to determine the age of the rocks and extensive laboratory work at UTD to analyze the chemistry of some of the rocks.
“I believe this work holds more than scientific merit,” Hargrove said. “By fostering international collaboration, especially with countries like Saudi Arabia, it demonstrates that science has the ability to transcend political, social and ethnic barriers. The EAPSI program only furthers this effort by building and maintaining relationships with technologically advanced countries like Japan .”
As a participant in EAPSI, Hargrove will receive from NSF a stipend of $3,000. Local living expenses and airfare to and from Japan will be picked up by the host university.
The University of Texas at Dallas , located at the convergence of Richardson , Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor®, enrolls more than 13,700 students. The school’s freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores. The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs. For additional information about UTD, please visit the university’s web site at www.utdallas.edu.