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Veselka

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Submitted By kkrogue
Words 674
Pages 3
Description of Research
The focus of my dissertation is the watersheds of the Andes—how they vary spatially in terms of their physical characteristics including their morphology (e.g. shape, elevation distribution) geology (e.g. structure, lithology). These characteristics are all integrated in a geodatabase, which I am using to connect data on hydrology, erosion, and land use that will provide a macro-scale snapshot of the present-day conditions at a continental scale. My main objectives are to (1) create a geodatabase with morphology and geology of Andean watersheds, (2) integrate and systematically assess all possible sources of data on the hydrology and sediment yield (erosion), and (3) conduct regional fieldwork to verify the spatial data, collect new measurements, and get a sense of the culture and management of watersheds at a local level that is uncommon for a macro-scale study. Broadly, the Andes are divided into 3 distinct segments that are the Northern, Central, and Southern Andes. My proposed work this summer will focus on the Northern Andes, followed by trips to locations in the Central and Southern Andes over the next 2 summers. I expect these to be highly productive because there will be opportunities to network, discuss, and rethink my hypotheses on the different drivers (i.e. human aspects) of hydrology and erosion across the Andes.
I will present results based on my first objective, to identify the spatial distribution of watersheds based on their morphology and geology, in Manaus Brazil at the “International Conference on the Status and Future of the World’s Large Rivers” July 21-25, 2014. My paper “Andean Basins Morphometry: Assessing South American Large Rivers’ Source Areas” has been accepted already and this alone will provide an excellent opportunity to advance my research with the feedback and networking that come out of these focused international conferences. I would emphasize that is not the primary reason for my application, but rather a synergistic opportunity that the grant would indirectly support.
Following the conference in Manaus, I will travel to Colombia where I will meet with Juan Restrepo, one of my committee members, and will attend a short field class (4 days) with Professor José Ignacio Martínez at EAFIT University in Medellín. The trip with Professor Martínez will allow me to travel through most of the Colombian Andes, where most of the Northern Andes segment is located. Professor Martínez is a paleoclimatologist and specialist in the region that will give me good insight into the historical geology of this area, and a chance to observe changes in some of the rapidly growing areas of Colombia juxtaposed onto the 3 cordilleras (occidental, central and oriental) that are the heart of Colombia.
From the course, I will get training on marine sedimentology that I currently lack. I will also have opportunity to improve my Spanish fluency during the course, and to discuss research with my Colombian counterparts. I strongly believe the importance of being engaged with the area you study so for me it would be impossible to write any kind of large scale analysis without visiting and becoming acquainted with the differences in culture, and talking to the people who have been working out in the field, the workers who have in some cases recorded the data I am linking together. An additional aspect of this expedition is that I will have the opportunity to do some archival work, which I intend to do in each Andean country whenever possible (excepting Venezuela), to highlight data that has been missed in previously published global reports.

Other Grants or Sources of Funding (not specifically for airfare)
I have applied (or will apply for) the following sources for funding: 1. The Tinker Grant for Fieldwork (applied for but not received, includes costs for supplies, etc.) $5000 2. UT Department of Geography and the Environment Travel Grant for a Conference (travel to Manaus conference, conference registration is €290) $250

Budget
Airfare (Departing Austin 7/21/14, returning 8/10/14)
$2,100 (lowest price—Austin-Manaus-Medellín-Austin) from www.kayak.com

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