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Oct. 5, 2006 • Volume 15 Number 3

Geologist Snyder Hails 'Incredible Opportunity'

ACC research program made summer trip to Southeast Asia possible

By Reid Oslin
Staff Writer

Asst. Prof. Noah Snyder (Geology and Geophysics) joined an Atlantic Coast Conference "team" this past summer for an undertaking that had nothing to do with the league's traditional athletic competition.

Snyder was part of an 11-member faculty group representing eight ACC schools that conducted water resources research in major watersheds in Southeast Asia, notably China and Vietnam.

This first-time research endeavor, known as the Atlantic Coast Conference International Academic Collaboration, brought together faculty members from a variety of academic disciplines to focus on a research topic outside of the United States. The ACCIAC will be continued in 2007, when a research trip to Africa is planned, and in future years.

Snyder, a fluvial geomorphologist, ("Basically, I study how rivers shape the earth's surfaces by eroding, transporting and depositing sediments," he explains) was joined by hydrologists, environmental chemists, biologists and environmental policy-makers on the three-week project that focused on environmental concerns, risks and consequences affecting Southeast Asia's Yangtze, Red and Mekong rivers.

The research leaders of the trip were Stephen Klaine of Clemson University's Biological Studies Department and E. Michael Perdue, a faculty member in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Institute of Technology.

Asst. Prof. Noah Snyder (Geology and Geophysics), with camera at right, joined a group of faculty from Atlantic Coast Conference schools to research water resources in areas of Southeast Asia, including the Yangtze River (above) in China.

"It was an incredible opportunity to travel around with 10 other professors who were all interested in different aspects of one big topic," Snyder says. "There is a constant stimulation and a constant source of conversation and the informal interaction that we had together as a group was really valuable, and a really unusual experience.

"I now know a group of people that I can call upon when I have a question in their particular subject discipline."

Snyder says the international aspect of the project also provides an additional academic dividend. "Part of the stated goal of the program is to introduce people to new parts of the world. I had never been to Southeast Asia. When we got to meet with academics there we found it is very easy to interact with these people because we share a common profession and inherently a common set of experiences.

"It's a great entry into a new culture."

Snyder says the ACCIAC is of particular value to faculty members from Boston College - the newest member of the 12-school conference. "It's important for Boston College to participate in these sorts of things, because we are sort of geographically separated from the rest of the conference. The core of the ACC is in the Carolinas and a lot of the people seemed to know each other because they go to regional science meetings and the like.

"That's all the more reason we should be sure to always have a participant or representative in these types of things," Snyder says. "Hopefully, we will make the ACC even more than a sports conference."

Additional information on ACCIAC and applications for faculty participation are available at acciac.org/facultygrants.htm.

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