CHNGES graduate students conduct research in Iceland
|Author: WKU Center for Human GeoEnvironmental Studies|
Date: Thursday, August 31st, 2017
Captions: Top left: James Graham, wearing the Tobii Pro 2 Mobile Eye-Tracking Glasses, completed his research at Thingvellir National Park and Solheim Glacier. Top right: Allison Quiroga filters a water sample of a glacier river. Bottom left: Icelandic Myrdalsjokull icecap seen in the distance beyond a field of lupins. Bottom right: Allison Quiroga and Rachel Kaiser run water chemistry tests atop Solheim Glacier.
James Graham of Louisville, advised by Dr. Leslie North and in collaboration with Dr. Edward Huijbens of the University of Akureyri in Iceland, spent a week at ƥingvellir National Park and Sólheim Glacier to investigate the development of nature-based tourism destinations with the use of mobile eye-tracking technology. With support of the Iceland Tourism Board, and accompanied by CHNGES student Elizabeth Willenbrink of Louisville and Dr. North, Graham used a newly developed mobile eye-tracking technology, Tobii Pro Glasses, at the two Icelandic locations in order to study how the technology can be used to understand the driving factors behind the movement and behavior of tourist at nature-based tourism destinations. Further, by coupling eye-tracking data with GPS and GIS technology, James is working to uncover how signage and tourism infrastructure should be developed in geologically and ecologically fragile areas to reduce the potentially negative effects of tourism on the landscape while also maximizing the tourism experience. His work is being published in book about the innovative use of eye-tracking technology in the global tourism sector.
Allison Quiroga of Franklin, advised by Dr. Jason Polk, also spent a week in Iceland studying dissolved inorganic carbon flux in glacial rivers of the three most prominent icecaps in Southern Iceland. Quiroga, accompanied by fellow CHNGES graduate student Rachel Kaiser of Covington and Dr. Polk, took longitudinal samples of several glacial rivers flowing from major ice caps in the southern portion of Iceland to analyze how much carbon is being stored and transported within the glacial meltwater systems. Quiroga will use these data to assess how the rapid melting of Icelandic glaciers is impacting current and future carbon dioxide levels in the face of a rapidly changing Arctic climate.
Graham and Quiroga received funding from the WKU Graduate School to help support their research travel and expenses. Quiroga also received a Geological Society of America student research grant to support her work. Both students are on track to graduate with their master’s degrees in spring 2018.
Contact: Leslie North, (270) 745-5982
History will be made on Nov. 29 when WKU will get its first chapter of SALUTE, a national honor society for student veterans. Seven charter members will be inducted into SALUTE at 5 p.m. in the Veterans Resource Center, 410 Tate Page Hall.
Three alumni from WKU’s Department of Geography and Geology who work for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) have been assigned to Puerto Rico to assist in post-hurricane recovery efforts.
On National Philanthropy Day, WKU’s Division of Development & Alumni Relations was rebranded as Philanthropy & Alumni Engagement; Laura Turner Dugas was named the 2017 Philanthropist of the Year; and a gift for diversity initiatives was announced.
WKU’s Forensics Team divided into three groups and traveled to Lebanon, Illinois; Normal, Illinois; and Jefferson City, Tennessee, to compete in six tournaments Nov. 11-12.
Students, faculty, and staff from the Center for Human GeoEnvironmental Studies (CHNGES) and Department of Geography & Geology recently attended national conferences in Arkansas and Washington state.
A bronze statue of longtime WKU supporter and Kentucky State Rep. Jody Richards of Bowling Green was unveiled on WKU’s main campus Monday (Nov. 6) in Jody Richards Hall.
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