Research and service in Australia
During 2016 May Session, civil engineering undergraduate student, Maria Amaya, spent three and a half weeks abroad in North Queensland, Australia. The purpose of this study abroad experience was to study the diverse regions of the country by researching both the environmental challenges impacting each region and the different groups of people that depend on the land for their livelihood. The Wet Tropics World Heritage Area and the Great Barrier Reef are two examples of the different ecosystems examined during this study.
During her time in Australia, Maria participated in multiple research and service learning projects. Some of these projects included a restoration project to remove macroalgae from the coral reefs along the shores of Magnetic Island as well as a research project on the Great Barrier Reef to determine the effectiveness of the zoning system by surveying various fish populations in different zones. Additional projects included koala surveying on Magnetic Island and wetland restoration with the traditional owners at Mungalla Station.
Maria Amaya is currently an undergraduate student in the field of environmental engineering. For the last several years, she has been conducting research for the Coal Combustion Products Program under the direction of Dr. Tarunjit Butalia. She has participated in several research projects related to the utilization of coal byproducts including a coal mine reclamation project and soil stabilization of Chinese soils using coal combustion residues.