[Coral-List] Iran: research and people.

Michael Risk riskmj at mcmaster.ca
Wed Aug 21 10:25:10 EDT 2013

This posting is far outside the limits of what is typical on coral-list, and probably relevant only to a small fraction of you. I apologize in advance for wasting the time of 99% of you, but I am running out of options. I retired some years ago, and no longer go to meetings, so my knowledge of who is out there has shrunk dramatically.

 I have done a lot of work in Iran in the past decade, and have developed a deep respect for the people. The scientists with whom I have interacted have been, without exception, intelligent and hardworking. I realize the politics are toxic, but it makes no sense to blame individual Iranian scientists for the acts of their government-any more than you could blame me for Steven Harper, or Jim Hendee for Michelle Bachman.

 Although there could be some bureaucratic barriers, my impression is that Iran, in terms of coastal ecological/sedimentological research, is close to tabula rasa. There just aren’t enough people for the size of the coastlines. So far, I have not found my work in Iran to be in the slightest bit hampered by politics-the converse, really, as people are very helpful. So there is lots of good research to be done there for those with a venturous bent and whose nationality is not a barrier.

 One of my Iranian colleagues has written me to enquire as to graduate work. Her background is in Natural Resources Engineering (BSc 2005). She has a 2012 Master’s in that same field, for which she won Top Student at her university. Her interests and experience lie in the general areas of shoreline changes through GIS, EIA, carbonate sediment constituent analysis and data analysis. She worked with me on effects of hydrocarbon development in the Gulf on the reefs of Naiband Bay, and worked out a neat way of using constituent analysis of beach sands to track changes in the offshore reefs.

 Her work with me has been largely geological/sedimentological, although her background is environmental engineering (whatever that is). Her English is good, and she is scheduled to write TOEFL this fall. Her husband is some sort of IT whiz.

 The problem is that she would need full funding. The Iranian economy is in ruins, and scientists there get paid poorly-like everywhere. Then the two of them would have to get visas, which should be routine but who knows.

 If there is anyone out there enjoying that euphoric state of having lots of research money and looking for students, please contact me off-line, and I will send you her CV and put the two of you in contact.

Michael Risk
riskmj at mcmaster.ca

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