[Coral-List] Iran: research and people

Rob Hilliard, imco rhilliard at imco.com.au
Wed Aug 21 14:23:01 EDT 2013

Dear Michael, and other Coral-List readers

During 2001-2003 I had the very good fortune to work with Iran ports and 
shipping professionals and marine researchers based in Tehran, 
universities and several ports, for a technical project co-funded by the 
IMO-GloBallast-UNEP. Through their very helpful and kind assistance, I 
was able to make informal snorkel transects across the shallow coral 
reefs on the north side of the Kark Island oil terminal and visit the 
adjacent shoal, to see that coral health, diversity, abundance and 
coverage were in far better condition compared to the heat-prone reefs 
along the Gulf's southern shores (a feature that may be attributed to 
the Gulf's anti-clockwise pattern of water circulation...)

 From this and other great experiences when working for this project,  I 
can fully attest to all your comments and thoughts regarding the 
capabilities and prowess of the professional maritime and marine 
research communities in Iran, and the predicaments they continue to 
face. I understand that many senior politicians and government officials 
in North America and Europe are fully aware that the vast majority of 
professionals in Iran are not only deeply affected by the long and 
ongoing situation wrought by their national government, but are also 
unable to help improve it without seriously jeopardising their 
employment status and the security of their family, peers and 
colleagues.  Hopefully the same awareness extends to all of us 
Coral-List readers.

Sincerely, Rob.



Robert Hilliard PhDPg.Dip  (EMS)

InterMarine Consulting Pty Ltd

Western Australia

Mob:    +61 427 855 485

*rhilliard at imco.com.au  <mailto:rhilliard at imco.com.au>*

*P**lease consider our environment before printing this e-mail*

Date: Wed, 21 Aug 2013 10:25:10 -0400
From: Michael Risk<riskmj at mcmaster.ca>
Subject: [Coral-List] Iran: research and people.
To:"coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov list"
	<coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
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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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