IAP 2019 MISTI Opportunity

MISTI is looking for two undergraduate students to travel to the Amazonas region of Peru, during IAP2019, for a project led by Prof. Heidi Nepf.  Must be enthusiastic about working long days in the field; the ability to speak Spanish would be helpful, but is not necessary, and some exposure to fluid mechanics would also be useful.

Interested students should reach out to Eduardo Rivera eduriv@mit.edu.

The role of vegetation in stabilizing rivers

In 2017, the Peruvian government initiated a dredging project in the Peruvian Amazon basin to provide access to for larger ships, which will create more economic opportunities and reduce accidents along the waterway. However, dredging can change the velocity and sediment transport in the channel, both of which can affect the channel ecosystem and morphology. It is important to understand how the existing river channel evolved, so that we can anticipate the potential change after dredging. Vegetation is thought to play a role in determining the shape of a river, and in particular the formation and stability of islands within the channel. We are looking for two students to participate in a field study on the Peruvian Amazon to characterize the role played by vegetation in island and channel evolution. During a 1-week field trip you will learn about and participate in several field measurements, including land-based surveys of vegetation and shipboard measurements of channel velocity and suspended sediment. The travel will occur in the time frame January 11-19. We seek students with an introductory understanding of fluid mechanics and an interest in environmental systems. Spanish language skills would be helpful, but not necessary.

To find out more about the over-arching project visit http://cita.utec.edu.pe/amazon-basin/index.html#page-top.

This is part of a MISTI Faculty Seed Fund project (http://misti.mit.edu/faculty-funds).

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