"Since May, I have been a guest researcher at CUAS as a recipient of the Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation scholarship. The 70-year-old foundation has the mission of fostering collaborative learning between the United States of America and Austria. I believe it is more important now than ever to maintain these scholastic bonds and knowledge bases through a cross-cultural lens, and I am happy to be a part of that endeavor.
Under the guidance of Dr. Gernot Paulus, I have worked for the last three months to develop a project that utilizes high-tech drone imagery to model hydrologic phenomena, hopefully with implications in the realm of resilience and human equity. Our semi-regular talks have opened up new ways of thinking and tackling problems.
The learning opportunities at CUAS are numerous, with a colloquium series, an open-format geoinformatics lab, and excursions around Carinthia and greater Austria. The university also funded my attendance at the GI-Forum Conference in Salzburg, where I was able to meet fascinating geographers and learn about the array of research that dominates our robust field.
Of course, my time has not been entirely research and school – I have been able to travel (this is my first time to Europe) and experience the rich heritage of Carinthia through the Kirchtag Festival, walking tours, hikes, bike rides, and near-daily visits to one of the many lakes within walking distance. And while Austria provided little respite from the Chihuahuan Desert summer heat in my home state of New Mexico, I have been able to marvel at the stunning beauty of the land here. I will surely cherish this time for years."
Contact (Marshallplan Foundation Scholarship and Drone Project):