Mica Glantz, associate professor in the Department of Anthropology, and Brian Bledsoe, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Colorado State University, have been awarded Fulbright Scholar grants to lecture and conduct research abroad.
Bledsoe will leave in March for the Universidad de Concepcion in Chile for the 2008 academic year. He will host interdisciplinary river seminars about managing river flows and stream monitoring for environmental scientists, aquatic ecologists and engineers.
Glantz is teaching at Auezov Technical University in the capital city of South Kazakhstan, Shymkent. Half of her time is spent teaching Human Origins and Variations with a translator who speaks the Kazakh language; the remainder of her time is spent conducting research.
"The discipline of anthropology does not exist here," Glantz said, "and they have no experience in my specialty at all."
The major goals of Glantz’s research are to survey for and identify potential Paleolithic sites in the foothills of the Karatau Mountains, about 70 kilometers from Shymkent. She is primarily interested in Neanderthal paleobiology and this group’s relationship to early modern humans.
She aims to identify a middle Paleolithic site, hopefully a cave, and continue excavations there for five to six years. The major question she is addressing is whether ancient humans living in Central Asia were similar in their biology and adaptation to the Neanderthals of Europe.
Glantz will remain in Kazakhstan this spring and will teach an Archaeological Methods course.
In Chile, Bledsoe will research how hydrologic and geomorphic processes influence variations in stream ecology around the landscape. He will also focus on environmental flows below dams, balancing how much water is needed to sustain a healthy ecosystem while fulfilling human needs.
In 2006, Bledsoe received an NSF CAREER Award for his research on the effects of excess nitrogen in streams as part of a five-year project on creating new outdoor laboratories for graduate and undergraduate students in and around Fort Collins to study Spring Creek, Sheep Creek, and the Little Snake River.
Bledsoe, co-founder and faculty adviser of CSU’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders, was selected as the Borland Chair of Hydraulics from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He will take his wife and two daughters with him to Chile for the five-month appointment.
About 800 U.S. faculty and professionals will travel abroad through the Fulbright Scholar Program. Established in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the program’s purpose is to build mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the rest of the world.
The Fulbright Scholar Program is administered by the Council for International Exchange for Scholars.