The experiment provided an exceptional
hands-on learning experience
for UVU students.
UVU Students & Faculty Join Mexico Tribe in Search For Water
ON A QUEST FOR WATER, UVU STUDENTS AND FACULTY SURVEYED WELLS IN MEXICO
As the U.S. economy tightens, many are being forced into less desirable living standards. But in a remote corner of Mexico, the Tarahumara tribe won’t be missing out on the iPods or new clothes that could have been. Their chief concerns all along have been the crucial minutiae of day-to-day survival.
Inhabitants of the Sierra Madre Occidental range in western Mexico, the Tarahumara live a simple lifestyle, excessively so by today’s standards. They dwell in basic shelters or caves. They grow crops and raise livestock. They migrate. And in arid Central America, they are constantly in search of water.
Enter UVU’s Department of Earth Science, which sent a team of eight to study water resources in the area. The group — which included five students and three faculty— studied the geology, hydrology and water chemistry of the region inhabited by the Tamahumara to determine groundwater flow paths. Once the data are analyzed, the UVU team hopes to bring a technologicThe team collected a huge amount of data, which will be analyzed by the students and faculty," said Daniel Horns, chair of UVU’s Department of Earth Sciences. “The work should provide guidance for well drillers in time for a follow-up visit [later this year]." The experiment provided an exceptional hands-on learning experience for UVU students and a candid look at a culture quite foreign from their own. The trip was one of many missions to central Mexico made by the Department of Earth Science over the past decade, although many past studies dealt with surface water rather than ground water.
"The students who made the trip were Ryan Anderson, Jim Durand, Tracy Kemp, Mallory Palmer and Bob White. All are earth science students at UVU, and most were enrolled in an introductory hydrology course. Instructors Joel Bradford, Mike Bunds and Steve Emerman accompanied them on the research excursion.
You Can Mentor a UVU Student
At UVU, the push for students to enter the working world with both a diploma and a resume is a top priority. This effort, dubbed “engaged learning,” gains so much more traction with the assistance of community mentors. The Center for the Advancement of Leadership (CAL) is taking the lead in making mentoring a common practice for students interested in taking their education to the next level.
“Mentoring is an integral part of the student leadership experience,” said Dr. Bruce H. Jackson, the CAL’s director. “Students need to step into their community and learn from those leaders and experts who can share their experiences.”
Currently, the CAL offers mentoring opportunities for more than 140 students across campus. Mentors fill the role of “life coach” (someone students can meet with and discuss leadership on a more general level) or a “disciplinespecific” mentor. In either case, the goal is to make a connection between classroom teaching and practical experience. The benefits of this relationship are two-fold: students learn invaluable lessons and mentors cultivate relationships with tomorrow’s leaders. UVU’s emphasis on this engaged learning process has become one of the major attractions for the institution’s rapidly growing student body.
“Each and every day I use or think of a principle my mentors taught me,” said Jackie Fuller, a third-year veteran of the mentoring program. “I cannot begin to tell you how the little nuggets of gold they shared with me affect my everyday life.”
In partnership with Alumni Relations, CAL is looking to help every student find a mentor in the community. To do this, the university encourages interested alumni to register as mentors at UVU.edu/alumni/ and select “Mentoring” from the drop-down menu under the “Volunteers” tab. Alumni and community members interested in becoming a mentor may also contact the CAL at (801) 863-6465 to request application instructions.