03/24 - Four chosen for summer IRES program in Czech Republic

Three Nebraska students and one from California have been selected to attend this summer’s session of International Research Experiences for Students (or IRES) in the Czech Republic.

Funded by the National Science Foundation and open to U.S. undergraduate and graduate students majoring in the sciences or engineering fields, IRES is hosted by Prague’s Czech Technical University (CTU) and will be held May 29 to July 21, said Nebraska Water Center director Chittaranjan Ray, who coordinates the program.

Chosen to study at CTU this summer were: Zablon Adane and Catherine Finkenbiner, University of Nebraska- Lincoln; Jessica Bozell, University of Nebraska – Omaha; and Alisha Rodriguez, University of the Pacific, Stockton, Calif.

“The program wants to facilitate U.S.-Czech Republic student research experience on research on vadose zone for understanding water and chemical transport at various scales between the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and CTU,” Ray explained.

Primary student mentor for the eight-week program in Prague is CTU’s Michal Snehota, Ray said, adding that students will work with a number of his colleagues and staff for experiments and assistance.

IRES participants live on-campus in CTU dormitories and work collaboratively with Czech students and researchers in the laboratory and at field sites within various watersheds in the Czech Republic. Students will also analyze data for pore structure for undisturbed soil cores to examine preferential flow pathway and measure hydraulic conductivity of unsaturated soils in the field.

“I will be in Prague for their first week and then go again for the last week for final evaluations and closure of the program,” Ray said.

The University of Nebraska pays the students’ airfare, a stipend and living expenses while participating in the program.

Before making the trip to Prague, Hana Waisseova of the University of Nebraska will give students an introduction to Czech history and culture. Ray will also give them a primer on the types of experiments they will be doing and what they will need to study before leaving for the Czech Republic.

“Last summer’s IRES program was very successful and I have no doubts that this year’s session will be, as well,” Ray said.