Marinus Otte, NDSU professor of biological sciences, has received a Fulbright Specialist award, the U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board announced Aug. 4.
He will complete a project at Autonomous University of Queretaro, Mexico, that aims to exchange knowledge and establish partnerships through a variety of educational and training activities within environmental science. He will work with faculty and students at the university, as well as people from industry, government and local communities.
“The aim is to raise more awareness about sustainable water use and the value of wet ecosystems, particularly in this region, which is about 150 miles northwest of Mexico City,” Otte said. “The geology is limestone, which means water drains off the landscape fast, and so access to useable water is difficult. There are serious problems with water pollution. In addition, people in the region are generally poor, which means there is little money to improve existing infrastructure.”
Otte will be in Mexico Sept. 4-Oct. 2.
“I will give several presentations at the university, but the most exciting part is that I will spend about a week in the Sierra Gorda,” he said. “We will hold workshops in several communities about water and wetlands. That will be interesting, because some of those communities do not have electricity, so it’s back to paper and blackboards.”
Otte is one of more than 400 U.S. citizens who share expertise with host institutions abroad through the Fulbright Specialist Program each year. Recipients of Fulbright Specialist awards are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, demonstrated leadership in their field and their potential to foster long-term cooperation between institutions.
The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to build lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The Fulbright Program is funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations and foundations around the world also provide support to the program, which operates in more than 160 countries worldwide.
Otte leads NDSU’s Wet Ecosystem Research Group. He earned his master’s degree and doctorate at Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Otte also is the editor-in-chief of the journal Wetlands. His research interests include wetlands, ecology, ecotoxicology, ecophysiology and biogeochemistry.
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