UMass Dartmouth, Bridgewater State launch accelerated programs

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The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and Bridgewater State University have announced two joint accelerated master of science programs in physics and electrical engineering. The educational partnership agreement between the institutions will provide undergraduate students at BSU with an accelerated pathway to earning a graduate degree at UMass Dartmouth.

Undergraduate students in the physics, photonics and optical engineering program in the Bartlett College of Science and Mathematics at BSU will be able to seamlessly earn a master’s degree in physics or electrical engineering in the College of Engineering at UMass Dartmouth.

During their junior or senior year, BSU students can begin taking graduate courses at UMass Dartmouth while finishing their undergraduate degrees at BSU. This unique opportunity offers students an accelerated pathway to successfully attain their academic goals affordably. Importantly, the agreement focuses on student academic support measures including advising and research opportunities throughout the student’s educational journey.

“This partnership offers an expedited and cost-effective opportunity for students to enter STEM fields that provide them with meaningful career opportunities,” said Michael Goodman, acting provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs at UMass Dartmouth. “These are fields where there is a clear need for more skilled workers, which makes this a real win-win for both our students and the regional economy.”

Dr. Karim Ismaili, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at BSU, agreed that the accelerated pathway will extend the mutual commitment of both institutions to affordability and quality, with a focus on innovation.

“Bridgewater State University and UMass Dartmouth are committed to helping students take advantage of opportunities that will help them succeed now and, in the future,” said Ismaili. “This partnership is a powerful example of how two public institutions can work together to achieve these important goals.”

The collaboration began with faculty at both institutions working on ways to create more hands-on STEM learning and research experiences for students.

The two Southeastern Massachusetts institutions have a strong history of collaboration to offer training and career opportunities to diverse student learners to meet the needs of the workforce through education and lifelong learning.

In 2018, the UMass School of Law at UMass Dartmouth and BSU began offering a joint Law/Master of Social Work program that allows students to earn both degrees in four years rather than five. By collaborating on the program, the schools enable students to enter public service with a uniquely defined skill set and less student debt.

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European colonization accelerated erosion tenfold

European colonization accelerated erosion tenfold
Clearance of native forests for cultivation accelerates soil erosion and causes rapid sedimentation in alluvial plains. Photo taken at the Bio Bio region (Chile) Credit: Veerle Vanacker

Rates of soil erosion and alluvium accumulation in North America accelerated 10-fold after Europeans colonized the continent, according to new research carried out by scientists from China, Belgium and U.S..


In a paper published today in Nature Communications, the researchers show how humans have altered the North American landscape at a rate far in excess of what nature alone can achieve. The results, they suggest, may have implications for instructing land management and restoration efforts.

Prof. David Kemp from China University of Geosciences in Wuhan said “On nearly every continent, humans are altering the natural landscape, and modifying the land to meet our needs for agriculture, energy and water security. One key consequence of our actions is an increase in sediment movement, particularly soil erosion.

“We knew already that when European colonizers started farming in North America there was an increase in erosion. This led to the deposition of large amounts of river and floodplain sediment, known as alluvium. Our study quantifies this increase across the continent as a whole, and reveals an order of magnitude jump in rates of alluvium deposition soon after Europeans arrived.”

Prof. Veerle Vanacker, of Université catholique de Louvain, explained, “When we use these data to quantify landscape change, we find that in the past century humans have moved as much sediment on North America as it would take natural processes to move in up to 3000 years.”

European colonization accelerated erosion tenfold
Water and soil conservation measures, such as wooden dams, are very effective in reducing runoff and transferring sediment to the alluvial plain. Photo taken in the Andes (Ecuador) Credit: Veerle Vanacker

She added, “What these findings mean is that anthropogenic activities have unprecedented impact on sediment dynamics. Unsustainable land use practices entail large societal costs in terms of soil fertility decline, flooding and stream degradation and direct costs for soil and watershed restoration. The study improves our ability to set benchmarks for erosion monitoring and control.”

Prof. Peter Sadler of University of California, Riverside, added, “To arrive at our conclusions, we compiled and analyzed a large database of alluvium accumulation rates that extend back to a time well before the first Europeans lived on the continent.

“What really stood out in these data was the observation that for the past 40,000 years, rates of alluvium accumulation hardly changed at all and the landscape was quite stable. It was only in the last 200 years that the rates suddenly increased—right around the time that Europeans started intensive farming.”


Human activities boosted global soil erosion already 4,000 years ago


More information:
David B. Kemp et al, The human impact on North American erosion, sediment transfer, and storage in a geologic context, Nature Communications (2020). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-19744-3
Provided by
Université catholique de Louvain

Citation:
European colonization accelerated erosion tenfold (2020, December 1)
retrieved 1 December 2020
from https://phys.org/news/2020-12-european-colonization-erosion-tenfold.html

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