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Adriana Martinez,
NSF Graduate Fellow

NSF GK-12 Project: Texas A&M University
Advancing Geospatial Skills in Science and Social Science
URL: http://agsss.tamu.edu

Thesis Title: Sediment Dynamics of an Impounded River: Yegua Creek, Texas
College/University: Texas A&M University

Research Advisor: Anne Chin

Degree Sought

University Department and/or Lab

Research Focus
My research centers on fluvial geomorphology.

Description of Research
My research interests include studying human impacts on rivers and sediment transport. I am currently conducting research regarding the impact of Somerville Dam on the sediment dynamics of Yegua Creek, Texas. Determining changes in sediment composition and dynamics downstream of Somerville Dam will aid in understanding how the overall sediment regime of the creek may have changed as a result of dam construction and how that sediment may effect the sediment composition in reaches further downstream into the Brazos River, and eventually, the coast. Such understanding is important to ascertain because dams have been known to severely alter the sediment compositions of downstream reaches. This study also adds to our knowledge of sedimentological effects of dams in general. With the construction of more dams planned for the state of Texas, as described in “Water for Texas: Highlights of the 2007 State Water Plan”(2006), increased understanding of potential effects is critical.

Example of how my research is integrated into my GK-12 experience
During the fall semester, students in our partner middle school science classes participated in ISS EarthKam, a NASA-sponsored program that allows students to target and request photographs to be taken from a stationary digital camera mounted on the International Space Station. As students began receiving the photos they had requested, I was able to discuss the different fluvial formations seen in the pictures with some degree of expertise. We were able to discuss why those features were present and why they appeared the way they did. It was particularly interesting because students were questioning the presence of formations such as drainage basins and depositional and erosional features along stream banks. In addition, the students were forming ideas about the processes that produce them.

Profile date: July 2007
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