UNI students collaborate on water study in Nepal

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa is in an international collaboration with Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu, Nepal, for a water study of the Bagmati River. Fieldwork for the project began the second week of May and will continue through the end of 2016. The team from UNI will primarily lead the project while TU will provide lab space.

The project is funded by a $56,000 grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation. Mohammad Iqbal, an earth science professor at UNI, is the project director.

"Students will learn about global environmental problems, particularly issues that are directly linked to human health," said Iqbal. "This will be a great opportunity for our students to develop respect and understanding for people of a different culture, specifically for those people who are living in adverse environmental conditions."

Two students from UNI got the privilege to travel to Nepal to assist with fieldwork this past summer. They learned how to conduct water and sediment sampling, analyze procedures and implement policy changes using scientific data. More UNI students will get involved in the study as the collaboration between the schools continues.

The Bagmati is polluted from industrial and municipal waste due to an increase in population and urban development over recent decades. It is known as one of the most polluted rivers in the world. The goal of the study is to develop an effective hydrologic assessment scheme for the polluted body of water. This will provide the people of Nepal with technical expertise to prevent a probable human environmental disaster.


For more information about the study, contact Iqbal at 319-273-2998 or m.iqbal@uni.edu.


Mohammad Iqbal, professor, earth science, 319-273-2998, m.iqbal@uni.edu

Lindsay Cunningham, Office of University Relations, 319-273-6728, lindsay.cunningham@uni.edu