Dr. Bassil El Masri awarded Research Infrastructure Improvement Track-4 EPSCoR Research Fellowship
By Jennifer Cline | Sep 20, 2023
MURRAY, Ky. – Dr. Bassil El Masri, an associate professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences through the Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology at Murray State University, has been awarded one of ten Research Infrastructure Improvement Track-4 EPSCoR Research Fellows (RII Track-4) by the National Science Foundation (NSF).
The fellowship will help to better understand the dynamics of greenhouse gasses (GHGs) in mineral wetland ecosystems that are not well studied. The project aims to improve the detection of GHG emissions from wetlands using satellites, reduce uncertainties in the GHG fluxes across larger spatial extents and validate satellite-based GHG emission data. The strategy of linking the field campaign with the remote sensing activities is aimed at providing new insights into the mapping of the controls of mineral soil wetland methane fluxes. This work will be conducted in collaboration with NASA Ames Research Center researchers.
"With access to NASA facilities and equipment, research investigators from EPSCoR jurisdictions will be able to solve challenging problems and solidify lifelong research partnerships," said NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan. "This dual agency partnership will also help diversify the U.S. workforce through collaborative research at the federal government level and improve the research capacity of their home institutions and jurisdictions more broadly.”
"This fellowship will build on our current work on understanding GHG fluxes from bald cypress swamps and other bottomland hardwood forests in western Kentucky. I look forward to collaborating with NASA Ames Research Center scientists to advance satellite applications in wetland methane detection,” said Dr. El Masri. “I am also excited about the unique opportunity this fellowship will provide a Murray State University graduate student to visit NASA Ames Research Center, work on the project, and acquire new techniques and tools."
"The success of this year's joint NSF and NASA faculty fellowships highlights the remarkable dedication and ingenuity within the scientific community," said Dr. Kathleen Loftin, project manager of NASA’s EPSCoR Program. "These fellowships are not just about funding; they are about fostering meaningful, transformative collaborations that enrich the landscape of STEM research."
For more information on Murray State’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences visit https://bit.ly/3PqQDbt.