Emporia State hydrologist receives Fulbright grant to study in Thailand

Emporia State hydrologist Marcia Schulmeister.
Emporia State hydrologist Marcia Schulmeister.
Emporia State associate geology professor Marcia Schulmeister – a hydrology specialist – is on her way to Thailand after being selected by the U.S. State Department to be part of a Fulbright Specialist project.

Schulmeister will be working on her Fulbright project in conjunction with Thailand’s Khon Kaen University. The study will focus on the Mekong River and water resources surrounding the Khorat Plateau of northeastern Thailand near the Laotian border.

Emporia’s chair for physical sciences, Kim Simons, said Schulmeister’s expertise in her field and the relationships she’s developed with Thai academics makes the Fulbright award well-deserved.

Schulmeister has previously worked on projects to develop ways to alleviate flood disasters in Thailand. Those projects focused on diverting flood waters into sustainable groundwater basins that will help Thailand’s farming communities.

Schulmeister has gotten a number of Emporia State students involved in those projects, which has been to the benefit of both their educations and to Thailand. The work has benefited not only Thailand but her Emporia State students who have been involved in research. Simons said that has geological industries hiring numerous Emporia State graduates.

“The petroleum and hydrology worlds are always coming to us for graduates because she leads, she teaches those students,” Simons said.

Schulmeister’s new Fulbright project will focus on ways to use artesian wells in the country that are used for agriculture and bottling.

“The primary reason the Thai government is interested in the wells is because of a more frequent incidence of drought,” Schulmeister said. “Farmers have recently experienced here severe drought years and the rice-paddy fields have been dry.” 

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