Visit to Tajikistan for geology course development.

October 8 – 19, 2019.

Ozlem is building two courses; Geochemistry and Sedimentology and Hydrocarbon Resources. A productive 10 day trip was made in October 2018 to gain some understanding of mountains, rocks, faculty, students, administrators, affiliated organizations and different cities in Tajikistan. This was a busy visit with many goals accomplished, especially a greater appreciation for the landscape, people and academic setting of UCA’s Khorog campus.

  • Oct 7 – Oct  9: Travel Vancouver -> Toronto -> Istanbul -> Dushanbe, then on to Khorog.
  • Oct 9 –  10: introductory meetings with UCA faculty, staff. Also meetings with Khorog State University and AKAH (Aga Khan Agency for Habitat). It is wonderful to have Prof. David Rodgers at Khorog, helping establish geology teaching and learning opportunities for classes, labs and field experiences. See photos and reflections on time in Tajikistan here on his project blog.
  • Oct 11: Road-trip to explore geology close the university. We observed rock lithology and structures and examined locations on the river that may be suitable for field work for geoscience courses. We also went to Barsem Village, scene of a major debris flow disaster in May, 2015.
  • Oct 12 – 14:  Road-trip along Pamir Highway onto the high Pamir plateau as far as Murgab (approximately 5hrs of driving time one-way). See some wonderful photos of the region by David Rodgers. Gained an appreciation for the landscapes, collected rock samples and observed the larger-scale geological features of the area. Meeting with locals to discuss potential for having students carry out field studies in the area. Also talked about how geoscience graduates may contribute to community and regional development. Returned to Khorog before end of October 14th.
  • Oct 14  After return to Khorog, we meet with Dean Dianna Pauna, considered planning and requirements for geoscience teaching labs, attended classes, met with students, and discussed teaching and curriculum with science lecturer, Maqsad Suriev, and other instructors.
  • Oct 15 – 16: mostly travel between Khorog and Dushanbe
  • Oct 18:  Meetings with AKAH and Geological survey in Dushanbe to discuss arrangements necessary for a formal partnership between UCA and AKAH that will support exchange of information for learning at UCA.

A special thanks go out to everyone at UCA who were so welcoming and supportive in making this visit productive and enjoyable.