I had the wonderful opportunity to work as a Research Assistant through the UBC Work Learn Program for the UCA Project. Francis was an empathetic and a highly helpful supervisor who constantly provided me with the direction for my research throughout the time I was employed. I can say that I had an amazing learning experience which has been directly applicable to my studies in school.
During my time, I researched about the natural disasters (landslides, floods, and earthquakes) that took place in Central Asian countries, and the physical processes that caused them. I went in depth and broke those physical processes into geological, mechanical, hydrological, and geomorphological factors that lead to those incidents. My next steps were to locate and summarise the risk assessment and hazard mitigation techniques from scholarly technical reports on those disasters. Finally, I learnt about soil mechanics and how loose soil types like loess lead to landslides and how mitigation processes like landfilling can reduce further risks and reduce the intensity of such hazards from occurring.
Since I’m studying Mining Engineering at UBC, one of the most important value that my degree instills is ‘Health and Safety.’ Therefore, learning about predicting risks and mitigating hazards, through my research and discussions with the professors involved in the course, not only enhanced my knowledge about geology but also made me familiar with all the safety responsibilities associated with project development. My time at UCA project has given me skills in research, mineral identification, risk assessment techniques and hazard mitigation approaches that I can directly apply towards my degree and to my projects. I’m highly grateful for having been part of this project.