Jennifer Glaubius

Geography, University of Kansas
2015-2016 US Fulbright Student Program

My dissertation research is on how human actions related to agricultural terraces (i.e. construction, maintenance, abandonment) affect landscape evolution and stability. My primary research objective in Messenia, Greece is to collect data for calibrating computer simulations of landscape evolution of the terraced terrain and to validate simulation results regarding when terraces were first constructed in my study area and during which historical periods the terraces were maintained or abandoned. Rainfall is one of the primary drivers of landscape evolution, so in September I installed a rain gauge near the village of Iklaina that records the amount of rain and duration of storm events in my study area. I have also been collecting soil cores from agricultural terrace fill sediment under the guidelines of a Geological Permit issued by I.G.M.E. (ΙΝΣΤΙΤΟΥΤΟ ΓΕΩΛΟΓΙΚΩΝ ΚΑΙ ΜΕΤΑΛΛΕΥΤΙΚΩΝ ΕΡΕΥΝΩΝ). I will process the soil cores and collect samples for analysis of geomorphic and pedologic characteristics at the Laboratory of Archaeometry at the University of the Peloponnese in Kalamata. Once the soil samples have been analyzed, I will use the sample data to determine the geomorphic processes that formed the terrace fill and the approximate age of terrace construction. In addition, I am collecting aerial photographs with an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), which are processed in Structure-from-Motion software to create a high-resolution digital elevation model of the study area.

I am also involved in activities within the Laboratory of Archaeometry at the University of the Peloponnese in Kalamata, especially the Masters program in Cultural Technology. I have attended lectures in the Cultural Technology courses on X-Ray fluorescence (XRF) and use of the scanning electron microscope (SEM), as part of training to use the equipment for my research. I also contributed to the laboratory course for the Masters program by teaching a class on describing soil profiles and interpreting soil characteristics.

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