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SU DoGG Alumnus Spotlight

Alex Smith - B.S. in Geography 2011

Alex Smith

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Alex Smith

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My degree in Geography from Salisbury University has provided me an excellent skill set that I have continued to use as I work towards my goal of a career in academia. Since graduating from Salisbury I have earned a Master’s degree in Geography at East Carolina University and currently I’m a PhD student at the University of Ulster’s Environmental Science Research Institute in the United Kingdom. I specialize in coastal geomorphology, aeolian processes, and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modelling. My current research is based on understanding the process oriented geomorphology of an arid coastal dunefield at Maspalomas which is located on the island of Gran Canaria in the Canary Island Archipelago. Urbanization has led to the modification of this sites regional airflow patterns and has directly impacted dune morphometry, sediment supply, and rates of migration. Utilizing both on site measurements, via three dimensional sonic anemometers, and CFD modelling I have identified emergent airflow dynamics (e.g. velocity, turbulence, and surface stressors) that are impacting the continual geomorphic evolution of the dunefield. Like many geographers I was ‘recruited’ from an introductory geography class as I was searching for a major that would provide both relevant marketable skills after graduation and a range of subjects that challenged me to think and become engaged as a student. Salisbury University’s Geography department is an excellent program that helped me develop skills in Geosciences, attention to detail, and love of research. This has provided me with the opportunity to conduct my research in many national and international sites while collaborating with some of the top professionals in my field.

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