With a strong background in international science and research, as well as proficiency in both cultures and languages, Yevgeniy Kontar, Ph.D., adjunct faculty member, continues to travel across countries.
In July of 2012, Kontar attended a U.S.–Russia Geohazards workshop in Moscow, Russia, to identify bilateral cooperation actions for disaster risk reduction, focusing on extreme geophysical events.
As a continuation of the workshop, Kontar and his colleagues in the U.S-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission (BPC) are preparing a research project, “International Studies of Hazardous Groundwater/Surface Water Exchange in the Volcanic Eruption and Tsunami Affected Areas of Alaska and Kamchatka.”
BPC was created by President Medvedev and President Obama to improve the coordination between the U.S. and Russia to address common challenges and explore opportunities for partnership.
“They recognized me as an expert in natural hazards, and I used to work for the Russian Academy of Sciences,” said Kontar. “I was lucky to be invited to come over.”
BPC wanted Kontar’s expertise to find out what was going on after a volcanic eruption. After a volcanic eruption, water becomes acid and can kill many things. Some lakes fill with acid because of water discharge.
The group participating in the research project has 14 partners from around the world with four universities from the U.S. The preparations of the research project are just beginning, and Kontar also hopes to bring UF faculty members on board.
“Science can be profitable for the University,” said Kontar. “With more people involved in research, more ideas will be created.”
The project will be finalized towards the end of the year. A period of technical preparations will follow. Kontar will travel to Alaska next to continue research project planning.
Written by Sarah Foltz