Auburn University’s Kalin selected for Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award to conduct river sediment research in Brazil

Published: July 08, 2021
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Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Professor Latif Kalin has been selected to receive a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award to perform research in Brazil.

Kalin, who holds the title of Alumni Professor and serves as associate director of the school’s Center for Environmental Studies at the Urban-Rural Interface, will work at the Federal University of Santa Maria, or UFSM, as part of a project to quantify sediment load to the Salto Dam and to identify sediment hotspots in the Upper Uruguay River Basin.

The Salto Dam provides 44% of Uruguay’s electricity but is threatened by the access sediment coming from the Uruguay River Basin, 73% of which is in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, where the host institute, UFSM, is located.

“Soil erosion and sediment transport are global problems, and tackling global problems, such as disease outbreaks, food and energy needs and environmental degradation, requires a holistic approach, thus learning from each other and knowing each other,” Kalin said. “This opportunity will allow me to be a scientific and cultural ambassador of the U.S., transfer my knowledge gathered over the years working in the southeastern U.S. to southern Brazil, as well as learn their practices and their success and failure stories.”

As a Fulbright Scholar, Kalin will share knowledge and foster meaningful connections across communities in the United States and Brazil. Fulbright Scholars engage in cutting-edge research and expand their professional networks, often continuing research collaborations that started abroad, and lay the groundwork for future partnerships among institutions.

Upon returning to their institutions in the United States, they share their experiences and often become active supporters of international exchange, inviting foreign scholars to campus and encouraging colleagues and students to go abroad.

“Dr. Kalin is a superb choice to receive a Fulbright Scholarship,” said School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Dean Janaki Alavalapati. “This honor will allow him to play a significant role in combating sediment transport and soil erosion, which increasingly threaten the well-being of countless people living in Brazil. This unique opportunity reflects the continuing global impact of the research and work of the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences faculty.”

Kalin’s career will also be enriched as he joins a network of thousands of esteemed Fulbright Scholar alumni that includes 60 Nobel Prize laureates, 88 Pulitzer Prize recipients and 39 heads of state or government.

The Fulbright Program is the United States’ flagship international educational exchange program and is supported by the U.S. and partner countries around the world. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the program, and celebrations throughout the year are celebrating its accomplishments and legacy.

(Written by Teri Greene)

The Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences is a flagship institution for natural resources-based degrees including natural resource management, geospatial and environmental informatics and sustainable biomaterials and packaging. The school serves as the backbone for Alabama’s $30 billion-plus forest, wildlife and natural resources related enterprises. Its mission is to create next-generation professionals and leaders, to develop new knowledge and disseminate science-based solutions to our clientele to improve the social, economic and environmental well-being of citizens in Alabama and beyond.