barb tewksbury | hamilton college

Desert Eyes Application 2013-14

We are looking for eight undergraduate and graduate students to participate in NSF-funded research in Egypt. Projects are available in structural geology, geophysics, sedimentary geology, and mineralogy. Download the flyer.

Applications plus two letters of recommendation, are due by May 13, 2013. Submit all application materials by email as directed on the application form.  Download the application.

Characteristics of successful applicants

The Desert Eyes Project is not a field trip or a field camp - it is first and foremost a research project. We are looking for student collaborators who are highly motivated, well-prepared academically, and willing to take initiative to prepare well for research in the field, to serve effectively as junior research colleagues in the field, and to follow through with independent work on a portion of the main research project.

A second aim of the project is to give American students experience in research in a foreign setting in collaboration with Egyptian faculty and students in order to better prepare them for working in a global context in the future. The collaborative and cultural aspects of this project are an important part of the field work component, and we are seeking students who are adventurous, flexible, and able to work well in a diverse group setting.


Undergraduate applicants must be geology or geophysics majors, and preference will be given to applicants who will be juniors during academic year 2013-14 or who are able to conduct significant preparatory research during summer 2013. Graduate student applicants must be working in either geology or geophysics. Applicants must be US citizens (a requirement of our NSF grant).


Participants must have taken a course in structural geology. Course work or prior experience in GIS or remote sensing, field work, and research are desirable but not mandatory. Participants must also have completed course work in the area(s) in which they will contribute to Desert Eyes research (structural geology, sedimentology, geophysics, mineralogy, and/or geochemistry).

Expectations of successful applicants

If we select you to participate in Desert Eyes 2013-14, you will:

  • prepare for Desert Eyes field research by participating in the fall 2013 Seminar on the Geology of Egypt, by completing other preparation as required by your research supervisor, and by participating in project evaluation activities.
  • prepare independently in traveller’s Arabic over the summer of 2013 (the project will provide CDs and other materials).
  • participate in field research in Egypt during December 2013 and January 2014. Departure from the US will be either December 26 or 27, and return may be as late as January 20.
  • complete a report, independent study, or thesis under the direction of your research supervisor based on Desert Eyes data.
  • contribute to presentation of research results at student research symposia and/or professional meetings.

Costs and funding

Covered by the Project:  The Desert Eyes grant will cover the cost of airfare to and from Egypt, plus visa, travel, lodging, cultural experience, and food expenses in Egypt for all participants. The grant will not provide additional stipends or research support for Desert Eyes participants.

Covered by the student: Students participating in Desert Eyes are expencted to cover personal expenses in Egypt, plus passport application fee, appropriate clothing, and personal field gear.