At the beginning of the new academic year, Georgia State announced that it had broken the school record for research funding for a third consecutive year. Of the nearly $225 million brought in by GSU researchers during the 2023 fiscal year, over $2 million came from the various funded projects led by faculty in the Department of Geosciences, led by the department’s five-year, $7.2 million grant for the Community-Soil-Air-Water Initiative. But the GEOS faculty are already off to a hot start in the new fiscal and academic year, with a total of seven GEOS faculty members winning six grants worth over $2 million in funding to GSU, with total project budgets exceeding $7.5 million over the lifetime of the grants.
Of the most recent wave of awardees, assistant professor Dr. Sarah H. Ledford was the first to receive the good news of the funding. Dr. Ledford is part of a collaborative team receiving a $2.5 million grant from the US Environmental Protection Agency for their project “Quantification and modeling of perchlorate impacts from fireworks on drinking water sources”. Along with her collaborators at Texas Tech, UC-Berkeley, the University of Delaware and Penn State, Dr. Ledford will be examining the role of fireworks on contaminating waterways used as sources of drinking water across the US.
Dr. Crawford Elliott also received word before the summer ended that his collaborative project with Dr. Yuanzhi Tang at Georgia Tech would be funded by the NSF’s Sedimentary Geology and Paleobiology program. Their $517,000 project, “The occurrences of the rare earth elements in highly weathered sedimentary rocks, Georgia kaolins” will continue Dr. Elliott’s work on the Georgia kaolins, for which he has already received a US patent.
The third grant earned by GEOS faculty comes from the team of assistant professor Dr. Daniel Gebregiorgis, associate professor Dr. Larry Kiage and associate professor Dr. Chetan Tiwari, alongside Dr. Susie Ramisetty-Mikler from the GSU School of Public Health. Their two-year, $248,000 project "A multi-disciplinary framework to combat climate-induced desert locust upsurges, outbreaks, and plagues in East Africa" was funded by the NSF Office of International Science and Engineering’s Global Centers Program.
Dr. Chetan Tiwari earned a second grant from the NSF alongside computer science faculty Dr. Anu Bourgeois (as PI), Dr. Armin Mikler, Dr. Raj Sunderraman and Dr. Ramisetty-Mikler from Public Health as co-PIs. Their two-year, $298,000 project from the Division of Computer and Network Systems’ Program in Broadening Participation in Computing is entitled “A Spatial Approach to Reduce Inequities in Early Access to CS Education”.
Professor Jeremy Diem is the recipient of the department’s fifth grant of the new academic year thusfar, bringing $142,000 to GSU as part of a larger $1.02 million NSF-funded project on “Understanding invisible socio-environmental systems through pesticide exposure across human-wildlife interactions in tropical forest-agricultural mosaics”. Done in collaboration with faculty from Indiana University, the University of Colorado at Boulder and Hunter College, Dr. Diem will be investigating socio-environmental change around the Kibale National Park in Uganda.
Finally, associate professor Dr. Nadine Kabengi has recently been awarded a $3 million grant from the US Department of Energy for her collaborative project entitled “Atomic Level Compositional Complexity for Electrocatalysis, or Atomic -C2E”. Along with PI Dr. Gangli Wang and fellow co-PIs Dr. Samer Gozem and Dr. Xuefei Li from the GSU Department of Chemistry and other colleagues from Carnegie Mellon University, Georgia Tech, Oak Ridge National Lab and the University of Utah, Dr. Kabengi’s project will contribute directly to the goals of the DOE’s Energy Earthshots initiative in hydrogen and carbon negative energy.
The Department of Geosciences is proud of all of its faculty accomplishments, and looks forward to seeing the results of these new research projects and their impacts on the GEOS student body and the communities in which these projects are based!