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A group of ten top scientists from the country of Iran, accompanied by U.S. colleagues visited Borrego Springs on Monday evening, June 22nd, for an evening lecture and dinner at the UCI Steele/Burnand Anza-Borrego Desert Research Center. The group was part of a U.S. National Academy of Sciences and U.S. State Department sponsored tour of the United States.
The group’s interest was in studying the management of inland lakes in the southwestern United States and sharing experiences regarding Iranian efforts to manage Urmia Lake – an inland lake in northwestern Iran that resembles the Great Salt Lake in Utah.
A two-day workshop on ‘Environmental and Water Resources Management Issues of Inland Lakes: Sharing Experiences and Opportunities from Iran’s Urmia Basin and the Southwest United States’ was held immediately prior to the trip at the University of California, Irvine’s, Beckman Center on the UCI campus.
The visit was hosted by Dr. Tim Bradley, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UC Irvine, and Dr. Soroosh Sorooshian, Distinguished Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth System Science Departments and Director of the Center for Hydrometeorology and Remote Sensing in the Henri Samueli School of Engineering at UC Irvine.
Dr. Bradley, a former Faculty Director for the Steele/Burnand Anza-Borrego Desert Research Center gave the group a tour of the Borrego Springs facility and a program on the Salton Sea – their destination the following day. Dinner was catered by Kendall’s Café of Borrego Springs. The group of 25 included Bruce Wilcox, Environmental Manager for the Imperial Irrigation District and Mrs. Jere Hansen, representing Audrey Steele Burnand, additional UC Irvine staff and graduate students, along with the local staff of the Research Center.
Mrs. Hansen (and Mrs. Burnand in absentia) were thanked profusely by all the participants for providing such a wonderful research facility and Mrs. Hansen was interviewed by the Iranians about the establishment of the Steele/Burnand Anza-Borrego Desert Research Center – in the hopes that they might be able to establish a similar type of center in their country. The Iranian scientists in attendance included:
Dr. Davood Reza Arab, founding Director of the Rahbord Danesh Pouya Research and Engineering Institute, Tehran;
Dr. Hossein Akhani, Professor, School of Biology, University of Tehran;
Dr. Asghar Asghari Moghaddam Heris, Professor of Geology, University of Tabriz;
Dr. Masoud Bagherzadeh Karimi, Deputy Director General on Wetlands and National Parks, Bureau of Habitats and Protected Areas, Department of the Environment, Tehran;
Dr. Ali Chavoshian, Director, Regional Centre on Urban Water Management (under the auspices of UNESCO) for West and Central Asia, Tehran;
Dr. Razyeh Lak, Assistant Professor, Research Institute for Earth Sciences, Geological Survey of Iran;
Dr. Saeed Morid, Professor, Department of Water Resources Management, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran;
Dr. Behrooz Oskooi, Associate Professor, Institute of Geophysics, University of Tehran;
Dr. Farahnaz Taghavi, Assistant Professor, Institute of Geophysics, University of Tehran;
Kamran Zeynalzadeh, Director, Urmia Lake Research Institute, Urmia University.
Following their tour of the Salton Sea, the group was headed to Owens Lake, Mono Lake and the Great Salt Lake. Their visit to the U.S. will also include a two-day conference at Tufts University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in early July.