Texas A&M University
Dennis Mmasa is a senior Geology major and Geophysics minor at Texas A&M University. He works at the International Ocean Discovery Program located in College Station, Texas. Dennis is currently a member of Julia Reece's research group and works on research that deals with change in permeability and porosity of mud when mixed with organic matter, more specifically peat. He performs this research using the resedimentation method. He started working on this project January of 2017 and will be doing it until he graduates in December 2017. With the findings of his research, he will be able to determine how organic matters affects porosity and permeability and this will help both in the findings of oil and gas and water flow in areas with a high quantity of organic matters. Previous research that Dennis has performed includes working with one of the staff scientist at IODP, Dr. Leah LeVay in determining the productivity of phytoplankton in the Gulf of Alaska from Expedition 341.
I recently took a near surface geophysics class during the spring 2017 semester, this was one of the favorite classes I’ve ever taken in my college tenure. Being a part of this research helps me to apply the knowledge I learned in class to the field. Working with the G-TEM will give me a chance to utilize my geophysics knowledge in the field. One of the main reasons I chose to participate in this research group is the impact it will have based on its findings. Water sources are always something people will need but with climate change, the water sources from the Alpines are becoming scarcer. So finding out the water storage abilities of rock glaciers will be very useful in determining a new water source that doesn’t react as fast to climate change. When I learned about the impact of the findings of this research I jumped at the first chance to help out. This will a have significant impact on all the people that depend on the Alpines as their source of water.