Nina Zamanialavijeh received her Master’s of Science degree in Environmental Resource Science at the Graduate School Commencement ceremony on Saturday, where she was recognized as a Spring 2021 Alumni Association Outstanding Master's Graduate.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in geology from the University of Hormozgan in Iran, and returned to her studies after an eight year hiatus.
Upon her entry to the program in environmental resource science, “I was so impressed by her positive attitude towards higher education and her professional demeanor that I offered her work as a research assistant on one of my pilot projects on mega-landslides,” recalls Dr. Eric Ferré, director of UL Lafayette's School of Geosciences.
“She handled the steep research learning curve in rock magnetism, including complex and delicate sample preparation, new measurements schemes on magnetic instruments and new scientific concepts, in a truly outstanding manner.”
Last August, Nina had the opportunity to join Dr. Ferré on a trip to Utah to collect landslide pseudotachylyte samples in the field.
“Not only does she excel in the field but also she is very thorough in the laboratory. Her strengths are to make accurate observations and to take excellent notes,” Ferré says.
“She is eager to learn, she is a hard worker and has proven on multiple occasions that she is very resourceful.”
Nina has submitted a manuscript based on her graduate research, “Kinematics of frictional melts at the base of the world’s largest terrestrial landslide: Markagunt 2021 Plateau, southwest Utah, United States,” to the highly ranked peer-reviewed journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters as a first author.
During her time at UL Lafayette, she was awarded a $1,375 graduate student research grant from the Geological Society of America in support of her research on mega-landslides. Her grant application was “among the top 2% of those I have evaluated,” Ferré notes.
Nina has also been praised as a dedicated, patient, and technically adept teaching assistant.
“I have heard directly from our students how good of a TA she is in terms of dedication, patience and technical skills. These compliments confirm my impressions that she is truly a very gentle and kind person,” Ferré says.
After graduation, Nina plans to expand and continue her research by pursuing a doctorate in Geosciences.