Environmental Studies Associate Professor Michael S. Fenster, Ph.D., has been awarded
a $181, 525 grant from the National Science Foundation.
Through his project, titled "MRI: Acquisition of Side-scan Sonar, Seismic Reflection
Profiling, and Differential Global Positioning Systems in Support of Coastal and
Shallow Marine Research and Teaching Activities," Fenster will conduct coastal,
marine and estuarine research. His goals include developing scientific ways of predicting
barrier island dynamics based on sediment supply, storms, tides, tidal inlets, waves,
sea-level fluctuations and inherited geologic controls.
The NSF grant will allow the purchase of side-scan sonar and seismic reflection
equipment, which will facilitate the collection of data and the development and
testing of new models. It will also provide a state-of-the-art geophysical system
to be used aboard the Miss Jane, a 22-foot-long Privateer boat donated
to the environmental studies program by Mrs. Jane Iden, wife of the late Dr. Robert
W. Iden ’50.
Fenster, who began teaching at Randolph-Macon College in 1999, earned a B.S. and
M.S. at the University of Mississippi and a Ph.D. at Boston University. He conducted
post-doctoral research at the University of Virginia. Fenster currently serves as
the director of the college’s environmental studies program.