Below the Earth’s surface

Nathan Bashir, a graduate student in both geology and geophysics, and geological engineering, studies limestone formations, for which he says Missouri, is an ideal location.

Nathan Bashir, a graduate student in both geology and geophysics, and geological engineering, studies limestone formations, for which he says Missouri, is an ideal location. Photo by Sam O’Keefe/Missouri S&T

Nathainail “Nathan” Bashir is more at home in the field than in the classroom. The graduate student, who is earning a master’s degree in both geology and geophysics and geological engineering, constantly travels around the state studying bedrock variations and perfecting ways to find their depth.

Bashir is studying the Burlington and Keokuk limestone formations in the southwest Missouri town of Brookline. “Missouri is a great place to be for my studies. All around the area are caves, limestone deposits and other surface data to help me find bedrock.”

Bashir uses two main mapping techniques to find bedrock’s depth: multichannel analysis of surface waves and electrical resistivity tomography. After performing these tests, he combines the results. This process helps Bashir cut through the “clutter” of false readings that can be caused by caves and sinkholes, and identifies the differing levels of bedrock depth.

The geology of the area he studies is quite different from that of his hometown. A native of Nonar, Pakistan, Bashir studied at the Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad, Pakistan, prior to moving to the United States.

“I love being in the field and seeing what we actually study in classes,” Bashir says. “There are so many interesting places that are close by, you have to go see them.”

Last summer, Bashir was on co-op at Engineering Consulting Services (ECS) in Virginia. His work dealt mainly with structural geology and included analyzing a construction site for a new National Science Foundation facility.

Besides his research, Bashir serves on the International Student Council at Missouri S&T, sings in the choir at the Campus Christian Ministry and is a part-time clothing model.

“I starting modeling back in Pakistan to help out a friend who had designed clothes for a university event,” says Bashir. “After that, I would occasionally be asked by others who saw the photos to model. It is a fun hobby and something that lets me see a whole new industry.”

By Peter Ehrhard

Spelunking for a cause

Michael Bradford, senior in geology and geophysics, works with several organizations to improve caves. Photo by Sam O'Keefe.

Michael Bradford, senior in geology and geophysics, works with several organizations to improve caves. Photo by Sam O’Keefe.

Michael Bradford, senior in geology and geophysics with a minor in geological engineering, does not shy away from dirty work. Currently, he is doing research with the Missouri Bat Census that involves checking caves for bats with White Nose Syndrome (WNS), a disease that causes abnormal behavior in bats and eventually leads to their death.

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Nikia Chapman after her first-place win in the women’s drag race last year in Toole, Utah. Photos by Bob Phelan

Stats:  sophomore in geological engineering from Columbia, Mo.

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