Rice Earth science students get insiders’ view of Turkey


Sixteen Rice University Earth science undergraduate and graduate students arrived home May 30 after a two-week field trip to study the geology of Turkey. The students led by André Droxler and Gerald Dickens, both Rice professors of Earth science, visited sites in western Turkey, starting in Istanbul.

Aral Okay, a professor at Istanbul Technical University, talks with Rice students about Turkey's geology.

Aral Okay, a professor at Istanbul Technical University, talks with Rice students about Turkey's geology. Okay, Erdin Bozkurt, a professor at Middle East Technical University, graduate students Semih Can Ülgen and Zehra Deveci, government geologist Kenan Akbayram and Kışladağ gold mine geologist Yücel Öztaş guided students on their tour.

Celâl Şengör, a professor at the Istanbul Technical University, a foreign associate of the United States National Academy of Sciences and a member of the Turkish and Russian Academies of Sciences, lectured the Rice group on Turkey’s geologically complex evolution. Droxler said Şengör arranged for colleagues to accompany and guide the Rice group at geological sites where they had conducted research and to locations well beyond those normally seen by tourists.

“Our Turkish colleagues brought us to amazing outcrops you would obviously never discover on your own,” he said. “They took us up some seldom-traveled mountain roads to study spectacular geological outcrops and archeological sites, including a Greek temple to Zeus at Euromos, set in the middle of olive trees with a breathtaking view down a fertile valley. That’s the beauty of geology. You end up at beautiful places nobody else visits.”

The group also visited a marble quarry and two mines, including Kışladağ, one of the largest active open-pit gold mines in the world. On their last day in Turkey, Shirine Hamadeh, a Rice associate professor of art history who has written extensively about Istanbul, organized a private boat trip along the Bosporus to view monuments erected over centuries on the European and Asian sides.

Rice students in Turkey

Rice graduate student Way Yi Foo views a formation of folded marble during a tour of Turkey.




















About Mike Williams

Mike Williams is a senior media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.