Dr. Michael Hamburger just completed a project with the US Embassy in Mexico City, a student-based research and engagement project as part of his E490 “Environmental and Energy Diplomacy” course. The class is part of IU’s Diplomacy Lab program, which brings IU faculty and students to work on research projects in collaboration with the US State Department. The program has been around for about four years, and there’s been a fair amount of IU News coverage over the years. It’s a great example of IU’s engagement around the world, and perhaps stands out even more this year as our overseas studies programs have been cut back.
This year’s class, which included 16 upper-level undergrads and graduate students from across the disciplines, examined an unusually practical and timely issue—the Embassy’s ability to prepare for and respond to natural disasters in Mexico. We’ve been working with the Consular Affairs section of the US Embassy in Mexico City. On Friday, May 8, the class completed a quite remarkable video presentation, which included both students from IUB and IUPUI (IUPUI colleague Gabe Filippelli), along with about a dozen members of the Embassy staff, including Minister Counselor Ambassador Don Heflin and Consul General David McCawley. (It turns out that one of the Embassy staff is IU grad and Wells Scholar Jessica Norris). They can be seen in the image below.
The project culminated in a 150-page report with recommendations to the Embassy and a massive 375 MB GIS database for their future work in responding to disasters.