Exchange Program in Thailand
Professor Kamens has implemented, under the sponsorship of the Institute of the Environment at UNC, a UNC undergraduate student exchange/research program in Thailand and currently serves as its field site director. The purpose of the program is to provide students with a global environmental perspective built upon learning and research experiences in overseas field site locations. Students are provided the opportunity to attend environmental classes along with students from the host country, and to participate in environmental research projects that address crucial problems of the host country and region.
The program's first group of five UNC students began studies under the direction of Associate Dean Pojanie Khummongkol at King Mongkut's Univeristy of Technology, Thonburi, Thailand (KMUTT) in June 2001. They stayed through December 2001. At KMUTT the UNC students and four Thai graduate students took UNC/KMUTT classes in
- Environmental Chemistry,
- Environmental Mathematical Modeling,
- Environmental Risk Analysis/Modeling.
After completion of the classes, the UNC-Thai student group spent 2-3 months addressing a significant environmental problem, which was formulated during their class work. The project selected for 2001 was "Ethanol Production in Thailand: Feasibility, Environmental and Economic Impacts and Policy Implications". In January, Thai students from the exchange group matriculated at UNC-Chapel Hill to complete the UNC portion of the exchange program.
The group that went over in 2002 looked at the energy balance associates the ethanol production in Thailand and modeled the impact of ethanol fuel replacement on ozone formation in Bangkok. In 2003 the group investigated PAH partitioning, SO2 deposition and lead exposures. The 2004 group studied the feasibility of bio-diesel as an energy source in South East Asia. An energy life cycle analysis approach demonstrated that, unlike ethanol, vegetative biodiesel production from a plant was very energy favorable, and if fully implemented, could completely replace all of Bangkok's petroleum diesel needs. To learn more about this group and their experiences at KMUTT, visit their website.
For more information about the exchange program, visit the Insitute for the Environment.