Diala Abboud, Class of 2016, was awarded the Minnesota Space Grant Scholarship from NASA.

The grant will enable Diala to do research alongside Dr. Alan Chapman in Sierra Nevada, California to gather samples and data from xenoliths erupted from >50km depths and to compare these samples to xenoliths found in Arizona. The research attempts to prove the hypothesis that a portion of the mantle once present beneath California was displaced eastward to central Arizona by comparing the U-Pb ages of the xenolith samples.

Of the grant, Diala said, “funding this research opportunity will allow me to grow as a student, a researcher, and a geologist, and will help me take the next steps in my academic career.”

Diala declared a major in Geology at Macalester College with a double minor in Arabic and Spanish. Of her studies, she said, “I came to Macalester intending to study Geology with the hope that the field would allow me to understand Earth’s systems and how this information can be applied to sustainability. I am passionate about the environment, its conservation, and how it can be healed from human consequences.”

With regards to her double minor, she added, “I am a first-generation Lebanese-American, and one of my aspirations is to go to Lebanon and work as a geologist consultant and serve as a leader for projects that will help the country move forward. With regards to Spanish, I have the same career goal of traveling to developing nations and working on geological and environmental problems.”

Diala hopes to continue her studies through graduate school with a concentration on geology and sustainability.