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Fulbright Senior Research Fellow Discusses Tin Mining During Visit to PCC Campus

PCC President G. Dennis Massey shakes hands with visiting Fulbright Senior Research Fellow Eddy Nurtjahya, who was on campus Jan. 20-21 to give presentations on tin mining on Bangka Island.

WINTERVILLE—The Pitt Community College Arts and Sciences Division hosted Fulbright Senior Research Fellow Eddy Nurtjahya last month for presentations on tin mining reclamation efforts in his home country of Indonesia.

Nurtjahya, a plant ecologist currently conducting research at the University of Tennessee (UT), spoke with PCC students and faculty on the impact of tin mining on Bangka Island, where he heads the Institute of Education Development and Quality Assurance at Universitas Bangka Belitung (UBB).

According to Nurtjahya, tin mining is Bangka Island’s largest industry. The island currently produces a third of the world’s supply of tin, which is in high-demand due to its use in smartphone technology.

Though good for Bangka Island’s economy, Nurtjahya said tin mining, particularly illegal tin mining carried out by individuals, has adversely impacted vegetation, animals and the community as a whole. As a result, he and his colleagues in Indonesia and UT are make efforts to identify a plant species that will grow and thrive on tin-mined land.

As part of his guest lectures at Pitt, Nurtjahya presented photos and data to students taking an introductory geology course and others in an environmental biology class. Students in both classes asked questions about the roles individuals, corporations and the Indonesian government are playing to ensure sustainability of the environment.

Nurtjahya also observed a Paralegal Technology class and met with students in the program, since legal studies is an important field of study at UBB.

During a luncheon at the college Jan. 20, Nurtjahya gave a presentation to students from PCC’s biotechnology and engineering programs, members of the college’s Phi Theta Kappa and Environmental Biology clubs, faculty and administrators. PCC President G. Dennis Massey welcomed Nurtjahya and thanked him for discussing tin mining with Pitt students and engaging them in thought about global concerns.

PCC Dean of Arts and Sciences Stephanie Rook spoke with luncheon attendees about the Fulbright Visiting Scholar program, which provides opportunities for international scholars like Nurtjahya to conduct and present research and interact with students.

In closing out his visit Jan. 21, Nurtjahya met with Rook, Public Services and Fine Arts Dean Dan Mayo and PCC Global Director Jessica Jaimes to discuss potential partnerships and exchanges involving UBB and PCC faculty and students.