Doctoral Student Awarded Grant to Conduct Middle East Community Rock Art Research

Doctoral student Kaelin Groom in Petra, Jordan.
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Doctoral student Kaelin Groom in Petra, Jordan.

Kaelin Groom, an environmental dynamics doctoral student, has been awarded a $98,000 research grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development. The grant will support training local volunteers in rock art stability assessment techniques in Wadi Rum, southern Jordan.

Groom's research will provide Wadi Rum residents the opportunity to actively participate in the documentation and conservation of the valley's numerous rock art resources and to develop valuable skills applicable to other cultural resources across Jordan and the Middle East region.

Spanning the 2017-18 academic year, the grant will include multiple field seasons in Wadi Rum to establish research agendas, management plans and conditional baseline analysis to be used in longer-term conservation policies at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization World Heritage Site. Groom hopes her project will empower, inspire and educate rural communities in southern Jordan about the protection and research of their tangible stone heritage and cultural resources.

Groom's research is part of the Sustainable Cultural Heritage Through Engagement of Local Communities Project, which is a long-term program supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development and the American Center of Oriental Research. She is advised by Tom Paradise, a University Professor of geosciences and director of the King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies.


Amanda Cantu, director of communications
Graduate School and International Education


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