Fulbright Project between Texas Gulf Coast Environmental Data (TEXGED) Center, Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU) and
Faculty of Science
Ain Shams University during 2008- 2014
Project ID- 3093 – Field Ecological Modeling
Funded by the Bi-national Fulbright Commission in Egypt and Fulbright State Department, USA
Granted April 2008


The project’s aim is to develop new aspects of leading seminars or workshops, consult with administrators, faculties and professors at the Faculty of Science, Ain Shams University and to continue collaborations in exchange faculties and graduate students at Ph.D. level. These collaborations will include sharing supervisions of the Ph.D. students between faculties of Ain Shams University and Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU).

In order to accomplish the project The PI from PVAMU University has visited Egypt during the period of May 8,2008- June 9, 2008 and conducted a two-weeks training for two workshops for faculty members and graduate students on topics related biometric studies and biostatistics. Such topics and expertise of biometrics, biostatistics and ecological modeling are lacking in the host institution as Ain Shams University in Egypt. Fulbright has supported the PI from PVAMU University with the travel grant that cover all the necessary expenses and the host institution covered the living expenses in Cairo. In this respect, these workshops introduced the faculty members and graduate students to the

  1. topics and philosophy of ecological modeling;
  2. guided them through the process of developing a conceptual model;
  3. formalizing the models;
  4. formulating, parameterize, and running the model as well as analyzing the results of the models and
  5. validations of the models.

In addition to the above, these courses had large amounts of modeling philosophy and after the course the participants improved their critical thinking in understanding the concept of modeling ecological data sets and the best interpretation of ecological data to come the best conclusions of the collected data.

The most important topics that were discussed are simulation modeling for different aspects of ecology such nutrients cycling in the soil, Carbon and Nitrogen cycling in the terrestrial ecosystems, global climatic changes, monitoring particular ecosystems, and modeling fresh water lakes. In these aspects of modeling the PI from PVAMU university has exposed the participants to different techniques such as neural network, simulation, data mining in prediction and artificial intelligence use of modeling.

The participants were given practical sessions on the computer to explore the above techniques in data analyses.  Further, the participants were given time for consultations with the PI of PVAMU University to solve problems in their particular ecological data sets and consultation of handling particular data sets in their fields of research and studies and how to do transformation of their data in order to avoid high variability in the ecological data sets that are may be due to the conditions of collecting the data, the time of collections, and techniques used.

At the end of the workshops, the participants were given certificates of attending and completion of the workshops.

From the internet web site of Fulbright-Egypt http://www.fulbright-egypt.org/highlights/highlightslist.asp#b47.

U.S. Fulbright Specialist Conducts Workshop at Ain Shams University, 6/9/2008

Dr. Safwat Shakir, Director of Texas Gulf Coast Environmental Data Center (TEXGED) at Prairie View A&M University has visited Ain Shams University.  While at Ain Shams Dr. Shakir conducted a two-week workshop on biometrics studies and biostatistics.  Faculty members and graduate students from universities throughout Egypt participated in the workshop.  Dr. Shakir visited Egypt under the auspices of the Commission’s Fulbright Specialist Program, which provides short-term opportunities for Egyptian institutions and American scholars to increase collaboration between the United States and Egypt.  Each year nearly a dozen American academics visit Egyptian institutions as Fulbright Specialists.