Friday 18 September 2020

As part of their MIR (research initiation thesis), 4 3rd year engineering students in Geology and Environment went to the island of Yeu to study the management of water resources.

Augustin Auger, Camille Baulain, Mathilde Gérard and Baptiste Stefanuto, 3rd year engineering students in Earth sciences and Environment, have just returned from the Vendée with a new field experience in their luggage. As part of their research initiation thesis (MIR), they carried out a 15-day mission on the island of Yeu on the theme of water resources and their management, an important issue on this island of the Atlantic Ocean.

The "Collectif agricole de l'île d'Yeu" subsidized us to carry out a global study on surface and underground water resources on the scale of the island" explains Michaël Goujon, teacher-researcher in hydrogeology and polluted sites and soils and supervising the group of students in the company of Pascale Lutz, teacher-researcher in geophysics.

A first experience in hydrogeology

"For our 4 students, who are turning towards hydrogeology, this is a first experience in the field and a real way to apply their knowledge in Geosciences and Environment" continues the teacher-researcher. "In addition to the technical interest of the project, there is a real expectation of results from the members of the collective (hence a small additional pressure) and a very strong societal and communication aspect on the project because we meet the inhabitants to measure and sample their wells as well as to know their habits/uses concerning groundwater. We also spend a lot of time communicating about the approach and explaining to the curious what we are doing with all our equipment. It's not easy to go unnoticed! »

A first experience that reinforces Mathilde's desire to go into hydrogeology in 4th year. 
"The study that we had to carry out on the island of Yeu allowed me to learn more about the indispensable resource that is water. Indeed, water is not infinite, it is sometimes misused or poorly recycled. On the other hand, I also developed my skills in geophysics with the help of Pascale Lutz and I was able to obtain concrete information on the Hydrogeology and Natural Risks in-depth course thanks to Michaël Goujon. This also confirmed my choice of specialization in the 4th year. »

The MIR, a first appointment with research

The field is an important component of UniLaSalle's Earth sciences and Environment engineering training. A teaching modality that appeals to everyone, and first and foremost to students, like Camille.

"The field is a break in my schooling because of its new rhythm and at the same time a continuity of our teaching provided by the Institute. It allows us to see our skills in a new light and thus take stock of our curriculum, while raising new questions.  In my case, the field is a real boost to my motivation!"

The research initiation thesis (MIR) is part of this logic. Carried out throughout the 3rd year of the Earth Sciences and Environment engineering program, this long-term research project invites students to go into the field and often continue their analysis on UniLaSalle's research platforms. This is a way to teach them the rigor of scientific methodology and give them a taste for research, so that they can consider a career in this field.

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