A new faculty member is roaming the halls at the University of Arkansas at Monticello.
Hamdi Zurqani started his duties as an assistant professor on July 1. He will teach remote sensing and geospatial analysis for the College of Forestry, Agriculture Natural Resources.
In addition to his teaching schedule, much of his work will be providing research for the University of Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station and Arkansas Forest Resources Center at UAM.
Zurqani is from Libya, in the middle of North Africa, between Egypt and Tunisia. He received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in 2007 and 2010, respectively, at the University of Tripoli in Libya.
His master's thesis was on Soil and Water Sciences/Pedology (soil). His undergraduate major was Soil, Water and Science. Despite having the chance to study for a doctoral degree in the United Kingdom, Zurqani's parents encouraged him to go to the United States.
At that point, he made a career pivot to study at Clemson University. Zurqani received his doctorate in forest resources there in 2019, specializing in environmental information sciences and pedology.
Zurqani is recognized for his work in remote sensing, geospatial analysis and soil science. Zurqani is the author and co-author of many peer-reviewed publications and technical publications.
Zurqani said his research focuses on developing applications for new technologies in environmental information sciences (e.g., remote sensing, land evaluation, soil genesis and classification, land use management, monitoring, change detection of landscape degradation, and geographic information system models).
"I look forward to my new position as an assistant professor at the UAM, and I am very excited for the upcoming school year," he said.
Zurqani married his wife, Nasrin, in 2012. They have three children: two girls, Yara, age 8 and Sama, age 6. His son, Abdu, is 5 years old. The Zurqani family arrived from South Carolina in June.
A condition of the children agreeing to come to Arkansas was for the family to get a pet. The first night, the new kitten named Lolly arrived at the Zurqani household.
The College of Forestry, Agriculture and Natural Resources, and the Arkansas Forest Resources Center, a University of Arkansas System Center of Excellence, brings together interdisciplinary expertise through a partnership between UAM and the U of A System Division of Agriculture.
Lon Tegels is with the UAM College of Forestry, Agriculture and Natural Resources.