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UNT Resource magazine >> Alumni Spotlight

Marty Hathorn
Environmental Planner, Corps of Engineers

As chief of the Environmental Resources Branch of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Fort Worth, Marty Hathorn combines his love of the environment with a career he believes in.
      Hathorn, who earned his master's degree in interdisciplinary studies from UNT in 1987, oversees environmental planning for water resources projects. Two proposed projects are designed to prevent flood damage by removing manmade structures in the flood plains along Salt Creek in Graham and near Johnson Creek in Arlington eliminating damage and allowing water to flow more efficiently. The plans then call for restoration of natural vegetation adjacent to the creeks.
      "We will replant enough natural vegetation to get a good start and, with conservation and management efforts, the natural systems will begin taking care of themselves," Hathorn says. "Recreation features such as trails and open space are also incorporated into these projects."
      In addition, Hathorn's staff is working to re-establish wooded streamside areas and other wetlands in 29 counties in the Mid-Brazos Basin to improve water quality and quantity. Because dairies, feedlots and other agricultural enterprises are prominent in this area, nitrogen and phosphorous are washed into rivers and lakes. Hathorn says the wetland areas will serve as natural filters, keeping those nutrients from contaminating the water supply. This project, still in an early planning stage, will be one of the first of its kind implemented on such a large scale, he adds.
      Several years ago, Hathorn helped plan the Greenbelt Corridor, a multi-use nature area between Lake Ray Roberts and Lake Lewisville. The joint project between the Corps of Engineers and the cities of Dallas and Denton now allows residents to enjoy equestrian trails, canoeing, hiking and other outdoor activities along 14 miles of the Elm Fork of the Trinity River. Hathorn has also worked with UNT graduate students to develop wetlands areas at Lake Ray Roberts.
      Hathorn received the 1999 Planning Excellence Award from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for his leadership in emphasizing non-structural flood damage reduction and environmental restoration projects.
      "I love what I do," he says. "My undergraduate degree is in fisheries, but going to UNT for my master's helped firm up environmental concepts and applications."

Hyun-Soon Chong
Researcher, National Cancer Institute

Hyun-Soon Chong became interested in cancer research while earning her doctoral degree at UNT in 1999. Now, she is a postdoctoral research fellow at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md.
      Although chemistry has fascinated Chong since her high school years, her UNT research on macrocyclic compounds
binding agentssparked her interest in cancer research. In her eight months at the National Cancer Institute, Chong has been working with the synthesis of chelating agents. The agents bind with metals and then are linked to antibodies to transport radiation to tumors.
      After receiving her bachelor's and master's degrees in her hometown of Seoul, South Korea, Chong decided to travel to the United States to earn her doctorate. She says UNT's chemistry department helped prepare her for her cancer research.
     "I am especially thankful for Professor Marchand, an excellent adviser who gave never-ending encouragement and assistance," Chong says. Regents Professor Alan Marchand built a special bond with Chong, and the two still keep in contact.
      In the future, Chong would like to return to South Korea to teach and continue her research.

George Eyambe
Grant administrator and assistant professor, University of Texas-Pan American

George Eyambe has traveled the world doing research. Now he helps others do the same.
      In June, the 1991 UNT doctoral graduate established the Office of Biomedical Research at the University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg.
      "I wanted to provide faculty with different types of research opportunities and to help them write proposals for grants," says Eyambe, who developed his expertise in grant administration during a residency at the National Institutes of Health.
      His own public health research began at UNT where he studied earthworms' immune systems to detect pollutant levels in soils
research he continues today.
      After teaching at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock, Eyambe traveled as a Fulbright Fellow to Africa where he taught students how to create blood banks free of HIV and other contaminants. He also taught at a Saudi Arabian university.
      He returned to the United States three years ago to join UTPA. He teaches immunology and microbiology, and he continues to add new research projects. The Diabetes Registry, a monitoring group, has found a high number of diabetics in the Rio Grande Valley, and Eyambe is studying the correlation.


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