Rare Minerals Donated to UCA
Dr. Farrukh Iskandarov (centre), mineralogist with the Main Department of Geology of the Republic of Tajikistan visited the University of Central Asia's (UCA) Khorog campus in June. He toured the campus facilities, became acquainted with the construction of the Geology Lab, and met with Dr. Diana Pauna, Dean of UCA’s School of Arts and Sciences, and Dr. David Rodgers, UCA’s Fulbright Scholar and Visiting Faculty of Earth and Environmental Sciences at UCA. During the visit, Dr. Iskandarov donated a microscope (valued at $1,500) and rare minerals to UCA.
The microscope donated by Dr. Iskandarov is a Leitz binocular microscope capable of up to 100x magnification. It will be used by UCA faculty and students for mineral and rock identification. The mineral donated by Dr. Iskandarov is called "mountain leather” composed of natural felts of fibrous minerals. They tend to be found on steep wet slopes in the mountains or along the banks of mountain streams. While several fibrous minerals can form mountain leather, the most common is chrysotile asbestos.
UCA currently has more than 50 mineral specimens which are being used for academic purposes. Most of them have been previously donated by Dr. Farrukh Iskandarov. Other samples were donated under the Technical Cooperation Project between the Main Department of Geology of the Republic of Tajikistan and the German Federal Institute for Geoscience and Natural Resources. Dr. Iskandarov generously expressed his willingness to continue his collaboration with UCA, including delivering lectures to the students.