A Belgium-based Kuwaiti scientist is offering Arab university students an opportunity to join a scientific expedition to an Indian Ocean island to do space research. Maryam Al-Joaan told the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) Sunday that in early September her NGO, called Lazurd, will give 6 Arab university students the unique opportunity to join the "Expedition Exploring Mars on Earth." Accompanied by professional volunteers the expedition will go for one week to the Sainte-Rose Moon Mars Analogue Site on Reunion Island, a French island located in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar. The geological characteristics of volcanic areas of Reunion Island are used for Moon and Mars analogues, she noted. The goal of the expedition is to train aspiring Arab scientists in various skill sets that are useful in all stages of scientific research. These include team work, technical training, as well as documenting the progress in the field through reports and possible conference participation and publishing articles. The expedition is in partnership with the University of La Reunion Geology Department and the "Cite du Volcan" Research and Outreach organization. The selected students have to bear their own expedition fees. Al-Joaan is a Kuwaiti oceanographer and founder and head of the NGO Lazurd which is based in the Belgian city of Ghent. She said that the aim of Lazurd is to inspire young Arabs to explore, understand, and protect the earth. The young Kuwaiti female scientist has several field experiences on land and sea including the North Sea, the Antarctic Peninsula and the Southern Ocean.