Tag: Asia

Bricks, an Archeological Site and Home

by | 3.7.2014 at 8:33am
One of the myriad brick factories in Bangladesh.  The lack of rocks means bricks are widely used for construction.

It was time to pack up and leave. Shofiq, who is from Sylhet, was dropped off near his home and the fellowship of the rocks was broken. We settled in for another long drive. We made an impromptu stop at one of the numerous brick factories scattered across Bangladesh. Here, the workers immediately started snapping pictures of us with their phones.

Field School: Sylhet Tectonics

by | 3.7.2014 at 7:46am
Standing in India by the Dauki River and Shillong Plateau at Jaflong..

Most field trips have a “death march” hiking a long way through forest, swamps, hills or deserts to get to a remote outcrop. We have a “death bus ride” instead.

Field School: The Brahmaputra River

by | 3.4.2014 at 12:29am
Sunset over the  Brahmaputra River as we prepare to depart the region for NE Bangladesh.

The first day was very light for the jet-lagged students, just a short introduction to the field school and some background, and then introductions all around as we started to get to know each other. The final group of nine students finally arrived around 9 p.m. They were the most worn-out, bedraggled bunch of travelers I have ever seen.

Tangail and the Start of the Field School

by | 2.26.2014 at 12:21pm
The Shahid Minar in Dhaka, the monument to language day on the site of the killings.  There are many smaller copies around Bangladesh.  On Language Day, they are covered by wreaths of flowers placed by everyone from politicians to school children.

Feb. 21 is Language Day in Bangladesh. It is a holiday, now adopted by the UN as International Mother Language Day. It commemorates a day in 1952 when a crowd of Bengali students protesting Pakistan’s adoption of “Urdu and only Urdu as the official language of Pakistan” were fired upon by the police. It marks the beginning of the move towards the independence of East Pakistan.

Upcoming Scientific Fieldwork: 2014 and Beyond

by | 2.25.2014 at 12:50pm
fieldguide feature pic crop3

Earth Institute field researchers study the planet on every continent and ocean. Projects are aimed at understanding the fundamental dynamics of climate, geology, ecology, human history and more. Here is a partial list of upcoming expeditions.

GPS in Khulna and the Hidden Temple

by | 2.21.2014 at 5:27am | 2 Comments
The ruins of the ~400 year old Shakher Temple to the Hindu goddess Kali.

Rushing around SW Bangladesh by boat and car, we managed to install or repair four GPS sites in record time. We caught up our lost day and managed to get to the ruins of the Shakher Temple in the Sundarban mangrove forest.

Back to Bangladesh, changing plans as we go

by | 2.19.2014 at 12:48pm
Sailing through one of the myriad channels in the Sundarban mangrove forest.

Back to Bangladesh for some fieldwork and then a two-week Field School. However, this time we had problems starting before we even left NY. Working in Bangladesh you have to be flexible. Nothing goes as planned, but usually everything works out in the end.

Of Cow Dung, Cook Stoves and Sustainability in Practice

by | 5.15.2013 at 11:35am | 1 Comment
biogas stoves, India

When the Environmental Defense Fund asked me to measure how biogas cook stoves were changing the lives of farmers in rural India, there wasn’t a word in that question with which I was comfortable. Having just graduated from the Undergraduate Program in Sustainable Development, I had never done fieldwork; and the concept of a biogas digester, which turns cow dung into natural gas through anaerobic digestion, was itself a mystery. I had no idea that this was the beginning of a steep learning curve into low-carbon development at a large scale. But even more, that it would provide a window into the lives of families whose existences have permanently improved thanks to the clean cooking stoves.

Climate and Conquest: How Did Genghis Khan Rise?

by | 5.13.2013 at 2:29pm | 4 Comments
mongol-empire

Eight hundred years ago, relatively small armies of mounted warriors suddenly exploded outward from the cold, arid high-elevation grasslands of Mongolia and reshaped world geography, culture and history in ways that still resound today. How did they do it?

IRI to develop climate adaptation tools to help farmers in South and Southeast Asia

by | 3.28.2013 at 12:14pm
F. Fiondella/IRI

A new two-year climate change initiative, led by the International Research Institute for Climate and Society aims to help farmers in Indonesia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Bangladesh reduce their vulnerability to climate risks.