Tag: Developing Countries

Transforming Urban Transport in Nairobi

by | 4.10.2014 at 12:47pm
Nairobi, Kenya Met Area CROPPED

In an effort to strengthen and expand public transport in Nairobi, Kenya, the Volvo Research & Educational Foundations is partnering with the Center for Sustainable Urban Development on a new project to improve accessibility in the city.

Climate Change: a Matter of Public Health

by | 4.7.2014 at 6:19pm
Women, babies, Ekwendeni Mission Hospital, Mzimba District, Malawi

People have tried to cast climate change as an environmental issue, a social justice issue and a development issue. Madeleine Thomson of the International Research Institute for Climate and Society argues climate change can be understood much better if we consider it an issue of global public health.

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
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.

Why Conservation is Not Condescension: A Case Against Eco-imperialism

by | 1.2.2014 at 12:51am

Western ecologists and conservationists have been portrayed at times as modern imperialists, forcefully imposing a radical ideology of environmentalism on the developing world. These so-called “eco-imperialists” are depicted as arrogant and uncaring elites, concerned with the protection of pristine nature, but indifferent to human welfare. But the future of wild places is entwined with human welfare, and the protection of wildlands is in fact critical in the long run. This piece investigates the perception of modern conservationists as eco-imperialists, and argues against that view of environmentalism.