Africa Centre Blog

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Field Notes is a growing communications project designed to collect and promote research and communications from Colorado State University and beyond. The site is designed to provide a platform for students, faculty, research partners and practitioners to communicate and discuss pressing social, economic and environmental issues of African sustainability.

Field Notes is intended to facilitate discussion and provide examples of what constitutes ‘good’ research in Africa, while highlighting the breadth of research that is pushing the envelope in sustainable development in Africa. Additionally, this blog will promote research and opportunities ongoing at CSU and discuss challenges in an attempt to improve these efforts through collaboration and reflection.

Field Notes – Brett Bruyere

In this segment, we talk to Dr. Brett Bruyere, an associate professor in the Warner College of Natural Resources. His research focuses on environmental education, environmental communication and planning in the context of natural or protected areas, sustainability planning and the training of conservation professionals. Internationally, he seeks to build capacity and improve conservation of wildlife and rangelands in East Africa. We chat about his work with pastoral women in Samburu, Kenya, the ethical considerations of conducting cross-cultural research, and more.

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Field Notes – Martha Bierut

In this installment of Field Notes, we chat with PhD student Martha Bierut. Martha completed her MSc in Conservation Leadership at Colorado State University in 2019, and she is currently a PhD student and National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow in Dr. Jon Salerno and Dr. Jen Solomon’s labs in the Human Dimensions of Natural Resources department. As a conservation social scientist, Martha’s research explores elephant management and polycentric governance. In our interview, we talk about how she found her way to social science, the importance of collaborative research, and more.

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Field Notes – Monica Lasky

In the latest installment of Field Notes, we chat with Masters student Monica Lasky, who is working with Dr. Sara Bombaci in the Graduate Degree Program in Ecology. Her research in Kruger National Park, South Africa uses human voice playbacks and camera traps to experimentally test how wildlife respond to anthropogenic disturbance. We speak about her recent trip to South Africa for ecological field research, some of the challenges of conducting cross-cultural research, and her achievement in receiving an NSF GRFP award.

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Field Notes – Matt Luizza

Our latest instalment of Field Notes is an interview with Dr. Matt Luizza, a program officer with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Africa Branch. Matt completed his PhD at CSU, and now serves as the lead to the Africa Branch on issues of pastoralism, transhumance, community-based conservation, and conflict-conservation dynamics in Africa’s Sudano-Sahel. In our conversation with Matt, we talk about his work supporting African elephant conservation, his reflections on the complexity and importance of ethical conservation, and the latest trends in conservation that have caught his attention.

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Field Notes – David Reip

In this episode of Field Notes, we interview with Dr. David Reip, an associate professor of Art History at CSU. David’s area of research centers on South Sotho art and history in southern Africa. He spent more than five years living in South Africa between 2000 and 2011, working with several NGOs and completing his field research with support from a Fulbright Fellowship, and a Stanley Award for International Research. In our conversation we talk about Dr. Reip’s work, his journey in academia and what it means to do, good, socially responsible research.

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Field Notes – Melinda Laituri

In this instalment of Field Notes is an interview with Dr. Melinda Laituri, a soon-to-be retired professor in the department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability. Dr. Laituri is a geographer, a geospatial analysis specialist and the Director of the Geospatial Centroid at Colorado State University. In our conversation, we’ll talk about Melinda’s current project mapping and investigating second-order impacts of COVID-19 around the globe. We also discuss her reflections on her career as a geographer, the role of western researchers working in communities around the world, and the shifts she thinks academia needs to make in terms of how we evaluate success and the role of higher education in society.

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