Update August 28, 2008
Grant awarded - Narcisa Pricope
Narcisa Pricope has received the National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant for her research in Botswana and Namibia with the proposal entitled “Using Remote Sensing to Create Indicators of Socio-Ecological System Resilience for Semi-Arid Savanna Watersheds in the Kavango-Zambezi Region of Southern Africa”. The $12,000 award will cover the travel and research expenses for her second fieldwork season which will begin in March 2009 until August 2009.
Becky Blanchard was accepted to participate in the National Science Foundation Summer Institute for Research Design in Cultural Anthropology (SIRD) from July 13 to August 1. SIRD brings together area experts and Ph.D. students for three weeks of intensive study on issues in research design. The goal of the Institute is to provide students with a meaningful experience that will advance science in cultural anthropology. The primary objectives of the Institute are: 1) to provide Ph.D. students in cultural anthropology with a basic understanding of the link between theory and scientific methodology in cultural anthropology, 2) to improve each student's ability to develop and write a scientifically well conceived research proposal and 3) to provide students with basic scientific research knowledge and skills for solving a variety of research design problems. Course content covers a broad spectrum of research design issues, but with a heavy emphasis on the link between theory and method.
Proposal funded - Andrea Gaughan
Congratulations to Andrea Gaughan, Cerian Gibbes, and Luke Rostant who wrote a proposal in collaboration with their Namibian colleagues. The Award was one of only 12 selected from over 220 submissions to the START's Pan African Committee (PACOM) This is a sub-award from US National Science Foundation (NSF)/ US Climate Change Science Program (USCCSP). The proposal that was funded is entitled Landscape processes and biodiversity change along the Kwandu River in Caprivi, Namibia. The proposal lays out a framework to study how land-use and land-cover change (LUCC) influences species richness in a remote but important socio-ecological region of Namibia that is part of the Kavango-Zambezi Trans-Boundary Conservation Area (KAZA).
Workshop - Deborah Wojcik
On March 30, Deborah Wojcik presented a workshop on the Guidelines for Excellence in Environmental Education at the League of Environmental Educators of Florida 28th annual conference, held in Keystone Heights, Florida. Ms. Wojcik will also be an Instructor in an upcoming Education Program Evaluation course for the Fish and Wildlife Service taking place in Homer, Alaska from April 21-25.
Conference - Anna Cathey
Anna Cathey will be attending the Florida Section American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers conference in June 11 - 14, 2008 at Duck Key, FL. She will give a talk entitled Incorporating Uncertainty into Adaptive, Transboundary Water Challenges: A Conceptual Design for the Okavango River Basin. This presentation will cover the hydrologic modeling work that she is doing in southern Africa. She will discuss a set of tools that can be used to look at issues of uncertainty regarding data, model structure, and management decisions.
Conference - Andrea Gaughan
Andrea Gaughan will be attending The American Association of Geographers annual conference on April 15-19, 2008 in Boston, Massachusetts. She will be presenting a talk entitled Shifting dynamics in a semi-arid, savanna region: Landscape patterns along the Kwandu River in Caprivi, Namibia. The talk will discuss preliminary results from her first field season in Africa and focus on the land-cover changes in the study region since Namibian independence in 1990 and what underlying and proximate factors are responsible for those changes.
This spring, six undergraduate students will embark on a journey of discovery beginning on the UF campus. Using a local lens, they will explore global issues of water shortage, pollution, and conflict. The students are part of a new Honors College course entitled Water, Environment, and Society. The course is sponsored by Dr. Mark T. Brown, Director of the Center for Wetlands, and team-taught by IGERT fellows in the Adaptive Management of Water, Wetlands, and Watersheds (AMW3) program at UF. Like the AMW3 program, the course takes an interdisciplinary approach to water issues, drawing perspectives from biophysical and social sciences, as well as the humanities. Students will have the opportunity to interact closely with graduate students and faculty in order to gain the skills and knowledge necessary to evaluate complex issues. Field experiences at Ichetucknee Springs and on the UF campus will provide a hands-on introduction to topics such as the hydrologic cycle, groundwater and surface water interactions, water quality, wetlands ecology, water supply and demand, watershed restoration, and community-based management. During the course, students will be asked to develop an in-depth project on a water issue that interests them. The students -- whose major subjects range from psychology to public policy to wildlife ecology -- will be expected to utilize an interdisciplinary approach, drawing upon scholarly literature to address the biological, physical, social, economic, and political drivers of change in watersheds.
Conference - Rachel Pawlitz, Melissa Martin and Julie Padowski
Rachel Pawlitz, Melissa Martin and Julie Padowski are attending this year's Everglades Coalition Conference January 10th to 13th in Sanibel-Captiva Island. They will be presenting background information on models used to assess scientific data regarding variables affecting sawgrass community composition in a student poster session as well as collecting survey data from policy-makers. Drawing from their respective disciplines, they've designed a study to investigate the social science behind the interpretation of hydrological and ecological modeling in an Adaptive Management framework. They hope to present the results at future IGERT events and/or Everglades conferences.
Award - Narcisa Pricope
Narcisa Pricope is the recipient of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Joshua E. Neimark Memorial Travel Award for the poster she will be presenting at the AAAS Conference in Boston in February 2008. She is also holder of a PEO International Peace Scholarship, a yearly scholarship from a non-governmental organization which supports international students in completing their graduate education
Adaptive Management: Wise Use of Water, Wetlands & Watersheds
is an NSF-funded IGERT program at the University of Florida