College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Environmental Science & Technology

International Activities

Millennium Villages Project

From June 2009 to January 2010, I served as Senior Research Fellow at Earth Institute Tropical Agriculture Program at Columbia University, New York in which capacity he advised the Millennium Villages Project in on soil and crop related issue in Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Malawi, Uganda, and Senegal. In each of these countries I worked to solve agriculturally related problems in village clusters with up to 30,000 residents. Working directly with villagers as well as with the staff of this integrated development project, I performed field diagnosis and problem solving on a wide range of issues including compost production, human waste recycling, fertilizer recommendations, nutrients from indigenous sources, irrigation, soil conservation, cropping systems and rotations, agro-forestry, soil testing, soil mapping, materials transport and agronomic crop management.

Tarahumara Indigenous Peoples in Mexico

During July 2005 and again in August-September 2009, I served as advisor on soil and water issues in rural development for the Tarahumara indigenous peoples in the Sierra Madre Mountains in Mexico. I advised the Government of Chihuahua State, Mexico, Coordinacion por las Tarahumara on compost production and use and on the production of seed for special indigenous “blue” corn that the local communities were producing and processing into premium food products such a pinole, chips and corn meal. I also worked closely with field staff of the Laguna Foundation in several quite isolated Tarahumara communities. This work including problem solving, advising and training on soil conservation, vegetable gardening, irrigation, compost and fertilizer use and other aspects of soil fertility in the Sierra. 

International Symposium on Climate Change and Food Security

In August 2008, I participated in research planning meetings, presented a lecture at University of Dhaka and served as session chair and a keynote speaker in the International Symposium on Climate Change and Food Security in South Asia, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Black Desert Project 

In January 2007, I made a study visit with colleagues from Cairo University to research sites in the Black Desert.

Relationships Between Soil Health and Human Health in Central Africa

In January 2006 and July/August 2007, I conducted field research dealing with the relationships between soil health and human health in southern Chad, central Africa. The work was funded by a National Science Foundation grant in collaboration with The School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. Recent discovery of oil fields and development of pipelines in Chad had lead to changes in land use and land availability, influencing the pattern of local agricultural rotations with natural fallow. The visit in 2007 was devoted to training Chadian staff and collecting soil quality baseline data in villagers fields.

Ethiopian Agriculture Research Organization

During July–December, 2001, I served as advisor to the Ethiopian Agriculture Research Organization in the area of Soil and Water Research under a World Bank Agricultural Research and Training Project. In this capacity I worked at both the headquarters and at various research locations around the country to train and assist Ethiopian researchers in advancing agricultural and soil investigations.

 

Soil Quality Research in Brazil

In July 2000 I collaborated in soil quality research in southern Brazil and presented seminars at the Federal University of Pelotas and the Federal University of Santa Maria.

Hands-On Sustainable Development in Honduras

In 1999-2000 I organized and led a January “wintermester” Study Abroad course entitled “Hands-On Sustainable Development in Honduras” in collaboration with El Zamorano University about 50 km from Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Eleven University of Maryland students paired up with El Zamorano counterparts to work on research projects in the field.

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