February 2010

If you're watching curling on NBC this week, UW Tacoma Associate Professor Bill Kunz may be responsible for what you see on TV. He's working at his eighth Olympics this month, leading a team of 30 producing the curling coverage. He's also taken four students along for the internship of a lifetime.

We're eagerly awaiting reading his thoughts on the spectacle in Vancouver, but that'll have to wait until the Games are over. In the meantime, here are a few photos of Bill in the middle of the action:

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Environmental Science faculty members John "Buck" Banks and Jim Gawel are in Kenya with undergraduates during the month of February to study sustainability and conservation in a developing country.

It's a peaceful Sunday morning here at Mwamba in Watamu – the Indian Ocean is calm & glassy as the sun starts to heat things up; birds are singing, and the Sykes monkeys are already scrambling through the trees, occasionally crashing noisily into the corrugated metal rooftops of the cabanas where we're staying. We've been in Watamu now for over a week; the last two days we made a few forays into nearby Arabuko-Sokoke Forest (ASF), setting up mist nets in order to capture some of the forest-dwelling bird species for which ASF is famous.

Read the rest of their post in the Notes from the Field blog

Environmental Science faculty members John "Buck" Banks and Jim Gawel are in Kenya with undergraduates during the month of February to study sustainability and conservation in a developing country.

We spent Monday morning exploring the Gede ruins, the remains of a Swahili city nestled in the forest just inland from where we're staying. Thriving for some thousand years as a trade center, Gede was mysteriously deserted around the 17th century (archaelogists speculate that a combination of disease, dwindling water resources, and attacks from neighboring cities did the population in). Inside the ruins monument we climbed up a tree platform that benefits the ASSETS program, which is a program that provides support for secondary school education for children of families surrounding the nearby Arabuko-Sokoke forest, as well as environmental education pertaining to sustainable use of forest resources.

Read the rest of their post in the Notes from the Field blog

Environmental Science faculty members John "Buck" Banks and Jim Gawel are in Kenya with undergraduates during the month of February to study sustainability and conservation in a developing country.

We're back from a few days at the western edge of Kenya, where we were on safari at Masai Mara, one of Kenya's most famous game reserves. Spread out over 1500 square kilometers and contiguous with the Serengeti in Tanzania, the park has vast expanses of grassland in which all manner of wildlife can be found – we were able to see lions, elephants, cheetahs, cape buffalo, giraffe, zebras, a leopard, and many varieties of antelope (and a tiny snake that found its way into Buck & Jim's cabin!). We're back at Lang'ata this evening to have our last dinner here, which we will share with Dr. Nick Oguge, a local scientist who is one of the founder members and president of the Ecological Society for East Africa (ESEA), who will talk with us about efforts by the Earthwatch Institute to integrate community sustainability and wildlife conservation in the Samburu region of Kenya. Next we're off to Mombasa and the coast!

Read the rest of their post in the Notes from the Field blog

UW Tacoma students can learn Chinese language, culture and history on a four-week trip to China this summer, led by Associate Professor Mary Hanneman (IAS). Participants will spend three weeks studying Mandarin Chinese at Peking University in Beijing and one week traveling in the Yunnan province. Learn more at an information session this Thursday, Feb. 11, from 12:30 to 1:30 or contact Mary Hanneman at hanneman@uw.edu.

Environmental Science faculty members John "Buck" Banks and Jim Gawel are in Kenya with undergraduates during the month of February to study sustainability and conservation in a developing country.

Lang'ata, Kenya—After a day at Green Belt's Lang'ata Centre getting acclimated and attending introductory lectures from Green Belt Movement (GBM) staff and faculty from University of Nairobi, we set off for a two-day homestay in a GBM community a few hours east of Nairobi. The GBM network we visited is called Matatani, located near the town of Kangundo in an area inhabited by the Kamba tribe. After a warm welcome from the entire community, the class split up into several different family homes and enjoyed the hospitality of home-cooked meals and cultural exchange.

Read the rest of their post in the Notes from the Field blog

Welcome to Postcards, UW Tacoma's new blog by and about faculty and students traveling, studying and exploring the world. In Postcards, you’ll find journal entries from faculty and students traveling abroad, writing and taking photos as they experience new places.

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Environmental Science faculty members John "Buck" Banks and Jim Gawel departed today with 13 undergraduates for a 25-day tour of Kenya to study sustainability and conservation in a developing country. The class will learn about tree restoration and food security, visit game and forest reserves and work with local efforts to improve urban planning and sustainable water management. Both the faculty and students studied Swahili in preparation for the trip. You can read about their adventures on their blog, Notes from the Field; we'll also post excerpts on Postcards.