Graduate Research Assistantships at Ohio University for Study of Local Knowledge and Climate Change Adaptation in Tanzania

Department of Geography, Ohio University

Two two-year research assistantships at the M.A. level are available through a new project on local knowledge and climate change adaptation in Tanzania supported by the National Science Foundation’s Geography and Spatial Science (GSS) Program. The project – Linking Local Knowledge and Local Institutions for the Study of Adaptive Capacity to Climate Change: Participatory GIS in Northern Tanzania – investigates the myriad ways in which human, social, and institutional capital enable households and communities to draw on local knowledge and outside specialist knowledge to moderate the negative effects of greater climatic instability on rural livelihoods.

In addition to completing required courses for the M.A. program over two academic years (2010-2011 and 2011-2012), the successful candidates will contribute to an international interdisciplinary research project. We expect applicants to develop a thesis project that contributes to the project’s research objectives.

One graduate research assistant will work on the development of online multimedia applications derived from a participatory GIS. Background or interest in cartography and web-based mapping is desirable.

A second research assistant will work with the research team on the implementation of the project’s participatory field methodology and
contribute to data analysis. The student’s interests should be focused on environment- development interactions (e.g., the dynamics of resource access, political, environmental or cultural-linguistic dimensions of local knowledge systems, gendered aspects of climate change adaptation). Proficiency in Kiswahili or interest in learning Kiswahili at Ohio University is a plus.

The assistantships include two academic years of tuition waiver and stipend for students enrolled in the Geography M.A. program. Additional support is available for student field research activities in Tanzania.

Eligible students may also apply for a Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship from OU’s Center for African Studies: http://www.internat ionalstudies. ohio.edu/ app-info/ flas.html

The Ohio University Department of Geography is a dynamic department with 150 undergraduate majors and a graduate program that has expanded to 25. Faculty in the department offer coursework and conduct research on topics that bring together the Earth’s human and physical components and focus on issues from local to global scales. Graduate students also benefit from the resources of Ohio University’s Center for African Studies, a National Resource Center (NRC) for Africa, which creates additional opportunity for the interdisciplinary study of African languages, societies, and environments.

The application deadline is February 15 for Fall 2010 admission.

For more information regarding the application procedure, consult the department and Graduate College websites: http://www.ohio. edu/geography& http://www.ohio. edu/graduate/ ).

For more information about the assistantships, contact Tom Smucker smucker@ohio. edu.

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