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Five Faculty Will Travel to Botswana for Firsthand View of ACM Program

Five Faculty Will Travel to Botswana for Firsthand View of ACM Program March 5, 2015

Faculty from Carleton, Cornell, Grinnell, Lake Forest, and Monmouth Colleges will spend five days later this month in Gaborone, the capital city of Botswana, where they will learn about ACM’s off-campus study program there, experience some of the resources the location offers to students, and make connections with local university faculty who share similar research interests.

Botswana ParliamentA program field trip to the Botswana Parliament.

Along with talking to students currently on the Botswana: Development in Southern Africa program, many of the activities planned for March 16-20 will center around ACM’s partner institution, the University of Botswana (UB), beginning with a campus tour and introduction by staff from the Office of International and Educational Partnerships.

The ACM faculty will join the students for their classes in Setswana, the national language of Botswana, and the course on The Challenges of National Liberation in Southern Africa taught by the program’s Visiting Faculty Director, Africana studies and history professor Richard Mtisi from Luther College. Mtisi also guides the students in their independent study projects and leads many of the field trips that are an integral part of the program.

An elective selected from among a variety of content courses at UB, taught in English, rounds out the program’s curriculum. Outside of their courses, students typically engage with the surrounding community by volunteering with museums, schools, or local organizations involved in areas such as conservation, public health, or the arts.

U. of BotswanaOn the University of Botswana campus.

“We’ve added faculty roundtables to this site visit to give our faculty an opportunity to get to know some of their UB counterparts and to share their research interests,” said Joan Gillespie, ACM Vice President and Director of Off-Campus Study. “The plans are for the ACM professors to make short presentations based on research projects or articles they’ve written, followed by questions and discussion with UB faculty members.”

Four of the ACM faculty will gather with UB professors from the economics and environmental sciences departments at a roundtable to talk about the following topics.

  • Todd Knoop (economics, Cornell College), “Finance and Development”
  • Ken Cramer (biology, Monmouth College), “Confronting the Reality of Resource Limits: Steady-State Economics”
  • Keith Brouhle (economics, Grinnell College), “Voluntary Approaches to Environmental Protection”
  • Lynn Westley (biology, Lake Forest College), “Scientific Literacy and Conservation”

Bereket Haileab (geology, Carleton College), the fifth ACM professor on the site visit, will meet with faculty from the UB history and archaeology department in a roundtable arranged by Mtisi, who is situated in that department during his semester leading the ACM program in Botswana.

Program trip to a game reserveOn a Botswana Program trip to a game reserve.

Photo courtesy of Emily Keast

Beyond the university, plans for the visit include a tour of Gaborone, going with the students on a field trip to the Botswana Parliament, and a meeting with officials at the Department of Wildlife in the nation’s Ministry of Environment, Wildlife, and Tourism. The faculty group will also travel outside the city to see wildlife at the Mokolodi Nature Reserve and to visit the village of Mochudi, where students spend a long weekend with rural host families.

This is the second year in a row that ACM has sponsored a site visit to Botswana. The first visit to the program in March, 2014, drew so much interest from faculty that ACM staff scheduled a second trip this year.

The Faculty Site Visits Program takes a group of professors each semester to one of ACM’s programs in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, or the U.S. The program aims to engage faculty with the programs and give them firsthand knowledge that they can use in advising students about of off-campus study opportunities.

Another faculty site visit this spring will take a group of five faculty and staff to visit the Chicago: Arts, Entrepreneurship, & Urban Studies program on April 8-10.

Botswana Faculty Site Visit participants

Teaching interests/courses: Main teaching responsibilities are mineralogy and petrology. In the last five years, Haileab has included water and water-related issues in his course, using analysis of natural water samples as a way to introduce students to a wide variety of scientific skills.

Research interests: Mineralogy, petrology, chemistry, and extent of tephra layers from East Africa, in particular the Turkana Basin in southwestern Ethiopia and Northern Kenya.

  • Todd KnoopTodd Knoop

    Todd Knoop, David Joyce Professor of Economics and Business, Cornell College

Teaching interests/courses: Macroeconomics, Money and Banking, Growth Theory and Economic Development, Business Cycles and Depressions, Econometrics, Chinese Development.

Research interests: Knoop is the author of multiple articles as well as the books Business Cycle Economics: Understanding Recessions and Depressions from Boom to BustGlobal Finance in Emerging Market Economies, Recessions and Depressions: Understanding Business Cycles, and Modern Financial Macroeconomics.

  • Keith Brouhle, Associate Professor of Economics, Grinnell College

Teaching interests/courses: Microeconomic analysis, public economics, and environmental and resource economics. Courses taught include Introduction to Economics, Public Finance, Microeconomic Analysis, and Seminar in Environmental Economics.

Research interests: The effectiveness of environmental policy, environmental and resource economics, public economics, and microeconomics.

  • Lynn WestleyLynn Westley

    Lynn Westley, Assistant Professor of Biology, Lake Forest College

Teaching interests/courses: Plant-Animal Interactions, Biological Inquiry: Tropical Rain Forests, Ecology and Evolution, Plant Biology, First-Year Seminar on Environmental Worldviews, Senior Seminar on Plant and Animal Interactions, and Senior Seminar on Biological Implications of Global Climate Change.

Research interests: Plant ecology, plant population biology, plant resource allocation, and pollination biology.

  • Ken CramerKen Cramer

    Ken Cramer, Professor of Biology, Monmouth College

Teaching interests/courses: Introduction to Ecology, Evolution and Diversity; Ecology; Environmental Science; Field Zoology; Animal Behavior; Life on Earth; Reflections – Beyond Belief (Science, Religion and Meaning); Citizenship – Green Initiatives.

Research interests: Cramer is broadly interested in animal ecology, diversity, and behavior. Students work with a wide variety of organisms in his lab, usually focusing on spider behavior and ecology. Cramer is interested in the distribution and natural history of the brown recluse spider in Illinois and Iowa and has set up a web page to collect data from the general public, the Brown Recluse Project.


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