Hydrology Ecology and Pastoral Societies in the Sahel: Ephemeral and Perennial Water Resources in a Dynamic Coupled System

Project: Research project

Project Details


BurnSilver will be subcontracted by the South Dakota State University (SDSU) for 1 month of her time annually (over 3 years) on the project entitled Hydrology, Ecology and Pastoralism in the Sahel: ephemeral and perennial water resources in a dynamic coupled system. This project brings together an interdisciplinary team to examine the past, present and future impacts of watershed change on pastoralists and vegetation. BurnSilver will take the lead on project activities having to do with documenting oral histories of land use, current socioeconomic activities and mobility patterns of pastoralists living around the Agoufou lake in the Gourma region of Mali, West Africa. Approximately 3 weeks in years 2 and 3 of the project will be spent doing fieldwork in Mali. BurnSilver will be in the field in year 2 with Fane, a University of Bamako PhD student, and in year 3 with project collaborator Tm, both from the University of Bamako. Throughout years 2-4 of the project, BurnSilver will work with colleagues from SDSU (Hanan and Prihodko) and Colorado State University (Boone and Ramirez) to integrate field data into the development and parameterization of an agent-based model to examine pastoral well-being under different hydrological regimes. BurnSilver will supervise an undergraduate student hourly from UAF in the Fall of years 2 and 3, who will be employed to input socio-economic data. BurnSilver will also collaborate closely with Malian colleagues Tm, Dembl and Karemb to forge close working relationships with local and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and local governments in the Gourma region. These relationships will form the foundation for substantial dissemination and outreach activities scheduled for year 4 of the project. The goal of this dissemination is to engage local pastoralists and decision-makers with issues of watershed stability, land use change and human well-being that are of great concern locally.
Effective start/end date11/1/118/31/16


  • NSF-BIO: Division of Environmental Biology (DEB): $121,973.00


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