My professional goal has always been to help solve important problems related to the use and conservation of natural resources. My scholarship is therefore diverse and emphasizes applied work. Over the past 35 years I have gradually transitioned from an initial focus on biology and ecology to an emphasis on the human dimensions of natural resource management—namely, how can the fates of people be improved when they must cope with the dynamic, fragile, and limited resources found in rangeland and small-holder farming systems? This intellectual transition makes perfect sense to me given my professional goal. After completing my BSc degree in zoology in 1977, I conducted MSc work in wildlife and rangeland ecology with a study of the grazing interactions between bison and prairie dogs in Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota, from 1978-81. This was followed by PhD work in international animal science between 1981-85 that characterized the feeding ecology and resource use of pastoral livestock herds in the Turkana District of northwestern Kenya. After attaining the PhD I joined the Ethiopian rangelands program at the International Livestock Center for Africa (ILCA of the CGIAR) in Addis Ababa as a research scientist and unit leader from 1985-91. In 1991 I became a tenure-track faculty member in the Department of Range Science at Utah State University (USU). I have stayed at USU ever since and have gradually become more involved in problem-solving work for rangeland and small-holder farming systems. I have thus become more interested in interdisciplinary efforts that incorporate social science with ecology and agriculture. I have altered my approaches to incorporate social surveys and focus groups as well as action-oriented, participatory methods. Projects undertaken by myself and colleagues include studies of: (1) How to improve risk management and reduce poverty among pastoralists via capacity building and livelihood diversification; (2) how to improve drought management and adoption of innovations among Utah ranchers; (3) effects of pastoralists and vegetation change on sustaining protected areas and endangered wildlife in Ethiopia; (4) factors affecting adoption of soil and water conservation practices among small farmers in Kenyan watersheds; (5) determinants of livelihood resilience among small famers in western Tanzania; and (6) factors promoting sustainability of agro-pastoral communities in Bolivia. I am currently a tenured associate professor in the Department of Environment and Society in the College of Natural Resources at USU. More information can be found at (http://www.cnr.usu.edu/htm/facstaff/memberID=816).
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Achieving Development Impact among Pastoral and Agro-Pastoral People: Lessons Learned in Southern Ethiopia, 2000-2009 (with Seyoum Tezera, Solomon Desta, and Getachew Gebru), Global Livestock Collaborative Research Support Program (2012)
The outreach and action-research component of the Pastoral Risk Management (PARIMA) project began with a...
Achieving Real Development Impact among Pastoralists: Lessons from Ethiopia, ENVS Faculty Publications (2011)
Achieving Real Development Impact Among Pastoralists: Lessons from Ethiopia (with S. Tezera, S. Desta, and G. Gebru), Achieving real development impact among
pastoralist: Lessons from Ethiopia (2011)
Carbon Offsets for Utah Ranchers? Sequestrations Potential of Deeded Lands and Implications for Policy and Management (with Z. Ma), Carbon offsets for Utah
ranchers? Sequestration potential of deeded lands and implications for policy and management. (2011)