WKU REGIONAL CAMPUSES
NSF highlights WKU research in Africa
|Date: Tuesday, May 29th, 2012||Return to Archive|
“High-tech Scarecrows for Low-tech Farms” — a report on a WKU research project in Africa — is featured on the National Science Foundation’s SEE (Science, Engineering & Education) Innovation website.
In the project, funded by the National Science Foundation and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation through their joint Basic Research to Enable Agricultural Development (BREAD) program, researchers from WKU are developing low-cost, automated systems to reduce crop damage by large mammals in sub-Saharan Africa, where some areas have seen crop losses greater than 90 percent.
Across Africa, the top vertebrate wildlife pests include birds, primates, elephants, a variety of antelope species, buffalo, pigs and porcupines. While crop damage due to wild mammals is a major problem for subsistence farmers living near wild lands or protected areas, these animals are vital and visible parts of ecosystems and the source of much foreign income from ecotourists. This study supports the development and testing of devices that are animal-triggered, nonlethal and portable; they distract wildlife from feeding while alerting farmers to the presence of crop predators. These “scarecrows” emit stimuli, including sounds, lights and smells, in random sequences from a suite of stimuli proven to ward off targeted species of crop predators.
Contact: Michael Stokes, (270) 745-6009.
Drs. Leslie North and Jason Polk of the Department of Geography & Geology and Ms. Heather Thomas from WKU Housing and Residence Life recently led a group of 15 students on a Faculty-Led Study abroad course to Iceland
over 16,000 GIS professionals, educators, and users from over 120 countries attend the world’s largest conference in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). This conference was hosted by the Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri) in San Diego, CA.
The WKU Meteorology Program is hosting more than 20 students from 10 states and Puerto Rico this week (July 17-21) for its fifth annual weather camp.
Get a glimpse of some of the beautiful photos featured in his book.
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