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.
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Saturday, December 14th
New numbers out from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that fewer women in the United States are having children.
Journalism Scholars Day, a 41-year tradition at WKU, attracted more than 385 Kentucky high school journalism students from 15 schools across the state to campus on Nov. 15.
The Fall Super Saturdays program, which is put on by The Center for Gifted Studies, hosted more than 500 first through eighth graders from two states and more than 40 school districts each Saturday from Nov. 2 to Nov. 23.