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Press Release 13-110
NSF and USAID Jointly Announce Next Round of Global Research Collaboration Awardees

54 new projects use science to tackle global development challenges

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Research team is installing a sensor station to study climate change in the Columbian Andes.

Julio Can and his research group are studying the effects of climate change on environmentally vulnerable lakes and marshy areas in the Colombian Andes. Here, his graduate students and field assistants are installing a specially designed sensor station near Ayapel to track rain, ground and water temperature; ground pressure; wind speed and direction; solar radiation and water levels. Software, developed by the telecommunications research group at Can's university, will soon be added to the station to allow for wireless data transmission and creation of a web interface. The U.S. partner on the project, Francina Dominguez, who models climate impacts in South America with support from the National Science Foundation (award AGS-1045260), is providing advice on technical and analytical aspects, as well as on the work of the Colombian graduate students.

Credit: Photo courtesy of Julio Can.


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A videographer and a Moroccan Sign Language interpreter record signs in a studio

The Morocco-based PEER Science project headed by Abdelhadi Soudi is focused on developing a system to translate between Moroccan Sign Language and written Arabic. The ultimate goal of the effort is to improve life for the currently marginalized deaf population in Morocco and to provide new technology for educating deaf children more effectively. The project involves collaboration with a U.S. team headed by Corinne Vinopol who is developing a similar system for American Sign Language and English with support from National Science Foundation (award IIP-1118610). Here, a videographer and an MSL interpreter, working with Soudi, record signs to add to their lexical database.

Credit: Photo courtesy of Abdelhadi Soudi.


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Research assistants review satellite imagery during a field visit

Increasing urbanization, climate change and varying land use patterns are all factors impacting the growing risk of wildfires in both Lebanon and the United States. George Mitri is using his PEER Science grant to develop models of how wildfire risks might increase and to create materials that could help government stakeholders and the general public to better understand and manage those risks. Their work includes collection and analysis of both socioeconomic and climate-related data as inputs for their model. Here, Mitri's research assistants Mireille Jazi and Edward Antoun review satellite imagery during a field visit to north Lebanon. In June 2013, the three researchers traveled to Montana to collaborate with their U.S. partner, David McWethy, who studies ecosystem resilience to fire damage with support from the National Science Foundation (BCS-1024413).

Credit: Photo courtesy of George Mitri.


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Students and teachers ina  class at Kasetsart University in in Thailand.

Sang Putu Kaler Surata's PEER Science project is designed to train Indonesias future teachers in education for sustainable development. He and his group are creating course materials to teach primary and secondary students about the agro-ecology of Bali, with an emphasis on two traditional Balinese institutions used to manage shared water resources: subaks and water temples. Mahasaraswati University students who are studying to become teachers have played a major role in field testing new course modules in cooperation with secondary school teachers and students. Active learning methods using video production, still photography, and farmer interviews are being used to engage the students in studying their environmental and cultural heritage. The project also involves close collaboration with U.S. partner John Stephen Lansing, who studies subaks and the severe risks they face with support from the National Science Foundation (BCS-1144405). Here, Surata and his students are pictured with farmers from Subak Tampaksiring.

Credit: Photo courtesy of Putu Kaler Surata.


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