Madagascar: Biodiversity and Natural Resource Management
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Faculty and Staff
Jim Hansen, Academic Director
Jim Hansen received his BS in economics from Montana State University and his MA in geography from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. In addition, he has pursued further studies in the Department d'Etudes Francaises pour Etrangers at the Université de Toulouse le Mirail in Toulouse, France, and currently is an MA candidate in European languages and literature (French) at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. Mr. Hansen served as an energy analyst at the East-West Center in Honolulu, where he has done contract work with the United Nations Pacific Energy Development Program, the World Bank, UNESCO, and Pacific Island governments in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, and Tonga. More recently, he has been employed as an English as a Second Language and French instructor at both the University of Hawai‘i and Punahou Academy. Mr. Hansen has published in the areas of linguistics, cross-cultural communication, and energy economics. He was academic director of the SIT Cameroon program in spring 1994 and the SIT Mali program in fall 2002. He has directed programs in Madagascar for SIT since the fall of 1994.
Mamy Rajaonah, Program Assistant
Mamy expertly handles logistics in all aspects of the program, including transport, communications, local staff, catering, and health and safety. He also provides valuable insight into Malagasy culture and advice and logistics for students’ Independent Study Projects. A native of Antananarivo, Mamy has played an essential role in SIT Madagascar programs in Antananarivo and Fort Dauphin for nearly fifteen years.
Barry Ferguson, Academic Coordinator
Barry assists the program’s academic director in many aspects of the semester, including teaching both field and practical courses on lemur ecology, protected areas management, people and conservation, and research methods. Barry also spends time working with students to identify and refine their Independent Study Projects.
Barry has a broad academic background with a BSc in ecology (Durham UK) and an MSc in environment and international development (UEA, UK). He is currently completing doctoral work on the Tandroy forest people, livelihoods, and traditions (UEA, UK). Barry has published on traditions, participation, and livelihoods in the Madagascar conservation sector and considers himself an advocate for improving the linkages and communication between communities, scholars, and professionals in the conservation movement. A native of Ireland, Barry has been involved in a wide range of conservation, education, and rural fieldwork in southern Madagascar for the last twelve years. He has supported the SIT Madagascar: Biodiversity and Natural Resource Management program in various capacities since 2001.
Luis Manera Raevoniaina “Naina,” Language Coordinator and Academic Assistant
Naina is responsible for organizing and teaching French and Malagasy languages and providing academic insight into Malagasy culture and traditions. A native of Fort Dauphin, Naina received his degree in geography from the University of Tuléar. His varied background includes working in community relations as a sports and culture specialist for Rio Tinto QMM; teaching history and geography at Lycée Sacre Coeur; and working as a language formation consultant.
Martine Razafimandimby, French Instructor
Martine is the program's most experienced language teacher, with over twenty-five years at the lycée and twelve years at the Alliance Française in Fort Dauphin. A native of Fort Dauphin, Martine holds an advanced degree in French language from the University of Antananarivo.
Melvin Joelson Razafimandimby “Sosony,” Language Instructor
Sosony teaches French and Malagasy languages and aspects of Malagasy culture, especially song and dance. A native of Fort Dauphin, Sosony is a specialist in physical education through training at the Ecole Normale Supérieure and the Ecole Nationale de l’Education Physique in Antananarivo. He has represented Fort Dauphin as regional director for the Ministry of Youth and Sports and is currently regional director of tourism and handicrafts in Anosy. He also furnishes contacts for students’ Independent Study Projects and provides logistical support.
Dr. Nat Quansah, Lecturer
Dr. Quansah's background includes cutting-edge work in ethnobotany and health care for which he was awarded the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize in 2000. A botanist by training and an ethnobotanist by profession, Dr. Quansah has a PhD in pteridology from the University of London Goldsmiths' College, and a MSc in botany, a BSc Honors, as well as a Diploma of Education from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. He has worked in various cross-cultural contexts researching, advising, and lecturing on a wide range of issues including integrated healthcare, traditional medicine, biological and cultural diversity conservation, sustainable resource use, and rural development. He has developed an integrated healthcare system approach to healthcare development and bio-cultural diversity conservation. His work has consistently involved local and international public education through radio and television documentaries and popular/scientific publications. He has been a lecturer and supporter of the Madagascar: Biodiversity and Natural Resource Management program since its inception and was the academic director of that program in spring 2008. He is also the academic director of SIT’s summer Madagascar: Traditional Medicine and Healthcare Systems program.
Dr. Gabrielle Bakolimalala Ramamonjiarisoa “Bakoly,” Lecturer
Bakoly teaches biodiversity, conservation, and the relationships between plants, animals, and insects, in addition to leading the program’s field course on botanical inventories. A native of Antananarivo, she earned her doctorate in botany at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She is an internationally renowned expert on plant systematics, agroforestry, and biodiversity. She has attended numerous conferences throughout the world and is currently working on classifying newly discovered plant species, particularly in Madagascar. She is Madagascar’s scientific authority for the International Convention for the Trade of Endangered Species, and works closely with Missouri Botanical Gardens and Kew Gardens. Bakoly teaches at the Department of Natural Sciences at the University of Antananarivo, where she served as department chair for twelve years.
Duration: 15 weeks
Program Base: Fort Dauphin (Tolagnaro)
Language Study: French, Malagasy
Prerequisites: Coursework in environmental studies, ecology, biology, or related fields; 3 semesters college-level French Read more...
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