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K-State Today Student Edition

April 24, 2012

Students get the dust of Africa on their feet

By Becky Carnes

Tutlwa Giraffe

As many students head home or to respective jobs and internships for the summer, 11 K-State students will be getting the dust of Africa on their feet for the learning safari of a lifetime. Led by David Hartnett, university distinguished professor of biology; Jackie Ott; and Rebekah Carnes, this group will spend three weeks in Botswana and South Africa, studying the natural history, ecology and conservation of grassland and savanna ecosystems.

Hartnett has been conducting ecological research on the grasslands, savannas, and woodlands in southern Africa since 2000. He annually leads research trips to southern Africa with K-State students. The Institute for Grassland Studies previously sponsored this specific Summer Study Abroad field course to Botswana and South Africa in 2009 with Hartnett and Carnes. This year’s cohort includes Susan Freund, Edward Raynor, Andrea Kieffer, Belinda Baber, Grady Harris, Kathryn Sebes, Adam Siders, Desiree Harpel and Ashley Thackrah. Together, they will tour conservation sites and research centers in The Okavango Delta and Central Kalahari. They will observe and journal about plant and animal interactions while conducting research on biodiversity in some of the major game parks of the region and they will get a taste of the history and culture of southern Africa from local guides.