Saturday, August 17, 2019

Meet the student!

Hey y’all, I’m Nick. I’m a 4th year student and 3rd year Sustainability student at UT, and before I get too far into this thing, it would really help my channel if you hit that like button. While you’re at it, if you could just smash that subscribe button too; that would be dope, that would help me out sooooo much. Aight, so yeah I’m here in Botswana, learning Setswana and dehydrating like some dry fruit. We saw some animals, nothing super exciting yet; just saw some antelope and ostrich. It’s been kinda rough, I broke my sunglasses like two days in so now I can only see at night and I have to keep my eyes closed during the day. I wanna thank College of Liberal arts for the scholarships, I wouldn’t be here without them. I’ll keep y’all updated as I go. Remember like, comment, and obliterate that subscribe button. See ya.

Friday, August 16, 2019

The heart of the Okavango

The Okavango Delta is the largest inland delta on the planet. If you’ve seen a nature documentary that took place in Africa, it was most likely shot in the delta. This is due to the high concentration of the “Big Five” (lion, leopard, Cape buffalo, rhino, and elephant) in this area. We saw four of the five, which is pretty good considering rhinos are one of the most endangered species on Earth. Going into this experience, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect because CKGR was so amazing. When we rolled up to a campsite overlooking a river bend with a 2 meter long croc, I knew we were in for a good time.

The very first morning, we drove to Khwai (a community managed area of land) from Mababe (the community managed land where we stayed) on a windy dirt road. At first, I wasn’t convinced that we would see many animals because there was very little activity along the road.  However, once we reached the river and saw our first waterbuck, we knew it was going to be a good day. We saw elephants, zebras, giraffes, impala, and a leopard all within a stones throw of each other. It was the classic “African Safari” that’s seen on TV but we were living it. Not only did we get to observe these amazing organisms in their habitats, we got to watch their social interactions and witness something not many people have the opportunity to see.

From the beginning of the program, we were told, “just wait for Mababe, the wildlife density is unbelievable”. Nothing could have prepared us for what we would witness in the Delta. Baby elephants swam across the channel while using their trunk as a snorkel, zebras munched on the foliage along the banks of the river, impala played in the tall grass, and we sat with our mouths wide open. While I may have been speechless during our experience, I will never be able to stop talking about it.

Meet the student!

I am an environmental science biology track and RTF double major, interested in plant ecology which is why I'm on this trip. 

This morning it was about 1.1°C since we're in the desert and it's winter here it gets real cold at night so Here's my skincare routine. It changed drastically from what I use in Austin due to the climate here.


Wash with a non foaming cleanser, cuz the foam will dry you out even more.

Use some sort of moisturizer that doesn't have hyaluronic acid, while that works well in Austin the lack of humidity will dehydrate your skin real fast out here.

Avoid any sorts of chemical exfoliants because they increase photosensitivity, especially if your malaria meds contribute to the same problem.

Finish with a good sunscreen and replenish as needed throughout the day.


Use the same cleanser.

If you're feeling a little spicy you can use a hyaluronic acid serum or lotion contaning HA as long as you apply it onto freshly wet skin and follow up with an occlusive layer of something like Vaseline or aquaphor, something petrolatum based. Since it's so dry you get dehydrated easily and the obvious best thing to do is drink a lot of water but this will help prevent moisture loss thru the skin as well.
- J

Meet the student!

Hi there! My name is Abby Kuchek and I’m entering my fourth year at UT double majoring in Economics and Philosophy. I applied to this program because I intend to pursue a career working in economics and public policy after graduation. An understanding of the complex impacts of climate change and conservation on communities and economies large and small is increasingly essential in both of these fields in order to devise sustainable policy solutions for the future. I‘m excited to explore these topics in depth during my 6 weeks here in Botswana—and to see more hornbills, crimson breasted shrikes, and pied babblers fluttering through camp!

Thank you so much to the Dedman Scholars program for making this experience a reality for me. And thank you to my family and friends for your constant support: I’m thinking of you and sending you love!

Friday, August 9, 2019

Meet the student!

Hello! Dumela! ¡Hola!

My name is George Roth and I'm a 3rd year Sustaiability/Urban Studies double major. I like birds, bats, and bugs, but all animals fascinate me. 

I'd like to thank the Rapoport Foundation, the International Education Fund, and the Gilman Scholarship Committee for funding the majority of my trip. I also thank my parents for assisting me in paying for the rest of it. I especially thank my fiance,  Heather, for supporting this dream I've had since 8th grade. 

I came to Botswana to learn about the complex science and social issues behind conservation and land use. Additionally,  I wanted to learn about how climate change is playing a role in these issues,  and how local governments are responding. Also, it's been a dream of mine to go to Botswana since learning about the Okavango and Kalahari in 8th grade. 

Catch y'all later! Go Siame! ¡Hasta Luego!

Meet the student!

Yo buddy! 
This is Jane, coming at you cold. As I write this from the sanctuary of the 5 foot radius around our fire, I can say with confidence that I will no longer complain about Texas summers.

Here’s a bit about me: I’m a junior studying Chemical Engineering and Sustainability Studies with Certificates in Humanitarian Engineering and Peace Corps Prep (a mouthful, I know). I’m having a blast here, and I’m looking forward to learning more about wildfire management. Simply picking Thoralf’s brain has already helped me learn so much. Around camp, you can find me playing Shuttlecock (like badminton, but fewer rules and more British accents), losing round after round of card games, or drawing signs to decorate my tent entrance. Back on campus, I’m involved in several mentorship and humanitarian programs. I’m an Aries, and I would love to interpret your star chart for you!

Before I sign off, I want to say thank you for all the support I’ve received: Liberal Arts Council Study Abroad Scholarship, thank you!! All of my family and friends who donated, thank you!! Parents, THANK YOU!! This is a truly incredible experience that couldn’t have happened without you. Kealaboga!

Meet the student!

Greetings! My name is Anne Marie, and I’m a fourth year student double majoring in Anthropology and Sustainability Studies with a focus in Natural Resource Management. 

After graduation, I hope to spend some time learning about cross-cultural agricultural practices through traveling and working on farms around the world, with the goal of joining the agricultural sector of the Peace Corp. Eventually, I plan to get my masters in Environmental Anthropology, with a focus on food production techniques. 

This trip is my first international travel experience, and so far I’ve loved every minute. Before the program, I travelled to Zambia and Zimbabwe, and after I’ll be spending a few days in Cape Town. During the program, I’m most excited to learn more about fieldwork and how to apply our research to community needs. 

I want to thank my parents and IEFS for helping me fund this trip, and my Aunt Carol and cousin Sierra for letting me borrow some of their gear.