August 25 - August
Uganda and Kenya. Project meeting with country teams from Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda. Meeting with ILRI staff on the sustainability of livestock systems.
August 8 - August
Moscow, Russia. Mapping urban soils in the Moscow region that is threatened by smoke and heat. Indeed, it was smokey but the field work with PhD candidate Slava Vasenev and the beauty of Moscow made up for it.
July 6 - July
Germany. If you look for a place with beautiful towns and lakes (and very few Dutch tourists), Mecklenburg may be your destination. A few days Potsdam and Berlin at the end was the icing on cake. What a great city!
June 2 - June
Bozeman, Montana. Discovery of big skies through the Lewis and Clark Marathon. You can't expect a marathon course to be much nicer than this one. And... continued work with Roberto Valdivia.
May 1 - May
Nairobi, Kenya. GTZ organized a meeting with all the GTZ funded project teams dealing the adaptation to climate change in Africa. A good opportunity to meet all the other teams and hear their stories.
April 2 - April
Antwerp, Belgium. 100% fun. Wow, Antwerp is a beautifull place to be!
March 23 - March
Lima, Peru. A very brief 48 hour trip to Peru to meet with IFPRI and local staff on the wrap up of our joint project funded by the challenge program on Water and Food.
March 2 - March
Addis Abeba, Ethiopia. Project meeting of the GTZ funded project with partners from Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, and Germany.
February 24 - February 27
Leon, Spain. Graduation committee of Jose Alvarez Martínez: Monitoring and modelling global change effects on landscape dynamics and functioning at several scales in mountain regions. After spending time at the department and publishing a first paper (others are on their way) he made it. Congratulations Dr!
January 31 - February
Bozeman, Montana. It is time for PhD candidate Roberto Valdivia to finish his thesis. It is also time for our GTZ funded project on climate change to make a step forward. Finally, there is the paper of Lieven Claessens that finally has to be finished. Plenty of reasons to meet and get things going.
December 6 - December
Embu, Kenya. Postgraduate Course Land Dynamics: Getting to the bottom of Mount Kenya: Analysis of land dynamics and sustainable development in an interdisciplinary perspective. An excellent opportunity for our PhD students to work on an interdisciplinary research theme dealing with the extremely complex, mixed, semi-subsistence farming systems in Kenya.
November 15 - November
Bozeman, Montana. Yes, we went skiing as well. But moreover, we worked hard on the adaptation to climate change program.
August 5 - August
Pragraten, Austria. A new holiday destination (for us). Great to visit the high mountains with the beautifull views on the gletschers. Good for running as well!
July 28 - July
Settat, Morocco. Progress meeting on the ICARDA research program. Can we relate soil degradation to economic develeopment? What is the effect of various policy interventions?
June 30 - July 5
Costa Rica. Visit to the Corporación Bananera Nacional in Costa Rica to discuss progress on precision agriculture and to explore possibilities for joint proposals. It is always good to be back!
May 24 - May
Oujda, Morocco. In line with the previously visited program in Yemen, now a visit to Oujda, where ICARDA has a second research site. A recent Wageningen graduate (Amandine Pastor) will support the program to set up a biophysical survey.
March 29 - April
Yemen. In a colaborate research effort with ICARDA we are studying the interacting effects of economic development and environmental impacts. We are approached by the program to help them collect bio-physical data and apply the Tradeoff Analysis Model. MSc student Caroline te Pas will study terrace maintenance and soil fertility in the Yemeni highlands while local researchers under the supervision of Mohamed Ahmed (ICARDA) will carry out a survey on farm management. Never realized to find these intensively managed, terraced agricultural systems in Yemen!
March 10 - March
Egmond aan Zee, The Netherlands. Attending the Conference on Integrated Assessment of Agriculture and Sustainable Development; Setting the Agenda for Science and Policy (AgSAP 2009)
January 26 - February 6
Bozeman, Montana. My Collaboration with Montana State University and the International Potato Centre continues. Working on a paper on the adaptation to climate change in East Africa, the further development of the Tradeoff Analysis Model and supervising PhD candidate Roberto Valdivia.
December 6 - December
Mozambique. Competing claims around the Limpopo National Park. The estbalishment of a transfrontier national park is great from a conservation point of view. However, it leads to direct conflicts with the local people living in the area, lage newly developed sugar cane planatations. During a project workshop different disciplinary views were presented and discussed in a broader context. In addition, I supervised with Eric Smaling PhD candidate Armindo Cambule who is carrying out a digital soil mapping exercise in the area.
October 27 - November 3
Guapiles, Costa Rica. How can we improve the implementation of precision agriculture in the Costa Rican banana system? A brief visit with PRI and BLGG. What are the prospects of new analytical techniques? It may look like an ambiguous technical question, the reality includes all kinds of institutional arrangements that make work even more fascinating (and challenging).
Jordan. Discover unknown territory. With family adventure and friends from an earlier Morocco journey we travelled through Jordan. Starting in ancient Jarash in the North of Jordan where ancient cultures have met since Roman times and finishing at the red sea where Jordan meets Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, it was an unforgettable trip. How much a small country like Jordan can offer, ranging from natural beauty of the magnificant sandstone formations (Petra and Wadi Rum) and coral reefs in the red sea, to cultural history in Jarash and Petra. An ideal holiday adventure for the entire family and opening a new view on this Arab country that is often presented in a selective way in the western news.
September 18 -
Nairobi Kenya. A new challenge is posed to us in the development of widely applicable tools for policy analysis. Can we develop these tools with a reduced complexity and apply them in cases where a minimum of data are available? In Nairobi, we organized a training course for the simple tradeoff analysis tools that we developed. Country teams from CIP and ICARDA headed projects participated in the training workshops.
July 23 - August 22
Guapiles, Costa Rica. Fun, fun, and fun! Back to our second home town Guápiles. A small banana town in the Northern Atlantic. We lived the life we used to live (1991-1996). In addition, we played the happy tourist family (rafting, snorkling, volcanoes, etc.) and spend great time with our old friends.
July 6 - 15
Concepcion, Chili. Pushing the PhD-student to the finish line through moral and scientific support. Alejandra Mora Valleja aims to take the soil nutrient depletion issue to the next level: from diagnosis to intervention. She finished her first paper on digital soil mapping to map out the spatial variability in soil conditions. In next papers she aims to link soil nutrient monitoring to tradeoff analysis to identify the proper policy intervention. While back in her home country she aims for finishing her PhD thesis before the end of the year!
June 15 - 21
Juequetepeque watershed, Peru. Soil and water erosion remains a threat to agriculture throughout the world. Numerous conservation practices (e.g. terraces) have been developed but adoption remains poor. In an IFPRI headed project we aim to unravel the constraints behind adoption and see how we can tackle the erosion problem in an innovative way. In this trip we made a first acquaintance with the area.
April 20 -23
Leon, Spain. The natural park "La Sierra de Los Ancares" in Leon province is part of a new UNESCO biosphere reserve. The main question that remains is how management influences land cover in the park. A Leon PhD student Jose-Manual Álvarez analyzes land cover dynamics and the driving forces behind various interventions. Jointly we developed a model for land cover dynamics to analyze alternative land cover scenarios. In a field trip we looked together with MSc student Corinne Koot to soil types as a driving factor of land cover changes.
March 30 - 31
Hamburg, Germany. The Max-Planck-Institute for Meteorology will develop a regional circulation model to assess climatic changes in East Africa. This is a key starting point for our assessment of climate vulnerability in the region.
January 25 - February
Bozeman, Montana. How can we reduce climate vulnerability of poor farm households in East Africa? In a new GTZ funded project we will try to answer this challenging question for Uganda, Ethiopia, and Kenya.(www.tradeoffs.montana.edu). In this first planning meeting we developed a first research plan. In addition, the skiing in Big Sky is great in this time of the year!