Alexandra Kasdin ’14

Major

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Project Title

The Impact of Mpala’s Conservation Clubs

Presentation Link

View Alexandra's Presentation

This summer, I worked as an environmental education teaching assistant in ­Northern ­Kenya, in areas ravaged by overgrazing and drought. Our goal was to educate ­Kenyan primary school students about the natural world and to show them that they can ­transform their landscape through simple environmental stewardship. We ­created interactive lessons that illustrated concepts such as biodiversity, habitats, the ­water cycle, and adaptation. I created new lesson plans for the environmental ­education program and taught the students for an hour every weekday at five ­different ­primary schools. Through this experience, I came to the conclusion that ­environmental ­education is key to any conservation effort. Environmental education at the most ­elementary level is the starting point for this understanding. My time in Africa confirmed that I enjoy working with people and researching topics that involve people, such as how humans and the environment interact and affect one another. For example, I discovered I might enjoy studying eco-tourism, an example of the crossover between humans and the environment. After my experiences in Kenya and realizations about the importance of environmental education, I can also see myself spearheading environmental education efforts in the future.



Internship Year

2011

Project Category

Development

Organization(s)

Northern Kenya Conservation Clubs, Mpala Research Centre, Kenya

Mentor(s)

Daniel Rubenstein, Class of 1877 Professor of Zoology, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Chair, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Director, Program in African Studies; Nancy Rubenstein, Northern Kenya Conservation Clubs