Two Iowa State University undergrads are headed to Scotland.
The two ISU seniors Dylan Clark and Deepak Premkumar leave Friday for the European Space Agency’s Living Planet Symposium in Edinburgh.
The pair will be the only undergraduates presenting. Over 1,700 are expected to attend the ESA’s Symposium.
Premkumar and Clark’s research combined GPS and geospatial views with information from interviews and surveys with locals in rural Tanzanian villages. The pair conducted their research over eight weeks in northeastern Tanzania, speaking with villagers in the Hedaru Valley.
The villages in the Hedaru Valley that were studied lie in the lowlands of Tanzania’s Pangani River Basin where environmental changes and population growth from migration has strained the area’s natural resources.
Despite the need for a double translation, tribal languages into Swahili and then into English, Premkumar said the focus groups were incredibly lively.
“We realized how resourceful they are at adapting to drought and climate change. They’ve figured out certain methods to survive where there is a dearth of resources. It was really quite impressive,” Premkumar said.
The result of their research creates a usable tool that allows a map to pinpoint developmental limitations, needs and relationships based on the region’s constraints from access to natural resources.
“This is the gem of the project,” Clark said.
“You can focus on an area of the map and point to where irrigation is and see how that has an impact on their food security,” he said.