Graduate Student Volunteer Work in Mali

Matt McInstosh (ANRS) and Janet Ott (AXED) spent two weeks in Mali, West Africa, with Dr. Andres Cibils volunteering on community development projects in the villages of Dougoukouna and Ouendebougou in the region of Segou, central Mali.

Matt and Jan were able to participate in teaching, research, and outreach efforts thanks to support they received from Aggies-Go-Global at NMSU and a grant from VEGA-USAID that funded the project 'Common Pastures: Supporting Flocks, Farms, and Families (F3P)'.

Matt and Jan actively participated in village outreach sessions, GPS tracking of small ruminants, mapping of village pasture resources, and analysis of farmer surveys. They also provided critical help conducting study sessions for MS graduate students at the university of Segou who enrolled in a week-long intensive graduate short course on grazing management taught by Dr. Cibils. Matt and Jan were able to connect with Malian farmers and students amazingly well. Each of them were given local names by the chief of the village of Dougoukouna, a sign of being welcomed into the community. Matt was renamed 'Draman Kone' whereas Jan's new Malian name in 'Genepa Kone'!