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Actually, even if the project itself is not locally sustainable, it could well be very worthwhile to have a component that reduces the damage it does until it comes grinding to a halt.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Apr 13th, 2008 at 06:08:13 PM EST
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I'll get back to you when I know more. The PI is one of those wheeling dealing academic woozles, so I have taken steps to get things in writing before I accept responsibility for a grad student. I have someone I recruited for another project, but she's Congolese of some sort, it turns out, and wants to work on conservation issues in that part of the world. I am all for helping people follow their dreams, provided it doesn't kill me.

Singing: look, look, look to the rainbow...

by PIGL (stevec@boreal.gmail@com) on Sun Apr 13th, 2008 at 08:09:48 PM EST
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An Academic?

<Prepares Garlic, religious siverware and sharpened sticks> ;-)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Apr 13th, 2008 at 08:13:58 PM EST
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For I, too, am an academic. I just try to not be a woozle, nor associate much with those who are. Unless I have Mr. Pointy close at hand. That, or a deftly prepared memo to the chair of the Graduate Program.
by PIGL (stevec@boreal.gmail@com) on Sun Apr 13th, 2008 at 08:19:36 PM EST
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... the East, or where? I'd be awfully nervous of going any further east than the general Kisangani region.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Apr 13th, 2008 at 10:54:58 PM EST
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I really don't know, BruceMcF. The system we have developed works over very large areas indeed, so we could do the entire Congo River Basin, in principle. We have a prototype design of a network of ecological benchmarks developed for the entire Canadian boreal, for example.

In practice, as with the boreal, we'd probably want to divide up the region into ecologically meaning chunks...I have no idea how to approach that for the Congo, which is what the grad project will mostly be about...that and determining the appropriate ecological representation criteria. In the boreal, we use a number of remote/sensed attributes (categorical land cover glasses from GLC 2000, and some continuous measures of productivity, soil moisture deficits, and riparianicity). Some of these may make no sense in the region, but I am no Tropical Ecologist.  I guess my interest in this project is to see if the components of the abstract system we have developed for northern forests can be shown to have functional analogues in a completely different system.

There will be a lot to learn. I am leaning to the north and west, as I find The Gabon really intriguing...the Land that People Forget (To Screw Up)? And if this gets off the ground, I promise to put up a short diary about the problem.

by PIGL (stevec@boreal.gmail@com) on Mon Apr 14th, 2008 at 12:24:42 AM EST
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You could divide the Congo river basin into subbasins (one for each tributary, and then do the same for the tributaries until you get bite-sized regions).

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 29th, 2008 at 09:24:49 AM EST
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