The Workshop for Enhancing Collaborative Research on the Environment in Sub-Saharan Africa Arlington, Virginia usa 24-26 January 2005

Lucie Rugo

Programme Officertaxonomy and Invasive

Alien Species

Secretariat of the U.N. Convention on

Bilogical Diversity

393, rue St-Jacques-Suite 300

Montreal, Quebec, H3Y 1N9

Phone: 514-287-8718

Fax: 514-288-6588

Email: lucie.rogo@

Sandra Russo

Director, Program Development and Federal Relations

Associate Director, Transnational and Global Studies

International Center

Box 113225

University of Florida

Gainesville, Fl 32611

Tel:  352-392-5834

Fax: 352-846-2768


George Sadowsky

Executive Director

Global Internet Policy Initiative (GIPI)

Internews, Inc.

1640 Rhode Island Avenue, N.W.

Washington, DC 20036

Phone: (202) 833-5740 ext. 200

Phone: (203) 329-3288

Fax: (203) 547-6020

Email: george.sadowsky@

Mahesh Sankaran

Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory

Colorado State University

Fort Collins, CO 80523-1499

Phone: (970) 491-1964


Mary Scholes

School of Animal, Plant and Environmental


P Bag 3

WITS 2050, South Africa

South Africa

Phone: 27-12-8412045

Fax: 27-12-8412689


Fred Semazzi


North Carolina State University

Marine, Earth & Atmospheric Sciences

Box 8208

4144 Jordan Hall

Raleigh, NC 27695

Phone: (919) 515-1434

Fax: (919) 515-7802


Richard Teague

Professor, Rangeland Ecology & Management

Texas Agricultural Experiment Station

Box 1658

Vernon, TX 76385

Phone: (940) 552-9941

Fax: (940) 553-4657


Moses Tenywa

Makerere University

Department of Soil Science

P.O. Box 7062


Phone: 256-77-827710

Fax: 256-41-531641


Wassily Thiaw


14th Street & Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20230


Duncan Thomas


Research Associate

37309 Kings Valley Highway

Philomath, OR 97370

Phone: (541) 929-4155

Email: duncanwt@

Bonnie Thompson

The National Science Foundation

4201 Wilson Boulevard

Arlington, VA 22230


Kevin Thompson

The National Science Foundation

4201 Wilson Boulevard

Arlington, VA 22230


Winston Trollope

Head, Dept. of Livestock and Pasture Science

Faculty of Agriculture and Environmental Science

Universtiy of Fort Hare

Private Bag X1314

Alice, 5700

South Africa


Wendy Turner

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA 94720


Paul Uhlir

Office of International S&T Information Programs

The National Academies

500 Fifth Street, NW

Washington, DC 20001

Phone: (202) 334-2807 Ext. 1531

Fax: (202) 334-2231


Kristen Vanderbilt

Sevilleta LTER

Depatment of Biology

University of New Mexico

Albuquerque, NM 87131

Phone: (505) 277-2109

Fax: (505) 277-5355


Hassan Virji

American Geophysical Union (AGU)

2000 Florida Avenue N.W.
Washington, DC 20009-1277 USA
Phone: (202) 462-6900

Email: hvirji@

Sarah Walker

Graduate Student

University of Virginia

P.O. Box 400123

Charlottesville, VA

Phone: 434-924-4303


Yeqiao Wang

Associate Professor

Department of Natural Resources Science

University of Rhode Island

Kingston, RI 02881-0804

Phone: (401) 874-4345

Fax: (401) 874-4561


Emmanuel Wango

Institute of Primate Research

P.O. Box 24481

Karen, Nairobi


Phone: 254-2-882571/4

Fax: 254-2-882546


Christopher Williams

Natural Resources Ecology Lab

Colorado State University

Fort Collins, CO 80523

Phone: (970) 491-1101


George Wittemyer

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA 94720


Dan Wubah

Professor & Special Asst. to the President

James Madison University

Phone: (540) 568-4506


Pius Yanda

Institute of Resources Assessment

University of Dar es Salaam

PO Box 35097

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Phone: 255-22-2410144

Fax: 255-22-2410393


Anne Yoder

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Yale University

P.O. Box 208105

21 Sachem Street, ESC 370a

New Haven, CT 06520

Phone: (203) 432-4606

Fax: (203) 432-5176


    1. Sample Invitation Letter

Dear Colleague,

On behalf of the organizing committee, I am pleased to invite you to a workshop for Enhancing Collaborative Research on the Environment in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), which will take place in Arlington, VA (very close to Washington, D.C.) from Monday, January 24 through Wednesday, January 26, 2005.

PLEASE LET ME KNOW IMMEDIATELY VIA REPLY E-MAIL THAT YOU HAVE RECEIVED THIS E-MAIL. You have more time to answer the invitation (see below), but I need to know that you received it!

The workshop is being funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and will be held at the NSF headquarters. Professor David Hartnett (Kansas State University) and I, working in close collaboration with NSF’s Office of International Science and Engineering, are coordinating the arrangements for this workshop. The meeting is intended to facilitate interactions among the U.S. scientific community working in the SSA region, SSA scientists, and agencies, private foundations and organizations that work and fund science projects in SSA. It will involve U.S. researchers supported by several NSF directorates, and representing many disciplines (e.g., ecology, atmospheric sciences, earth sciences, anthropology, geography, and environmental engineering). The meeting participants will produce a report for NSF that makes recommendations on how to strengthen research collaborations between U.S. scientists and scientists in Africa, how to build an effective, sustainable international community of scholars that can effectively address important research questions in the area of the environment in the SSA region, and how to catalyze the integration and synthesis of results across disciplines, geographic regions and hierarchical levels in this part of the world.

The meeting will include fifty to sixty participants from the U.S., approximately twenty participants from Africa collaborating on NSF-funded research projects, officials from NSF and from other U.S. government agencies, as well as representatives from foundations and organizations that funds scientific projects in Africa. A list of the meeting participants will be made available to you as soon as it is finalized.

This is a truly inter-disciplinary effort dealing with a wide range of questions, some of which are of continental dimensions and global implication. The invited participants have therefore been selected because of their unique combination of academic leadership, disciplinary breadth and depth, and logistical expertise in the key disciplines to be represented at the meeting. You have been invited because we feel that you can bring valuable insight to the deliberations of the meeting, representing both your discipline, as well as your part of Africa. We hope that you will be able to accommodate this important meeting in your busy schedule.

A detailed meeting agenda will be e-mailed to you as soon as it is finalized. Since this is a truly community activity, extensive and inclusive consultations are being made in the formulation the final agenda. The main sessions of the meeting will include:

--An opening session that reviews NSF’s research activity in SSA, emphasizing both the scientific dimensions as well as the mechanisms of funding;

-- Two poster sessions, one for scientists to present ongoing research projects and a second for presentations by U.S. and African funding agencies;

--At least two plenary lectures describing exemplary projects and models of collaboration and networking;

--Several sessions of working groups focusing on: (i) identification of major areas of research opportunity and environmental topics of mutual interest to the U.S. and SSA countries; (ii) discussion of interdisciplinary approaches and potential program linkages; (iii) identification of opportunities to widen the funding base beyond NSF, particularly to provide funding for the African researchers, (iv) discussion of opportunities to involve students and young scientists in SSA research, and (v) discussions of operational and logistical issues involved in collaborations, including issues of communication and data.

--A final synthesis session on Wednesday to consolidate workshop recommendations and materials for the meeting’s report and action plan.

--For a subset of participants, an extra session on Thursday, January 27 devoted to information management, computer resources and technologies issues among this community of researchers.

This meeting is appropriately called a workshop because we expect all participants to help with the work of the meeting. Participants will need to attend all three days of the meeting and,

--provide current academic vitae (no more than 4 pages) to be included in the workshop’s database;

--present a poster on the research being conducted by themselves, students and collaborators;

--help to moderate or write up results of the working group sessions for the report to NSF and for inclusion in the workshop summary that will be published on the web.

The meeting will be held at the National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia 22230, near Washington D.C. Our grant from NSF will cover your travel, accommodation, and subsistence costs for the meeting. An information package for travel and hotel arrangements will be mailed to you upon receiving your acceptance to the invitation.

Please send your acceptance/decline by November 29th, 2004:

Via e-mail at <>

Or by FAX at +919 515-7802

If you will be participating in the workshop, please send your current academic vitae (no more than 4 pages, and preferably in Microsoft Word) with your acceptance by e-mail>

If you have any questions about this meeting, you can reach me by calling +919-515 1434.

We are sending the first notice/invitation of this meeting via e-mail, but will follow it with an official invitation printed on North Carolina State University letterhead. If you have not received this paper invitation within 2 weeks of this e-mail, please contact me and I will make arrangements to re-mail or FAX you the invitation.

For your information, a list of the invitees from Africa who have already accepted our invitation to is appended below. We are expecting to hear from a few more invitees and this list will be updated in due course. If you presently have (or have had) collaboration with any of them in your NSF-funded research you are encouraged to contact them to explore possible opportunities to enhance interaction during and after the workshop.

On behalf of the organizing committee, I would like to express our appreciation for your consideration to participate in the SSA workshop. We look forward to your acceptance of this invitation and to seeing you in the U.S. in January 2005. Should you have questions concerning the subject of this communication or the workshop in general, please do not hesitate to call or contact me.

Yours sincerely,

Fredrick. H. M. Semazzi, Ph. D.

Professor, Department of Mathematics & Department of Marine, Earth &

Atmospheric Sciences

North Carolina State University

cc: Professor David Hartnett (Kansas State University)

cc: Dr. Elizabeth Lyons (National Science Foundation)

Mr. Evaristo Liwa (National Science Foundation)

Appendix C: Framework for Working Group Discussions

SSA Workshop

Outline of General Framework for Working Group Discussions

(Each working group will use the following three general areas as a framework for discussion. The specific questions and topics of focus will vary among sessions and groups)

1. Current Assessment:

What programs, networks, infrastructure are already in place?

What ongoing programs or projects would benefit from greater collaboration and synergy?

What current activities and mechanisms are working well?

What is the status of our knowledge base in this area?

What is the current status of communication and networking (within

the region and between U.S. and SSA)

2. Identification of key issues, challenges, and opportunities

Capacity building – what are the needs regarding intellectual capital?

What are the factors hindering collaboration?

Linkages among programs, countries, regions

Cross-discipline linkages – e.g. incorporating social sciences, engineering

Identification and prioritization of research needs and opportunities

Identification and prioritization of training needs and opportunities

Scale of projects and programs needed (individual, institutional, national, regional)

Physical infrastructure needs

3. Identification and Prioritization of Recommended Actions and Enhancements

Recommended new initiatives, infrastructure, activities, and networking

Specific ways to foster more effective communication and collaboration

Identification, prioritization, and implementation of specific mechanisms (e.g. networks, IM systems, cyber-infrastructure, specific program linkages, digital libraries/bibliographies, program and personnel directories, multi-disciplinary degree and training programs, funding mechanisms, new partnerships, new linkages among agencies and organizations, regular meetings/symposia focused on SSA region)


AERC: African Economic Research Consortium

AETFAT: African Plant Taxonomy Association

AFEA: African Finance and Economic Association

AFNOG: Africa Network Operators’ Group

AFRIFLUX: Promoting Research on Ecosystem Function in Africa

AHEAD: Animal Health for the Environment and Development

AMMA: African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Activities

APINA: Air Pollution Information Network of Africa

ASARECA: Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research and in Eastern Central Africa

ATICS: African Teritiary Institution Connectivity Survey Report

AVHRR: Advance Very High Resolution Radiometer

AVU: African virtual University

BENRON: Botswana Environment & Natural Resources Observatory Network

CARPE: Central African Rainforest Project

CODESRIA: Council for Economic and Social Research in Africa

CTFS: Center for Tropical Forest Science. Smithsonian Tropical Research

EAFRINET: East African Network for Capacity Building in Taxonomy

ELTOSA: Environmental Long-Term Observatories Network of Southern Africa

ENSO: El Nino Southern Oscillation

EON: Environmental Observatorics Network

EU: European Union

FAO: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

FCCC: Framework Convention on Climate Change

FEWS: Famine Early Warning System

GCMS: Global Circulation Models

GHA: Greater Horn of Africa

GPCC: Global Precipitation Climatology Centre

GPS: Global Positioning System

GSSA: Grassland Society of Southern Africa

GTZ: German Agency for Technical Co-operation( Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit)

IDEAL: International Decade of the East African Lakes

IGAD: Intergovernmental Authority on Development

ICPAC IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Center

IGBP: International Geosphere-Biosphere Program

ILTER International Long-term Ecological Research Network

IMF: International Monetary Fund

IOSEP: International Opportunities for Scientists and Engineers Program

IPCC: International Panel of Climate

IT: Information Technology

IUCN: Specialist Groups

LOOPS: Locally Owned and Operated Partnerships

LTER: Long-Term Ecological Research

LUCID: Land-use Change Impacts and Dynamics, East Africa

LULCC: Land Use and Land Cover Change

MAP: Mean Annual Precipitation

MODIS: Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer

NAFRINET: North African Network for Capacity Building in Taxonomy

NASA: National Aeronotics and Space Administration

NCDC: National Climatic Data Center

NCEAS: National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis

NCEP: National Centers for Environmental Predictions

NDVI: Normailized Difference Vegetation Index

NEPAD: New Partnership for African Development

NIH: National Institutes of Health

NORAD: North American Aerospace Defense Command

NSF: National Science Foundation

OISE: Office of International Science and Engineering

ORSTOM: Organisation de Recherche Scientifique outré Mer

RANET: RAdio & InterNET for the Communication of Hydro-Meteorological and Climate Related Information

RCSA: Regional Center for Southern Africa

REBAC: Central African Botany Network

REGCM3: Regional Climate Model Version 3

RIEM: Ecological and Environmental Network of Mozambique

SACCAR: Southern African Centre for Co-operation in Agriculture and Natural Resources Research and Training

SADC: Southern African Development Community

SAEON: South African Environmental Observatory Network

SAFARI: Southern African Regional Science Initiative

SAFNET: Southern Africa Fire Network

SAFRINET: Southern African Network for Capacity Building in Taxonomy

SAHRA: University of Arizona, digital abstracts on water throughout the world

SANTREN: Southern African Environmental Network

SAPES: Southern African Policy and Economic Studies

SAVANA: Southern African Virginia Networks Association

SCOPE: Science Controversies On-line: Partnerships in Education

SSA: Sub-Saharan Africa

START: SysTem for Analysis, Research and Training

TANAPA: Tanzania National Parks

TAWIRI: Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute

TRMM: Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission

UCAD: Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar

UNDP: United Nations Drought Programme

UNECA: United Nations Economic Commission for Africa

UNEP: United Nations Environment Programme

UNESCO: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organzation

USAID: United States Agency for International Development

USLE: Universal Soil Loss Equation

WAFRINET: West African Network for Capacity Building in Taxonomy

WATERNET: Water/Land Training Network

WMO: World Meteorological Organization

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