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Peter Kamau, Ph.D. Student

I grew up and received my basic education in Murang’a County in Kenya. I joined the University of Nairobi in 2002 where I majored in Geography and graduated in 2006. I developed interest in nature-society geography at the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Nairobi where I took most of my undergraduate classes.

After completing my undergraduate studies, I worked with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), the leading state agency in conservation in Kenya . I worked as a Community Warden in Chyulu Hills National Park, located in southern Kenya. My job involved mobilizing support for wildlife conservation among local communities and other wildlife stakeholders within the Chyulu Hills region. I was responsible for promoting awareness among local people about the importance of wildlife conservation in order to reduce illegal utilization of natural resources in the region.

After working for three years with KWS, I decided to pursue graduate studies so as to increase my knowledge in human-environment interactions. I enrolled for a master’s degree program in Geography at Miami University and graduated in 2013 with an M.A.  My master’s thesis which is now published in the Journal of Landscape and Urban Planning  (April 2014 issue) is titled Anthropogenic Fires, Forest Resources and Local Livelihoods at Chyulu Hills Kenya.

After completing my masters, I joined the Phd program in the Department of Geography and Anthropology at Louisiana State University in the Fall of 2013 to further develop my research interests and life goals. My research interests include Human- environment interactions; Environmental history, Political ecology, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Remote Sensing, Landscape Ecology.

For my doctoral dissertation research, I plan to investigate how two historical processes; the introduction of Ivory trade and Colonialism triggered landscape changes in Tsavo Kenya. The aim of my research will be to understand how these two processes influence present day human environment interactions in Tsavo region of Kenya.

I am spending the summer of 2014 doing archival research at the Kenya National Archives in Nairobi in order to get background information for my research. I have made key contacts of individuals and institutions in Kenya that will aid in my Phd research.

My career goal is to work as a leading expert in the environment and conservation sector in Africa.

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