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Central Africa and Abu Dhabi/UAE Activities


Abu Dhabi Murchison Falls

CURRENT CONSULTING:

March - October 2012 - carried out a short term contract with the Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS) under the EU-funded Upemba National Park Conservation Project--along with Steve Schill of The Nature Conservancy. In this contract we provided technical assistance in GIS/Remote Sensing and other GPS-based tools to support a new General Management Plan that will lay the groundwork for rehabilitation of the only two national parks in DR/Congo (Katanga)--Upemba and Kundelungu--that are savanna and Miombo woodlands. You can read more about the project in a recent BLOG post of mine from DRC/Congo (more details below).

PREVIOUS CONSULTING AND WORK:

a) Abu Dhabi, UAE with AGEDI & GPC, Inc (2008):

From February 1 - October 30, 2008 Robert Ford participated in the AGEDI Project (Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative) as a senior development consultant via GPC Inc (Geographic Planning Collaborative, Inc.  We worked in collaboration with CIESIN (Earth Institute, Columbia University) and partners including Marc Levy, Alex de Sherbinin, and Valentina Mara to help design an EPI (Environmental Performance Index) for the Environment Agency of Abu Dhabi that can be adapted later for the GCC states of the Arabian Gulf.

b) Rwanda with CGIS-NUR (2008-2009):

From November 1, 2008 to June 15, 2010 Bob returned to Central Africa (Rwanda and DRC/Congo) on a fulltime basis where he spent four years during the 1980’s.  For twelve months (Nov. 2008 to December 2009) Bob was a Research Professor and Advisor to the Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing Research and Training Centre (CGIS) at the National University of Rwanda (NUR).  Among his tasks were to assist in the design and implementation of a new Master’s in Geo-Information Science and the Environment (MSc) within the Geography Department as well as help implement the new MSc in Biodiversity and Conservation in the Biology Department--with partners from Antioch University, i.e. Beth Kaplin.

Much of his research and consulting focused on sustainability science, GIS/Remote Sensing applied to eHealth, biogeography, ecosystem services, and biodiversity conservation with partners such as the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, Karisoke Research Center and the Great Ape Trust of Iowa (Gishwati Conservation Preserve). In addition he helped start research collaboration on the human dimensions of global change via an EU-funded project entitled the CREATING7. With them he is partnering on a major MacArthur Foundation grant with the Geography Department of Trinity College Dublin and their Master's in Environment and Development as well as the new MDP (Master's in Development Practice) coordinated by the Columbia University Earth Institute. Awarded in 2009, this new academic and professional training program starts in 2011 working with NUR (National University of Rwanda--CGIS-NUR) and about 15 other universities. 

Some of the many other partners CGIS-NUR collaborated with during Bob's involvement included the Albertine Rift Conservation Society (ARCOS), The Nature Conservancy (TNC)--which helped with some training he oranized,  as well as other collaboration with the MVP (Millennium Village Project-Mayange Rwanda), Partners in Health (PIH), the University of Redlands MSGIS Program, Loma Linda University School of Public Health, Health Geoinformatics program, and the IDRC/Acacia Program via its OASIS-II network (Open Architecture Standards and Information Systems: Developing Capacity, Sharing Knowledge and Good Principles Across eHealth Projects in Africa) and the OpenMRS or Open Medical Record System network. See the INTEGRATING GIS INTO eHEALTH INITIATIVES IN AFRICA project with associated wiki, presentations and FINAL REPORT with IDRC/Canada.

c) DR/Congo with DFGFI & FZS (2010 & 2012):

From January to June 2010 Robert assumed the role of Interim Program Director, of the Grauer’s Gorilla Landscape Conservation and Development Program for Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International (DFGFI) Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). He also collaborated closely with the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, Karisoke Research Center in Musanze (Ruhengeri) Rwanda. A major focus was on providing counsel and support to their ecosystem health and community development linkages, and climate adaptation/forest conservation projects in the Landscape 10 region of Congo (Maiko-Tayna Kahuzi-Biega Landscape) as well as doing major organizational change, assisting in moving offices to new quarters, helping revise management systems, and participating in the movement of the first batch of rescued "orphan gorillas" to their new sanctuary and rehabilitation center called GRACE--a joint project including several partners, e.g DFGFI, MGVP, PASA, TCCB, Disney Corporation, CI, ICCN, and others.

From March 30 - October 31, 2012--he carried out a short term contract with the Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS) under the EU-funded Upemba National Park Conservation Project--along with Steve Schill of The Nature Conservancy. The contract provided technical assistance in GIS/Remote Sensing and other GPS-based tools to support a new General Management Plan that will lay the groundwork for rehabilitation of the only two national parks in DR/Congo (Katanga)--Upemba and Kundelungu--that are savanna and Miombo woodlands. You can read more about the project here:

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Contact: Email: geobobford@gmail.com
Last revised November 3, 2012