Project Update: Protected Areas in Albania

Project Update: Protected Areas in Albania

We teamed up with NaturAL, and we’re heading to Albania! The official name of the project is “Strengthening national capacity in nature protection, preparation for Natura 2000 network”—but it goes by NaturAL. The project aims to halt the loss of biodiversity in Albania through improved management of its protected areas. Focus on Albania Albania is very rich in biological diversity. It encompasses both Mediterranean and Alpine bioregions, is part of the Adriatic flyway, and is also a European Green Belt country. In fact, Albania is so diverse that this little country covering only…continue reading →
Fulbright vs Boren: Tips for Applying

Fulbright vs Boren: Tips for Applying

This post is a spin-off from my previous post about the differences between the Fulbright and Boren programs. Here I'm offering a few tips for applying for the Boren Fellowship and Fulbright Research Scholarship. This is a combination of advice from my professors and academic advisors, plus some things that, in hindsight, I wish I had known at the time of writing my applications or had done differently. I also recommend checking out Kayden Bui’s website -- he’s a former Boren Scholar and Fulbright English Teaching Assistant grantee. His website is a great resource for individuals applying to the Fulbright…continue reading →

Fulbright vs Boren: What’s the Difference?

The U.S. government is making a big effort to expand the number of Americans going abroad and learning foreign languages. Fulbright is one of the best known fellowship programs for Americans to study and research abroad, but it’s certainly not the only one. I've studied abroad many times -- first as an AFS exchange student during high school, several times during college to combine studying/volunteering/and working abroad, and also as a recipient of the Fulbright and Boren awards. I submitted the above featured video to IIE’s Generation Study Abroad Voices Video Challenge to highlight my study abroad…continue reading →

Talking “Citizen Science” in Kyrgyz Schools

Stay in Kyrgyzstan long enough and you'll pick up at least one phrase: Кош келиниздер! This phrase means “welcome” in Kyrgyz. It can be heard at the start of every public event, and seen at the entrance of every school across the country. The Kyrgyz Mountains Environmental Education and Citizen Science project—also known as KMEECS—is a project with which I (Stephanie) am personally involved in the design, implementation, and monitoring. I’m an intern at CAMP Alatoo in projects on climate change adaptation and conflict management over natural resources, and KMEECS is one of CAMP Alatoo’s climate change adaptation…continue reading →

Meet CAMP Alatoo

Anyone who’s ever been to Kyrgyzstan—or read anything about Kyrgyzstan, for that matter—is aware of the country’s beautiful nature. Rolling green meadows, alpine lakes, glaciers, and most famously, snowcapped mountains, lend it the appropriate nickname as The Land at the Foot of the Sun (according to at least one souvenir-shop brochure). Since our arrival in Kyrgyzstan ten months ago, we've had the opportunity to collaborate with a number of organizations. One of those is CAMP Alatoo, a non-profit and non-governmental organization with the goal of improving people's livelihoods in the mountain regions of…continue reading →

Kyrgyzstan’s Jailoo Kindergartens

Anyone who's ever experienced Kyrgyzstan's tourism industry knows that the country isn't shy about its nomadic heritage. The cross-hatch of a yurt is even the focal point of the country's bright flag, and the traditional cuisine of fatty meat and mare's milk is a constant reminder that vegetables just aren't practical for the wandering life. While true nomadism doesn't really exist anymore in the region, there are still hundreds of Kyrgyz families who carry the tradition as far as practically possible. Starting in May, hundreds (or maybe thousands) of families pull up their roots…continue reading →