If you ever doubt a higher power, look at nature. I love to be outdoors. My featured photo is a sunset taken at a retreat ranch south of Dumas, Texas. It looks as though the evergreen tree, through which I photographed the sun, is on fire! Notice the colors of the sky and horizon framed by the trees.
I’ve just passed the week in California. Even with wild traffic on the freeway, one can eventually get to the beauty of the hills. My other brother-in-law, Bob, lives in the southern wine country. The homes built in the granite hills above Temecula, make me think of the Mediterranean, because of the olive trees and grape vines. The date palms make me think of Middle East. Notice this sunset. Those colors are postcard worthy!
Included in the array of birds and other animals were, hummingbirds (Anna’s and Ruby Throat), scrub jays, tufted titmouse, yellow vireo, house finch, common raven, goldfinch, and great horned owl. I have not identified this little lizard, however. He was very quick, so I could not catch him/her. Perhaps you have an idea.
At my brother-in-laws in Los Angeles, there lives an abundant sort of wildlife, too. I could not get a picture of it, but look up the Red Whiskered Bul Bul. There lives a pair in one of the trees. The green June beetle intrigued me, too, but, alas, too fast for a picture. Take a look at these gulf fritillary. They have brilliant coloring.
These were shot with my phone. I didn’t feel like dragging my camera through tsa, and I had my limit of carry-on.
Yes. I write few words, but I hope the pictures make up for it.
I am a geographer specializing in human systems. My passion is studying underrepresented populations so that I can assist in their integration into the communities in which they live. I studied Human Ecology because it is a wonderful blend of the disciplines of geography, anthropology and sociology. No matter the context in which I find myself, I am an observer of humans in their environments and how the influences in those settings build and nurture sense-of-self, sense-of-place, and sense-of-direction in educational, familial, and community settings. My work focuses on the cross-cultural and intercultural traditions of multi-lingual populations acculturating into their receiving communities and being successful in educational arenas of higher education. This work includes gathering, analyzing, and writing about health, well-being, and environmental/social connectedness in their communities. My research focuses on Minority-majority, rural, Midwest communities. My role as director of intercultural learning and academic success at Kansas State University allows me to discover more about myself as I work with others in their paths to self-discovery in their own interactions with students and families who come from different parts of the country and the world all converging in educational spaces. Recently, I lived, worked and played in Southwest Kansas, a region marked by Minority-majority populations centers (56% – 68%). Some of my research results are used to address poverty, low educational attainment, poor health outcomes, and cultural norms in multi-cultural settings. I work to assure a representative sample for my research, so I engage in multi-lingual research (English, Spanish, Burmese, French, Tigrinya, and Somali). Building trust and relationships is the key to my success as a multilingual researcher. Presently, my research takes me in the micro-communities of populations represented by nine African countries (Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, Kenya, Senegal, Uganda, Ivory Coast, Somalia, and Cameroon), seven Latin American countries, and six Asian countries. Yes, it is rural Southwest Kansas, and many of the densely-settled and frontier rural communities act as receiving centers for refugees and other displaced populations, because of the availability of jobs.
I am the recent recipient of National Geographic Society’s Research and Exploration grant to introduce Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to females of color. This inter-generational, intercultural class hosted middle school, high school, and adult females who learned the basics of GIS with a variety of applications from remote sensing to city planning to Google Earth, and to Pokémon GO! By the time the young ladies finished the class, they were able to build cities, map their communities, log trips from their countries of origin to the Midwest. I am in the mid-year of the grant funding, and my target for completion was July 2018. I have new funding to extend this work to new cohorts.
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