In the spring of 2015 I conducted fieldwork and data gathering in the Western Cape province of South Africa. I even ended up hanging out in a local ANC (the ruling party) headquarters on a by-election day, chatting with their officeholders and candidate about campaign strategy, inequality, climate change policy, race, and all sorts of interesting topics.
My colleague Brigitte Zimmerman and I, funded by the Center for Effective Global Action, conducted a large scale survey and survey experiment on the day prior to the 2014 tripartite Malawian elections to examine the effect of party campaign promises about climate change on voters' opinions. The trip was quite enjoyable, and Malawi is a wonderful country. Some photo credits go to Aaron Lewani.
A team of natural scientists and I traveled to the 19th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties to focus on science communication surrounding the event. We met with policymakers, interviewed attendees at the event and passersby on the street, and presented on the science in side-panel events. Our writing and videos can be seen at oceanscientists.org.
Funded by the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation, I traveled the Baja Peninsula, doing reconnaissance for a field experiment there that unfortunately never panned out. The stark beauty of Baja is hard to beat.
With my colleague Alex Hughes and funded by the Waitt Foundation, I spent a month in the Western Region of Ghana just prior to their 2012 elections conducting surveys related to natural resource politics, local fisheries, and community networks. Findings from this research have informed my work on the potential relationship between climatic stress and electoral instability. Princess Town, where we predominately stayed, is beautiful.
In Uganda I, with my advisor Clark Gibson and other graduate students, helped train enumerators for a massive field experiment designed to reduce voter fraud by employing warning letters sent to polling station officials and smartphones used by enumerators to capture the results at selected polling stations. I also served as an international electoral observer; Ugandan elections are certainly more lively than our American ones.