Tag Archives: Africa

China in Africa: Challenges for Sustainable Development

This week on It’s Hot in Here, hosts Amanda Kaminsky, Neal McKenna, and Brendan Wu discuss China-Africa relations with Dr. Omolade Adunbi, an Assistant Professor in the University of Michigan’s Department of Afroamerican and African Studies. Amanda, Neal and Brendan are all students in Dr. Adunbi’s new winter course, When China Comes to Town: Environment and the Politics of Development (AAS 458). The course covers Chinese foreign development policy in Africa and across the Global South.

Our show features a conversation about the social and environmental implications of Chinese infrastructural investment across the African continent. We begin by discussing Dr. Adunbi’s research on wealth distribution in the Niger Delta, which he investigates extensively in his new book Oil Wealth and Insurgency in Nigeria. Our conversation focuses on urban reconstruction in Lagos and Chinese investment in a new project called the Lekki Free Trade Zone. Next, we examine the cultural dynamics of South Africa’s longstanding Chinese communities, drawing from a lecture given by Dr. Yoon Jung Park in New York in 2012 (watch the full lecture here). Finally, we explore the economic and environmental implications of China’s rising middle class through the eyes of Amanda, Neal, and Brendan, each of whom spent several years living in China. For more information on China-Africa relations, including podcasts and the latest news stories, check out The China Africa Project.

The show features music from artists who have embraced global cultural exchange, including Beijing-based Mongolian rock band Hanggai, Nigerian singer Stephen Uwechue who has become a pop sensation in China, and dub/reggae group Laohei from the southwestern Chinese province of Yunnan. Continue reading China in Africa: Challenges for Sustainable Development

Last Animals, Lasting Solutions for Conservation

This week on “It’s Hot in Here,” hosts Mike Burbidge, Claire Poelking, and Katie Browne continued with the second part of the Conservation Series with an in-depth discussion of ongoing efforts to curb poaching in Africa. Inspired by the visit of reknowned conservationist Craig Packer to the University of Michigan, we spoke with photojournalist and documentary filmmaker Kate Brooks about her first-hand experience at the epicenter of poaching, as well as with Drew Cronin, a researcher exploring how bushmeat off-take is affecting the abundance of primates in Equatorial Guinea. Continue reading Last Animals, Lasting Solutions for Conservation

Militarization of Conservation: Narratives of Poaching

In this week’s broadcast, we dive into a complicated and contentious issue, discussing the increasing militarization of conservation and anti-poaching efforts on the African continent, especially as they relate to broader anti-terrorism agendas.

Host Katie Browne, accompanied by first time co-hosts Mike Burbidge and Claire Poelking, introduce this week’s topic with discussion of the new Global Anti-Poaching Act (H.R.2494), currently under debate in the US Senate, which calls for support of anti-poaching efforts, strengthening of partner country capacity to counter wildlife trafficking, and designation of major wildlife trafficking countries. Continue reading Militarization of Conservation: Narratives of Poaching

Science and Social Conflicts in Climate Planning: The View from Ethiopia

This week’s show brings our listeners more than an hour of in-depth analysis and lively conversation on the challenges of climate change planning, both in Ethiopia and across the diverse governance landscape of East and North Africa. Tying in closely with a case study newly developed by a team of SNRE students for the pilot project “Michigan Sustainability Cases,” the broadcast explores the complexity of crafting effective and equitable adaptation policy. Specifically, we ask how national adaptation plans are made? By and for whom? What are the decision-making criteria? And what could these criteria fail to account for? Bringing together legal, anthropological, and environmental expertise, the broadcast takes adaptation policy as the starting point for a broad-ranging dialogue on climate change impacts, social conflict across ethno-linguistic groups, and national planning as a tool of marginalization.

Continue reading Science and Social Conflicts in Climate Planning: The View from Ethiopia

Mackinac Pipeline + Project in Gabon + IHIH Summer Vamping

*Vamping is to repeat a short, simple passage of music until otherwise instructed.

In today’s show, we focus our chat on the Michigan Mackinac pipeline and recent SNRE grad Katie Browne’s experience on capacity-building projects in Gabon. In addition, we vamped about our favorite non-American foods and non-English languages, and shared a letter from Rebecca Hardin in Hyderabad, India about her sustainability-case teaching experience to scholars from around the world. Continue reading Mackinac Pipeline + Project in Gabon + IHIH Summer Vamping

Afro Optimism and International Collaboration


As President Obama touched down in Kenya early on Friday July 24, 2015 Carmella Tal Tomey, Assistant Research Professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, had only recently returned from Nairobi herself. Ella studies complex links between age, place, social and psychological factors, and physical impairment. She has recently expanded from research into what makes for healthy communities here in the U.S. to work within scientific communities overseas. She is developing video and slide materials to complement intimate, face to face workshops where she enables U.S. students and younger scholars to train with their international counterparts for more focused and effective writing, more responsible conduct of research, and more collaborative and productive careers.

Continue reading Afro Optimism and International Collaboration



Today’s show features Jimmy Chin, renowned North Face team Climber and Photographer, Will Weber, Founder of Journeys International and Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, and Benjamin Morse, SNRE MSc. student (2016) and Returned Peace Corps Volunteer.

Continue reading Ecotourism

STEM Africa with a Conservation Twist, Featuring Dr. Heather E. Eves


This week Dr. Rebecca Hardin takes us on an auditory cruise across continents, academic disciplines, and musical gems like no one else can (NB: we can say that, cause she’s our hero).

Inspired by the upcoming April 1-4, 2014  U-M STEM-Africa Initiative Conference: Effective U.S. Strategies for African STEM Collaborations, Capacity Building, and Diaspora Engagement sponsored by the UM African Studies Center, Rebecca takes us through the complexities and cultural politics of technological change, economic growth, and academic research on the African Continent and in the African Diaspora.

Dr. Heather Eves enriches our conversation with insights from her conservation-oriented collaborations across Africa, the US, and Europe.  Dr. Eves has worked for over 15 years to build curriculum and build capacity on management overhunting and the bushmeat trade in Central, Eastern, and Southern Africa, most recently with the Bushmeat Free Eastern Africa Network.

If that’s not enough – we feature creative (and sometimes scathing) musical and lyrical commentary on these same issues in African and African Diasporic poetics – from the orchestral stylings of the Central African Republic, Gil-Scott Heron, and Sun-Ra to the “only MC with and MSC,” Naeto C.

It’s a show you will not want to miss.

Inspirired to learn more: Register (for free) for the upcoming UM Science, Technology, Engineering and Math conference here.


It’s Hot in Here’s Lovefest 2K14!


February 14th marks the most celebrated (albeit, corporatized) day for lovebirds everywhere AND one of the final days of WCBN’s Annual FUNdraiser.

In celebration of this delicate confluence – where love and money intertwine and beget more love and money –  we invited friends (and friendly lovers) of It’s Hot in Here to join our exxxtra special Lovefest 2K14 Fundraiser edition. We featured the loveliest of tunes and the hottest of our It’s Hot in Here Family for an exxtra-special hour of heart-warming, purse string-loosening news|views|grooves. Continue reading It’s Hot in Here’s Lovefest 2K14!

Malaria, Metal, and Detroit’s Heidelberg Project, et al.


What do malaria, heavy metal, and community art have in common? They’re the focal points of this week’s It’s Hot In Here! We’re joined in the studio by Dr. Peter Larson, post-doctoral scholar in ecology and epidemiology at the University of Michigan, and, awesomely enough, an avid metal fan and musician. Peter shares his love of his work and music with us; introducing us to a host of metal tunes from various countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and offering some insight into the spatial distribution and determinants of infectious diseases in Kenya and Malawi.

In the second half of the show, we hear from Katie and Emily of Detroit’s Heidelberg Project. The Heidelberg Project is an open-air art environment in the heart of an urban community in Detroit’s East Side. Tyree Guyton, founder and artistic director, uses everyday, discarded objects to create a two block area full of color, symbolism, and intrigue. Now in its 27th year, the Heidelberg Project is recognized around the world as a demonstration of the power of creativity to transform lives.