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Department of Geography

Former Ph.D. student Abrahams awarded prestigious AAAS fellowship

Credits time at UofSC as pivotal to his development

This September Daniel Abrahams will begin a stint as part of the sustainable landscapes team of USAID's Global Climate Change Office. The fellowship, sponsored by American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), will place him with an already established group working on mitigating carbon emissions from forests and other lands that store carbon. Abrahams says that joining them will be like jumping onto a moving train, but that he is eager to get involved in the program.

Looking at the connections between land use and climate change is not a new experience for Abrahams: his dissertation research, which took him to Uganda and Kenya, focused on how a humanitarian relief organization, Mercy Corps, developed ways to address the overlapping risks of climate change and conflict in the economically and politically fragile Karamoja region. (Read more about Abrahams's Karamoja research.)

He points to the diversity of the UofSC Geography Department as key to his research there, noting he was able to draw from the expertise of many different faculty members to weave together the disparate strands of his dissertation. “The way they pushed me, especially my ability to understand difficult technical questions, was just invaluable,” he said.

After defending his dissertation in 2018, Abrahams spent a year as a visiting assistant professor at Colby College, before accepting a post-doc position at Lehigh University. But his interest in bridging the academic and policy worlds led him to try for one of the science and technology fellowships offered by the AAAS. His advisor, Ed Carr (a previous AAAS fellow himself), encouraged him in the months-long selection and placement process that will have Abrahams moving to Washington, D.C., this fall.

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