Kenyan scientist Wangari Maathai
Click on image for full size
International Institute for Sustainable Development
"We have a special responsibility to the ecosystem of this planet. In making sure that other species survive we will be ensuring the survival of our own."
- Wangari Maathai
In Africa, trees are being cut down much faster than they are being planted. This means that deforestation, the destruction of forests, is happening fast. Scientist Wangari Maathai has worked for many years to stop deforestation in Kenya and in other places in Africa.
Deforestation leads to many problems. Without trees holding the ground in place, the top layers of soil wash off into rivers during rainstorms. This can cause water pollution. Fewer trees make it difficult for people to find firewood. Many animals can not find the food they need.
To combat these problems, Wangari Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement in 1977. The movement paid Kenyan women to plant trees. This provided jobs for Kenyan women and helped to stop deforestation. The program was so successful that other countries in Africa wanted to do the same thing. Wangari Maathai has helped African countries make their own programs to plant trees. Through this project, women have planted more than 20 million trees in Africa.
Wangari Maathai was born in Nyeri, Kenya (Africa) in 1940. She is the first woman in East and Central Africa to earn a doctorate degree, and for many years she was a professor at the University of Nairobi in Kenya. She and her organization have won many awards including the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize. In December 2002, she was elected to the Kenyan parliament and was appointed to be the Assistant Minister for Environment, Natural Resources and Wildlife.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, ranging from seismology
, rocks and minerals
, and Earth system science
You might also be interested in:
What types of instructional experiences help K-8 students learn science with understanding? What do science educators teachers, teacher leaders, science specialists, professional development staff, curriculum designers, school administrators need to know to create and support such experiences?...more
Richard Feynman was an American physicist who lived between 1918-1988. He contributed to many areas of physics, including atomic theory and quantum electrodynamics, which studies electron behavior. Following...more
Stephen Jay Gould was an American paleontologist who was born in 1941. He revised Darwin's theory of evolution, introducing his own concept of punctuated equilibrium. This states that evolution is not...more
Evelyn Granville is an American mathematician who was born in 1924. She was one of the first black women in the United States to receive a Ph.D. in mathematics. She has made many contributions to NASA's...more
Stephen Hawking is an English ...more
Gerard Kuiper was an American astronomer who lived between 1905-1973. He is considered the father of modern planetary science for his brilliant study of our solar system. Kuiper developed new techniques...more
Hermann Oberth, born in Transylvania, Romania, was a physicist who lived between 1894-1989. He became convinced that space travel was possible at an early age, inspired by a Jules Verne science fiction...more
Linus Pauling was an American chemist who lived between 1901-1994. He was the first person to apply quantum mechanics to chemistry, and made great progress in the field of molecular biology. Pauling was...more