Kenyan scientist Wangari Maathai
Click on image for full size
International Institute for Sustainable Development
In Africa, trees are being cut down. This means that forests are destroyed. Scientist Wangari Maathai works to stop the destruction of forests in Kenya and in other places in Africa. She doesn’t stop the trees that are being cut down. Instead, she organizes many women to plant new trees in Africa.
Where a forest of trees is cut down, there can be many other problems for the environment. Without trees, soil washes into rivers when it rains. This can make the river water polluted. Fewer trees make it difficult for people to find firewood. Many animals can not find the food they need.
To help stop these problems, Wangari Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement in 1977. The movement paid Kenyan women to plant trees. The program was so successful that other countries in Africa wanted to do the same thing. Wangari Maathai has helped other 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 was a professor at the University of Nairobi in Kenya for many years. 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
on science education, classroom activities in The Earth Scientist
specimens, and educational games
You might also be interested in:
How did life evolve on Earth? The answer to this question can help us understand our past and prepare for our future. Although evolution provides credible and reliable answers, polls show that many people turn away from science, seeking other explanations with which they are more comfortable....more
Richard Feynman was an American physicist who lived between 1918-1988. He is famous for his contributions in building the first nuclear bomb and for his work in understanding the way electrons behave....more
Stephen Jay Gould was an American biologist who was born in 1941. He revised Darwin's theory of evolution, showing that it isn't the gradual process everyone had thought. Gould was a professor at Harvard...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 helped NASA's Space Shuttle program...more
Stephen Hawking is an English physicist who was born in 1942. He is famous for his work on black holes. Hawking suffers from a very serious illness and is confined to a wheelchair, unable to speak. He...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 was born in Transylvania, Romania. He was a physicist who lived between 1894-1989. At a young age, he read fantasy books about voyages to the moon, but became convinced that space travel...more
Linus Pauling was an American chemist who lived between 1901-1994. He explained how atoms combine to form molecules, the building blocks of nature. Pauling won two Nobel prizes during his life. One was...more