Episode 7 with Dr. Bruce Schulte and Lynn Von Hagen

Dr. Bruce Schulte and Lynn Von Hagen provided an update on their research on effective elephant deterrent design. The Kasigau Corridor connects Tsavo East and West National Parks in southern Kenya, but it is also home to several thousand people who rely on their crops for food, barter, and money. Keeping elephants and other wildlife out of the crops means more food for the people, and hopefully less lethal encounters with the wildlife—also a vital part of the local tourism-driven economy. Climate change is the real elephant in the room in this saga, as increasing aridity is changing what crops can grow there. Coming up with crops that will thrive under the changing climate, provide critical food and income, while at the same time, be less palatable to wildlife is another important part of this rich, solution-driven, community-focused research project



Dr. Bruce Schulte

Bruce Schulte, Ph.D,
Associate Vice-President for Strategy, Performance and Accountability, Western Kentucky University

Dr. Bruce A. Schulte is the Associate Vice-President for Strategy, Performance and Accountability at Western Kentucky University. He also is a University Distinguished Professor and he was the Department Head of Biology from 2009-2019. Bruce is studying human livelihoods, biodiversity, elephant behavior, and ecosystem functions in the Tsavo ecosystem in Kenya, in partnership with Wildlife Works. His efforts are helping to conserve the region and ensure that humans and wildlife maintain a mutually beneficial, sustainable relationship.

Lynn Von Hagen

Lynn Von Hagen
Ph.D. Student, Auburn University

Lynn Von Hagen is currently a Presidential Research Fellow and PhD student researcher at Auburn University. She has been with the Earthwatch project Elephants and Sustainable Agriculture in Kenya since it’s first year and helps to lead field teams and conduct research. She is a non-traditional student and a proud advocate for women in STEM and returning students. She received her BSc from Austin Peay State University and then went on to join the Earthwatch project in conjunction with her Master’s of science degree from Western Kentucky University. She is continuing her PhD work on the project through Auburn University and is focusing on applying the previous findings from the project and incorporating them into workshop programs to benefit the community as well as monitoring elephant movements and applying behavioral theory to conservation management; all with the goal of promoting human elephant coexistence.

Earthwatch "Science Matters" Tshirt

Look good while doing good!

Pick up Earthwatch's new elephant t-shirt! 100% of the proceeds from t-shirt sales directly support Earthwatch’s research and conservation efforts around the world.



Schulte Search


Elephants and Sustainable Agriculture in Kenya

Help local farmers to conserve elephants and their habitat in southeast Kenya by implementing sustainable agriculture practices.

Africa: Kasigau Corridor, Kenya (between Tsavo East and West National Parks), Kenya, Africa
Lead Scientist: Bruce A. Schulte, Ph.D.
Duration: 12+ days (avg. $250 a day)




Earthwatch depends on donations—above and beyond what we raise from volunteers who participate on our expeditions—in order to deliver our global conservation mission. In fact, volunteer contributions provide only half of the total resources Earthwatch needs to sustain over 40 field research expeditions, a wide variety of educational programs, corporate sustainability trainings, and more each year.