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Naomi Krogman is an Associate Professor in Rural Economy, Faculty of Agriculture, Life and Sciences and has been since 1997. She is currently a field researcher with interests in Sociology of Natural Resources, International Development, and Gender.
Naomi has conducted field research in Mongolia and Africa as well as in rural areas of Alberta. In the summer of 2010, she instructed a field course in which 13 University of Alberta students travelled to Botswana in southern Africa for three weeks. Once arriving there, they drove 4000 km, spent time in remote villages, slept out in tents for 20 of 23 nights, settled their differences, helped each other out of sand washes and deep water crossings, shopped locally and cooked their own food. Naomi reports that the students were resilient, curious, and contemplative. Instead of culture shock, they embraced the way things were and worked very hard to make sense of their experience and to reconcile issues they gloss over at home. While course readings and road-side mini-lectures were held, students grappled with how to make sense of poverty amidst wealth, community-based conservation where the benefits were hard to observe for local people, challenges for wildlife co-existence with human habitation, authenticity of experience as a tourist, cultural and racial differences and similarities, and the joys and hardships of being resourceful in contrast to a lifestyle surrounded by convenience and easy access to immediate gratification. Naomi said: “I found experiential education to be one of the most gratifying teaching experiences of my life, and believe it should be an essential component of University education.”