Jennifer Olson is an associate professor in the Department of Media and Information in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences at MSU.
She helped spearhead the Information and Communications Technology and Development (ICTD) program, a joint College Communication Arts & Sciences and College of Engineering undergraduate minor, research program and study abroad. The focus of the ICTD program is to learn about the role of communications and information technologies, such as mobile phones, computers and the Internet, in economic and social development. With Erik Goodman in Engineering, she leads a project bringing Internet and solar-powered computers to rural schools in Tanzania. This project has evolved to be a great study abroad program bringing MSU students to work in Tanzanian schools every May to June.
In addition to these activities, Jennifer conducts research on the impact of climate change on agriculture and communities in East and Southern Africa in projects funded by NSF, the Rockefeller Foundation and USAID. The projects involve climate modeling, climate data coupled to spatial crop, ecosystem and hydrology models, remote sensing, and socioeconomic and ecological fieldwork. She has over 20 years of living and working experience in West, Central and East Africa as a Peace Corps and United Nations volunteer, a development practitioner, and as a scientist.
Related websites: climateland.org
“Bringing the World to Tanzania” video