Q&A

eral scientists in the iMaX documentary Galapagos!, which followed scientists into the depths of the eastern Pacific. a systematic ichthyologist - a scientist who studies the diversity of and relationships among fish species - Baldwin is curator of fishes at the smithsonian's national Museum of natural History. Baldwin soon offered Foltz an internship and a chance to research with her. she then advised him as he interviewed for and received a full-time job managing a research island off Belize. This summer, the two discussed their relationship: Carole Baldwin: When i got back from my talk at JMU, i received an e-mail from zach asking if i needed an intern. The first thing i asked was whether he was willing to volunteer, because i didn't have any funding. i told him that i had a student working on a fish project in Florida and he could use some help. The project was to help reanalyze the number of fish species in the Caribbean. Traditionally, we've always done it based on picking up a preserved fish and counting fin rays and looking at pigment and scales, etc.; and now, we're adding dna to that. We are finding dozens and dozens of new species, which is surprising because scientists thought we were done with assessing Caribbean fish diversity decades ago. so the job was spending the summer catching at least one of every fish species that you can. and zach's a fisherman. Zach Foltz: i was like, "Wait a minute; you really just want me to go collect fish every day? That's it?" Baldwin: Well, that's the fun part. There's a bit more to the lab part after you go and do all the fun collecting and catching fish. zach ended up being a natural at col-

Influencing global political discourse and bringing it to class

History professor Shah Mahmoud Hanifi teaches students to think critically

Author and renowned scholar Shah Mahmoud Hanifi is one of the nation's few experts on Afghanistan. He is influencing global political discourse and bringing it directly to JMU classrooms. Madison: You spent a spring 2010 sabbatical working on your second book about afghanistan. How will this experience enhance relationships with your students? 48 Madison Magazine Shah Mahmoud Hanifi: i enjoyed giving some talks this year that i am organizing around my forthcoming book Knowing Afghanistan: The Epistemology of a lecting fish and did a phenomenal amount of collecting. it wasn't just his field capabilities; his organizational and people skills were fabulous. Being put in that situation so young and handling it so well was really impressive. i wanted him to keep working on the project. in fact, in May 2008, my research group was going to our research station in Belize, and i asked zach to join us. The Belize station is a one-acre island, and it holds about six scientists, a cook and a station manager. i arranged to have a big boat take us out to some of the other islands off the coast. zach and i did a couple of dives. one of the fish that we collected was a new species of Cardinal fish. Foltz: about a year ago, i found out that the island's station manager was considering retiring. i thought, "He has an awesome job. i would do anything to have that job." Baldwin: zach's e-mails to me about this job were like: "That is my job. ... it is made for me." That kind of attitude. i thought he'd be perfect, but he didn't have any experience running a lab. Foltz: That's exactly what i thought. Baldwin: Two of the people on the search committee for the job worked at the Florida lab where Global Colonial Frontier. in addition to preparing a few chapters and essays to appear in edited books and journals i have contracted with stanford University Press for a paperback print version of my first book, Connecting Histories in Afghanistan and with i. B. Tauris for an edited volume, Power Hierarchies and Hegemony in Afghanistan: State Building, Ethnic Minorities and Identity in Central Asia. Through my research and publication efforts, i'm developing new ways of thinking about

'We are finding dozens and dozens of new species, which is surprising because scientists thought we were done with assessing Caribbean fish diversity decades ago.'

- Carole Baldwin ('81) zach worked at the time. He fit in so well and made a lot of really good connections. That all came full circle when he applied for the station manager job. The head of the search committee called me and asked what i thought. i said, "You know what i think." Foltz: i applied at the end of July, and didn't hear anything for a while. and then, i got an e-mail from the director and she wanted to have an interview with me. she said that i was in the top three people, and i knew i had a chance. Baldwin: i'm really proud of zach. He did everything right. He got excited about something at school, he followed up on it and talked to his professor, who connected him to me. That started the whole ball rolling. M subject matters, which i'm anxious to convey to students who will in turn surely help me refine my thinking and writing about the things i'm trying to learn better. Madison: You are an assiduous researcher and scholar. You could teach anywhere. What do you like about JMU's teaching environment and direct contact with undergrads? Hanifi: as a historian with transnational and global orientations,

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