Monday, June 1, 2009

Meet the Expedition Leaders

2009 Tanzania A Expedition Leaders, left to right:

Nick Parker, Zik Chandler, and Megan Hughes

People & Cultures

Nicholas Parker. Boston College, B.A.; University of Michigan, Ph.D. candidate. Nick is a fourth-year doctoral student at the School of Natural Resources & Environment at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. As an undergraduate he spent a semester at University College in Cork, Ireland, and another semester in Tanzania with the School for International Training, studying biodiversity, conservation, and development economics. Before undertaking graduate studies Nick spent two years studying wild primates, including a year with a mountain gorilla group in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in western Uganda. At Michigan he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in biology, animal behavior, resource economics and environmental assessment. He is the recipient of several major awards, including the Samuel Trask Dana Award for outstanding scholarship and service and the Boren Fellowship from the National Security Education Program for research and study in Tanzania and Kenya. Nick has traveled extensively in East Africa, and recently completed his dissertation fieldwork on adaptations to climate change in the Rufiji district of Tanzania. He is proficient in Kiswahili.


Azikiwe Chandler. University of Notre Dame, B.A. Zik is a widely traveled photographer, writer, and educator currently living in Africa. He majored in Architecture at Notre Dame, where he received the Student Leader Award for outstanding contributions to the university. Upon graduating he joined Americorps, serving as a team leader in South Carolina and Denver and as a selection and placement officer in that organization’s Washington, D.C. headquarters. Zik subsequently spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Bluefields. Nicaragua, where his focus was at-risk youth. He returned to D.C. to work as a Projects Director for Americorps, and then moved to Seoul, Korea, where he taught English to middle and high school students. Zik has led international education programs for a number of organizations – including Youth International, The U.S. Experiment in International Living, and Carpe Diem International – in Central and South America, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Italy, Uganda and Tanzania. He recently completed a book-length memoir/travelogue. Zik is fluent in Italian and Spanish and conversant in Kiswahili, Portuguese and Korean. Some of his writing and photographs may be viewed on-line at


Megan Hughes. Middlebury College, B.A. Megan majored in Art at Middlebury with a focus in Photography. She was a photographer for the Middlebury Campus newspaper and studied abroad at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand, and the Probigua Spanish School in La Antigua, Guatemala. Megan has traveled widely in North and South America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. She is an accomplished alpine ski racer who was the captain of the Middlebury College Ski Team and a member of the U.S. Alpine Ski Team. Her racing career has taken her around the world, garnering her such distinctions as 2005 Division I Slalom Champion, 2005, 2006, and 2008 NCAA All-American, 2006 NESCAC Ski Racing Overall Champion, and the 2007 World University Ski Team in Torino, Italy. At Middlebury her solo photography exhibition, “Overlap,” opened at the Johnson Art Center. Megan now lives in Scotland, where she is a Lecturer at Edinburgh’s Telford College and a coach with the Scottish National Alpine Ski Team. Recent photography projects have included Scottish farming practices and perspectives on traditional Scottish culture. Megan co-led the National Geographic Student Expedition to Tanzania in 2008.