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Notre Dame Hosts Haiti's Only 2008-09 Fulbright Scholar

Author: Elizabeth Rankin

Gerald Telfort

The University of Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute for International Studies is hosting the only Fulbright visiting scholar selected from Haiti this academic year in the newly re-launched Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program for Central America and the Caribbean.

Gerald Telfort, the director of research for Haiti’s Ministry of Agriculture, will spend two months at the Kellogg Institute, where Rev. Robert Dowd, C.S.C., director of the institute’s Ford Family Program in Human Development Studies and Solidarity, is serving as his faculty associate. To facilitate Telfort’s research, Father Dowd has connected him with researchers at Purdue University’s International Programs in Agriculture, a Ford Program partner.

Haiti has lost more than 40 percent of its vegetative coverage in the last two decades, as wood is cut for fuel or income generation. With the goal of making conservation of trees economically viable in Haiti, Telfort is studying the measurement of carbon sequestered by trees and the international carbon concept. Other interests include the environmental consequences of disposable plastics, which have contributed to devastating flooding in Haiti.

At Notre Dame, Telfort joins Dr. Marie Denise Milord, the former coordinator of the Haitian government’s malaria and filariasis elimination effort, who previously was awarded a Fulbright fellowship for postdoctoral study. She currently is undertaking research in Notre Dame’s College of Science on a Dorvil fellowship awarded by Notre Dame’s Haiti Program.

Fulbright programs are sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State.

Contact: Elizabeth Rankin, 574-631-9184,; or Denise Wright, visiting fellows program coordinator, Kellogg Institute, 574-631-8523,

Originally published at on November 11, 2009.