- Rojas, A; Nomedji, K; West, CT. "Walking the Line: Conducting Transect Walks in Burkina Faso." Practicing Anthropology vol. 43 no. 1 (January, 2021): 18-21. [doi]
In this article we present results from transect walks and participatory mapping done in Burkina Faso. Since the Sahelian drought of the 1970s, researchers have continued to depict the Sahelian region of West Africa as an environment experiencing severe degradation; a narrative that persists over time. Recently, however, analyses of satellite imagery have identified remarkable patterns of greening across the Sahel. The causes of this greening are hotly debated. Through this project we aim to inform these debates with on-the-ground perceptions of local farmers and pastoralists. The transect walk method is a community-based process that collects information on the land-use/land-cover (LULC) features across villages. Transects help triangulate data by combining high-resolution satellite imagery, firsthand observations, and local experiences of ecological processes. We describe the methodology behind transects and discuss how they contextualize an otherwise removed process of environmental analysis. We also describe the challenges that arise throughout the fieldwork process.