Samyukta Manikumar

I’ve always been interested in space, and the different ways there are to make sense of it. I’ve followed this interest through mathematics, amateur astronomy, outreach, development, ethnoastronomy, and most recently, conservation. My projects and research during my BSc at the University of Cape Town used analytical tools and frameworks to grapple with dark matter and ways to map the scale and history of our observable Universe. In Kenya I worked in astronomy and science outreach, and attended a training in radio astronomy through the DARA project. This training led to my involvement in the AOEN, as well as the implementation of Sayari, an astrotourism pilot project in Kenyan game reserves. Growing up in Kenya, nature and conservation have been a consistent influence on my outlook, and instilled the commitment to live with sensitivity and respect to the planet and its inhabitants. This informs my interest in dark sky conservation for ecological and heritage preservation. I am an advocate with the International Dark Sky Association and a member of their International Committee.
I also occasionally write for the online magazine Space in Africa, and I’m always interested in pursuing side projects, big and small, that look at the night sky through interesting and alternative perspectives.
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