An environmental and health crisis ravaging the Democratic Republic of the Congo has long been overlooked, says Dan Fahey. Despite years of bloody conflict, the region “wasn’t on the radar of the international community,” says Dan, a Ph.D. candidate in Berkeley’s Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management.
Today, Dan is shedding light on Congo’s story. With support from several Berkeley fellowships, he has traveled extensively in Congo and neighboring countries to explore the role of natural resources — notably gold — in the war that devastated Congo’s Ituri district from 1999 to 2007. That assistance proved invaluable to Dan’s fieldwork in a country previously considered too dangerous to study. “It’s just emerging from conflict,” says Dan, who has been interviewed by the BBC and recently assisted a “60 Minutes” production crew.
A former Navy officer who became a conscientious objector during the Gulf War, Dan is also an expert on depleted uranium munitions and their health effects on veterans. He started his graduate studies at Berkeley in 2004. “It’s been a wonderful place for me,” he says.
—By Abby Cohn