By Stephen Collins ’74
Photography by Lydia Ball ’13

In a faraway land, in a province named South Gondar, the arid landscape is dotted with ancient Orthodox Christian Tewahedo churches. Forests encircle these churches—hundreds of green spots visible in satellite photos—and they are about the only stands of trees surviving after the Amhara people expanded their agricultural fields by cutting down more than 95 percent of the old forest for fuel, crops, and grazing.

A scenario out of J.R.R. Tolkien? An imaginary land in the game Myst? 

No. It’s the situation Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Travis Reynolds encountered in northern Ethiopia two years ago. Read the full article.