Date of Award

Summer 8-13-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Jeremy Diem

Second Advisor

Dr. Joel Hartter

Third Advisor

Dr. Timothy Lee Hawthorne


There have been reports that rainfall in East Africa is changing or becoming more variable. This can have significant implications for conservation initiatives and the food security of this populace region that is heavily reliant on the rain fed agricultural system. The perceptions of farmers regarding rainfall along with 30 years of satellite data and 16 years of ground level observations were analyzed in order to characterize rainfall in and around Kibale National Park, a protected area in the Ugandan portion of the Albertine Rift. Two homogenous rainfall regions exist in the area, and the onset, cessation, and amount of rainfall during seasons is highly variable. The perceptions of farmers align with the analysis of rainfall data, indicating that the season beginning in March shows the highest degree of variability. Decreases in the amount of rainfall are found for both rainy seasons.