Meth and Methodology: Combining GIS and Fieldwork

Wednesday, April 14, 2021
6:30 PM (ET)
Event Type
Academics Speakers & Programs
International Studies
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Meth and Methodology: Combining GIS and Fieldwork to Investigate Illegal Economies in Afghanistan

Mr. Richard Brittan and Dr. David Mansfield

Wednesday, April 14, 6:30 p.m.


Zoom Webinar Presentation:


To discover Afghanistan's dramatic rise in methamphetamine production, the speakers integrated high-resolution imagery and in-depth fieldwork to investigate remote and insecure parts of Afghanistan. Their detective work began with aerial photos of buckets of green gunge in Afghanistan's southwest that turned out to be ground ephedra, a crop that grows wild in the central highlands. The cheap raw material fuels a meth lab industry that produces low-cost, high-quality drugs for the global black market.


Richard Brittan is the founder of Alcis, a geographic information services company. David Mansfield is an independent consultant and author of A State Built on Sand: How Opium Undermined Afghanistan. Both speakers have worked extensively with the U.S. and U.K. governments, NATO, and many international and non-governmental organizations.


Sponsored by the International Studies Program.

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