International Mentoring of Advanced Graduates for Interdisciplinary Excellence


“Developing Science that Directly Contributes to the Health & Well-being of Communities in Need”

It all started when…

The development of Pivotal Places was made possible because of the collaborative research network provided by the IMAGINE program. For the past decade, IMAGINE has been the overarching structure that has coordinated a variety of  leading research and study abroad programs in southern Africa, including initiatives with South African National Parks, UNESCO, community environmentalists, and study-abroad programs for Colorado State University, North Carolina State, the University of Chicago, Harvard, Northwestern, and Arizona State. The program was based first at North Carolina State and led by Dr. Melissa McHale.

Click  HERE  to check out IMAGINE’s Facebook page!

Click HERE to check out IMAGINE’s Facebook page!

IMAGINE’s Mission

To establish a trans-disciplinary research and education program that contributes to the sustainability and resilience of the greater Kruger National Park social-ecological system. Through co-learning and benefit- sharing we will develop research that enhances the well- being of people living in the region. Our collaborative research network will expand our comparative understanding of complex social-ecological systems located along a rural-urban gradient.


An international and diverse team of academics, practitioners, stakeholders, and students that work together with underprivileged communities on their greatest natural resource challenges.  The partnership includes universities across the United States, South Africa, and Canada and a host of South African agencies and stakeholder groups, including South African National Parks, The Tshulu Trust, Kruger to Canyons Biosphere Reserve, and the Organization of Tropical Studies.  Our team represents a multitude of disciplinary strengths with in the fields of ecology, policy, phytoremediation, forestry, biotech, tourism, psychology, education, mathematics, hydrology, conservation, and cultural anthropology.