Episode 57: Building canals – how science and friendship changed a town

Interactive transcript 

On this episode of Seismic Soundoff, we start a journey with a team of scientists partnering with a former Inca city in Perú. This small, rural village of 4,000 people in Zurite, Perú all rely on agriculture, but the strong, seasonal climate limits their livelihood six months of the year.

Jasper Oshun, project manager for this Geoscientists Without Borders team, shares a unique history with Zurite that goes back 15 years. His local knowledge, along with his GWB team’s expertise and the community’s knowledge and effort, will work to build a reservoir and irrigation canal network that will benefit 120 farmers.

But their work seeks to not only directly impact these families, but support each generation of Zuritaneos that come after and contribute to the scientific understanding that will benefit the world.


The dry season in Zurite
The wet season in Azurite
Field work
The GWB and Zurite team
Project Map
Survey work

Aerial footage of the Ramuschaka Watershed

Aerial footage of Zurite

Photos of 20 March landslide


Geoscientists Without Borders®

2018 marked the ten-year anniversary of the SEG Foundation’s Geoscientists Without Borders® program. The program uses the specialized knowledge and technical skills of geoscientists to mitigate natural hazards by connecting universities and industries with local communities.

To support this Zurite project and others like it, please consider making a donation to GWB. As a special consideration to our listeners, the SEG Foundation currently has GWB Matching Funds available. Double your impact today by making a donation.


Schlumberger strives to be a unifying force for social and environmental stewardship, and engages in philanthropic activities that reflect the company’s values. As the founding sponsor of Geoscientists Without Borders®, Schlumberger believes in the science of geophysics to effect positive changes in communities facing environmental hardship and natural hazards.


Interviews: Jasper Oshun, Margaret Lang, Kristina Keating, Olivia Helprin, Wyeth Wunderlich, Tomás Ruiz López

Music in the episode courtesy of Epidemic Sound.

This episode was hosted, edited, and produced by Andrew Geary. Special thanks to the SEG podcast team: Jennifer Crockett, Ashley Rodriguez, Ally McGinnis, and Mick Swiney with support from Linda Ford and Katie Burk.

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