Human kindness takes many forms, often for seemingly unlikely reasons and in unlikely settings. It’s a subject that has long interested Lee Cronk, a professor in the Department of Anthropology in the School of Arts and Sciences, who enlisted graduate students Thomas Conte, pictured, and Cathryn Townsend to help conduct research for the Human Generosity Project. Cronk is a codirector of the joint venture between Rutgers and Arizona State University, which has been investigating cooperation in eight communities from around the world. During the academic year, Conte has been traveling in northern Mongolia, living in a felt tent and trekking across mountains on horseback to observe the ways that seminomadic sheepherders work together to prepare for things like devastating winter storms, or zud. Townsend has been observing the Ik people, subsistence farmers living in the mountains of Uganda. “The fundamental question I’m trying to look at,” says Conte, “is whether disasters or risks bring people together or drive them apart.”