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Amazon Dams WIGF Cohort Completes Lecture Series at Oak Hammock ,

The 2015 Water Institute Graduate Fellow cohort recently completed a lecture series at Oak Hammock to share and promote their research. The cohort’s research is focused on the impacts of dams in the Amazon River Basin on local ecology, hydrology, and indigenous peoples.

There is an urgent and pressing need for coordinated research on the impacts of dams in the Brazilian Amazon because of planned and current construction of more than 30 large hydroelectric dams and 170 small dams. The 2015 WIGF cohort seeks to fill some of that need, studying the social-ecological effects of dam construction to the areas in and around the Brazilian Amazon watershed. The overall goal of this research is to improve planning and decision-making by integrating scientific and societal knowledge.

The lecture series, entitled Understanding the Social and Ecological Effects of Amazon Dams, ran from January 11 through February 15 and highlighted the current state of knowledge about Amazon dam development through the lens of a broad range of disciplines.

The Oak Hammock lectures featured the following topics:

Overview: Hydrologic transformation in the Amazon Basin: reconciling economy, society and the environment in the world’s largest watershed
Dr. David Kaplan, Assistant Professor, Environmental Engineering Services; UF Water Institute Faculty Fellow 2017-2020

Connecting Amazonian Climate, Hydrology, and Sediments
Trey Crouch, 2015 UF Water Institute Graduate Fellow; Ph.D student, Environmental Engineering Sciences

The Political Ecology of Amazonian Infrastructure Development
Dr. Cynthia Simmons, Associate Professor, Department of Geography, with special focus on global environmental and social change

Measuring Large-Scale Ecological Change in the World’s Most Biodiverse Ecosystem
Christine Swanson, 2015 UF Water Institute Graduate Fellow; Masters in Biology and in Arts in Teaching; Ph.D student
Jacy Hyde, 2015 UF Water Institute Graduate Fellow, with emphasis on the impacts of development of dam infrastructure

Human and Economic Drivers and Responses of Large-Scale Infrastructure Development
Roberta De Carvalho, 2015 UF Water Institute Graduate Fellow; Masters in Management of Natural Resources and Local Development in the Amazon
May Lehmensiek, 2015 UF Water Institute Graduate Fellow; Masters in Environmental Engineering Science; Ph.D student in Interdisciplinary Ecology

Indigenous Governance and Legal Issues
Maira Irigaray Castro, human rights and environmental lawyer; Masters in Comparative Law; Ph.D student, Geography