Dr. Robert Walker receives NSF Geography and Spatial Sciences award
Dr. Robert Walker has received an NSF award from the Geography and Spatial Sciences program, to fund a project entitled “International Trade Agreements, Globalization, Land Change, and Agricultural Food Networks” with a budget of $375,000.
The research, to be conducted in Mexico, investigates links between spatial shifts in that country’s forest biomes, and neoliberal reforms associated with GATT and NAFTA. Robert Walker, of the UF Department of Geography and the Center for Latin American Studies, will lead the project, in collaboration with Co-PI Dr. Yankuic Galvan-Miyoshi, a postdoctoral researcher at UF. The research involves an international team, including agronomist Dr. Ema Maldonado from Universidade Autonoma de Chapingo (Estado de Mexico), soil scientist Dr. Marta Astier from Universidade Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM), and environmental scientist Dr. Omar Masera, who directs UNAM’s Bioenergy Laboratory. Economic geographer Dr. Barney Warf, from the University of Kansas, will also participate.
The project, of three years duration, will conduct a large-scale survey of Mexican feedlots, in order to ascertain the spatial reconfiguration of maize and beef commodity chains stemming from shifts in trade policy and globalization. It will then determine the extent to which changing commodity chains explain regional patterns of forest loss and regeneration, across Mexico as a whole.