Image courtesy Dr. Peter Waylen

Dr. Peter Waylen saw the first fruits of a collaboration with Dr. Chris Annear (Anthropology, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, NY) in a paper entitled Socializing the rain: human adaptation to ecological variability in a fishery, Mweru-Luapula, Zambia, which appeared during the summer in the Journal of Political Ecology. Chris is a young Anthropologist who studied the fishers and fish trader on Lake Mweru and their families. Pete was able to help Chris better understand the fluctuations in lake level and the number and variety of fish caught by considering long term changes in rainfall inputs to the upstream basin. This is a nice example of two people from very disparate disciplinary backgrounds coming together to work on a problem combining both the human and physical dimensions. The second coauthored paper, Interannual Hydroclimatic Variability of the Lake Mweru Basin, Zambia, dealing more with the hydroclimatological characteristics of the basin was published in the journal Water, and brought UF Geography alumna Dr. Erin Bunting into the collaboration.

WAYLENSocializing the rain: human adaptation to ecological variability in a fishery, Mweru-Luapula, Zambia

Christopher M. Annear, Peter R. Waylen

Article first published online: 23 AUG 2019 Journal of Political Ecology

DOI: 10.2458/v26i1.23246

ABSTRACT: Rainfall drives fishery fertility in Mweru-Luapula, thus rainfall variability contributes to frequent changes in fishing catches. Fishers and traders have adapted their institutions to this variable ecology in a variety of ways, including learning to read the fishery for productive periods and practicing multiple modes of income procurement. By accurately identifying inter-annual, inter-decadal, and longer spans of rainfall trends, future high and low yields can be forecast. This article presents and analyzes annual rainfall in the fishery from 1916-1992 and quantitative fish market data comprised of observed fish catch numbers by species in three markets from September 2004 to September 2005. It uses political ecology to better understand fish production, trade, and subsistence in this South-Central African freshwater fishery. We combine qualitative analysis of fisher and marketer perceptions of the fishery and knowledge of rainfall patterns to show how human behavior is not “tragically” driven, but instead based on the state of the ecological, sociocultural, and socioeconomic environment at a given time.

Read the full publication at Journal of Political Ecology

GeoGator Mike Waylen (on right, wearing UF Geography shirt) with colleagues from the SEDAAG World Geography Bowl Team at the 2019 meeting of the American Association of Geographers

GeoGator Mike Waylen (on right, wearing UF Geography shirt) representing. SEDAAG to take second place in the  in the World Geography Bowl at the 2019 meeting of the American Association of Geographers. Well done, Mike!

Associate Professor Dr. Cynthia Simmons and a team of international scholars – including UF Geography’s Dr. Robert Walker, Michael Waylen, and Aghane Antunes – present a strategy for achieving sustainable development in Amazonia, given global climate change and the massive infrastructure program planned for the region, in their latest paper Science in support of Amazonian conservation in the 21st century: the case of Brazil published in Biotropica, the journal of the Association of Tropical Biology and Conservation. The paper is featured on the front cover of the journal with a photo of Munduruku Women taken at gathering in July 2018 at Patawazal community in the Tapajos river valley, Para State, Brazil, taken by UF Geography doctoral student Ms. Maira Irigaray. On the banner is a greeting to participants “SAWE´! SAWE´! SAWE´!” a Munduruku battle cry signifying “We Are United, And Determined!” “The aim of the gathering was to empower and unite women and men of the tribe to defend their lands, life and culture, which today are in greater peril as Brazil’s President-elect, Jair Bolsonaro, vows to fast-track the large-scale mining and infrastructure plans they have been fighting years to stop,” said Dr. Simmons.

The fate of Amazonia is of great concern given its value as a global resource and the extent of its degradation to date. With nearly 20 percent of a pristine forest gone up in smoke, what happens in the 21st century will determine the fate of this last remaining tropical wilderness. The prognosis is not good, given the Initiative for the Integration of the Regional Infrastructure of South America (IIRSA), the cross-continental program of infrastructure development being undertaken by the South American nations. Recent declines in rates of deforestation have raised some hope that the Amazonian nations will be able to ensure the long-run integrity of the region’s ecosystems. The new infrastructure plans could reverse these promising trends. Land clearance for agricultural development may soon be overshadowed by forest die-back associated with global climate change. While infrastructure development will likely bring economic opportunity to the residents of Amazonia, the growth it stimulates will surely generate substantial environmental impacts and strenuous efforts will be required to conserve it for future generations.

The paper sheds light on the massive scale and integrated blueprint design of IIRSA’s transcontinental plan, which synchronizes municipal, state, and national level road and rail projects, with national hydro-electric dam projects that serve the dual purposes to generate energy required for electricity intensive industrialization and make navigable the main tributaries of the Amazon through locks and reservoirs coupled with rock demolition, dredging, and channelization. It clearly illustrates the looming threat from infrastructure plans with a focus on the Tapajos Valley, Para State, where projects will dissect the Munuduruku homelands and transform the entire basin to make way for the Mississippi of South America, Brazil’s ultimate goal to spur the economy. “Readers will be surprised by the magnitude of this integrated plan, and worried when they contemplate the potential cumulative and synergistic impacts that will surely have dire consequences for the environment and the region’s populations,” explained Dr. Simmons.

The paper articulates an approach to conservation based on decades of transdisciplinary research and collaboration among the team of scientists that envisions organizing Amazonia’s protected areas into a basin-scale System of Refugia (SR), capable of maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services in the face of climate change. It also presents a coordinated program of interdisciplinary research capable of simulating Amazonia’s coupled natural and human systems and assessing the social and environmental impacts from IIRSA. Thus it provides essential information for planners and policy makers to select more sustainable alternatives, and it could serve as an early warning system for communities and environments at risk.

For more information, contact Dr. Cynthia Simmons. The full article is available at Biotropica.

ANTUNES, SIMMONS, WALKER, WAYLEN – Discipline and Develop: Destruction of the Brazil Nut Forest in the Lower Amazon Basin

Cynthia S. Simmons, Robert Walker, Stephen Aldrich, Eugenio Arima, Ritaumaria Pereira, Edna Maria Ramos de Castro, Fernando Michelotti, Michael Waylen, & Aghane Antunes

Article first published online: 20 DEC 2018 The Annals of the American Association of Geographers

DOI: 10.1080/24694452.2018.1489215

ABSTRACT: This article considers Amazonian environmental change by focusing on political and economic processes in a place-specific context with far-reaching global implications. In particular, we consider the destruction of the Brazil nut forest (BNF) in the lower basin. The Brazil nut tree yields a valuable nontimber forest product, and its loss raises concerns about Amazonia’s agro-ecological sustainability. The article posits the destruction of the BNF as an outcome of land creation, the transformation of soil surfaces into a production factor for market-oriented agriculture. Land creation in the lower basin sparked violent conflict, with the destruction of the BNF as collateral damage. Our account complements earlier research on the political economy of Amazonian development by providing an update tuned to the institutional and economic changes that have led to the region’s engagement with globalized beef markets and to the transformative impact on implicated actors (i.e., peasant, capital, and the state). In addition, the article uses the BNF case to consider current threats to Amazonia. In Brazil, deforestation rates declined after the turn of the millennium, due to environmental policy. Recent numbers show deforestation on the rise, however, as South American nations fast-track large infrastructure projects to transform Amazonia into a transport hub and a continental source of hydropower. The article questions whether Brazil’s environmental policies will sustain the Amazonian forest over the long run; the BNF disappeared despite efforts at conservation buttressed by legislative action. The article uses data from surveys, remote sensing, regional newspapers, and secondary sources based on declassified documents from Brazil’s Armed Forces, the National Truth Commission, and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Read the full publication at The Annals of the American Association of Geographers

 

 

 

 

 

ANTUNES, SIMMONS, WALKER, WAYLENScience in support of Amazonian conservation in the 21st century: the case of Brazil

Cynthia S. Simmons, Lisa Famolare, Marcia N. Macedo, Robert T. Walker, Michael T. Coe, Brett Scheffers, Eugenio Arima, Rafael Munoz-Carpena, Denis Valle, Clyde Fraisse, Paul Moorcroft, Marcelo Diniz, Marcia Diniz, Claudio Szlafsztein, Ritaumaria Pereira, Cesar Ruiz, Gilberto Rocha, Daniel Juhn, Luis Otávio do Canto Lopes, Michael Waylen, Aghane Antunes, Yankuic M Galvan

Article first published online: 14 NOV 2018 Biotropica

DOI: 10.1111/btp.12610

ABSTRACT: This article presents a 21st Century agenda for Amazonian conservation. The agenda calls for developing a system of refugia and a scientific methodology for predicting impacts of the infrastructure development vision for the region. It also calls for a collaborative approach to conservation planning, in the interest of fruitful engagement with decision-makers and stakeholders. The ideas explored here emerged from the collaboration of peers over a decade, which culminated in a panel presentation, Scientific Analysis, and Simulation Models to Support Conservation and Development Decision-Making, at the Tools and Strategies Workshop held at the University of Florida in October, 2017.

Read the full publication at Biotropica

 

 

 

 

 

BUNTING, SOUTHWORTH, HERRERO, RYAN, WAYLENUnderstanding Long-Term Savanna Vegetation Persistence across Three Drainage Basins in Southern Africa

Erin L. Bunting , Jane Southworth, Hannah Herrero, Sadie J. Ryan, and Peter Waylen

Article first published online: 25 JUN 2018 Remote Sens. 2018, 10(7), 1013

DOI: 10.3390/rs10071013

ABSTRACT: Across savanna landscapes of southern Africa, people are strongly tied to the environment, meaning alterations to the landscape would impact livelihoods and socioecological development. Given the human–environment connection, it is essential to further our understanding of the drivers of savanna vegetation dynamics, and under increasing climate variability, to better understand the vegetation–climate relationship. Monthly time series of Advanced Very High-Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR)- and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) derived vegetation indices, available from as early as the 1980s, holds promise for the large-scale quantification of complex vegetation–climate dynamics and regional analyses of landscape change as related to global environmental changes. In this work, we employ time series based analyses to examine landscape-level vegetation greening patterns over time and across a significant precipitation gradient. In this study, we show that climate induced reductions in Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI; i.e., degradation or biomass decline) have had large spatial and temporal impacts across the Kwando, Okavango, and Zambezi catchments of southern Africa. We conclude that over time there have been alterations in the available soil moisture resulting from increases in temperature in every season. Such changes in the ecosystem dynamics of all three basins has led to system-wide changes in landscape greening patterns.

Read the full publication at Remote Sensing

 

 

 

 

The UF Geography Department is sending a large contingent to New Orleans for the 2018 meeting of the American Association of Geographers

Find out where you can see a GeoGator present their research below:

Anthropogenic change to fluvial systems, I
Geomorphology Specialty Group, Paleoenvironmental Change Specialty Group, Water Resources Specialty Group
4/10/2018
8:20 AM
Balcony K, Marriott, 4th Floor
Anthropogenic Disturbances and Sand Bar Size Variations of Coastal Plain Rivers, USA
Joann Mossa

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Geographic research on vector-borne diseases (I)
Health and Medical Geography Specialty Group, Geographic Information Science and Systems Specialty Group, Spatial Analysis and Modeling Specialty Group
4/10/2018
9:00 AM
Lafayette, Marriott, 41st Floor
Using a Network Analysis Framework to Discuss Delivery of Mosquito Abatement Services in Machala, Ecuador
Catherine A Lippi, Liang Mao, Sadie J Ryan

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Anthropogenic change to fluvial systems, II
Geomorphology Specialty Group, Paleoenvironmental Change Specialty Group, Water Resources Specialty Group
4/10/2018
11:20 AM
Room: Balcony K, Marriott, 4th Floor
Riffle-Pool Variability in the Confined Lowermost Mississippi River
Chia-Yu Wu, Joann Mossa

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Applications of Time Series Remote Sensing at the Global to Landscape Scale
4/10/2018
12:40 PM
Grand Chenier, Sheraton, 5th Floor
Examining vegetation changes in Eastern Zambia savanna landscapes from 1984-2016: an integrated approach
Hannah Herrero, Jane Southworth

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Applications of Time Series Remote Sensing at the Global to Landscape Scale
4/10/2018
1:20 PM
Grand Chenier, Sheraton, 5th Floor
Latitudes and land use: global biome shifts in greenness persistence across three decades
Jane Southworth, Sadie J Ryan, Reza Khatami, Peter Waylen, Hannah V Herrero

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Geographic research on vector-borne diseases (III)
Health and Medical Geography Specialty Group, Geographic Information Science and Systems Specialty Group, Spatial Analysis and Modeling Specialty Group
4/10/2018
1:40 PM
Lafayette, Marriott, 41st Floor
The future is uncertain: global shifts in potential distribution and seasonal risk of Aedes-transmitted viruses
Sadie Jane Ryan

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Experiential Learning in Geography Education II
Geography Education Specialty Group
4/10/2018
3:40 PM
Napoleon A1, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Recruitment and retention in Geosciences through integrated professional and academic experiences
Heidi J. L. Lannon, Corene Matyas

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Geographic research on vector-borne diseases (IV)
Health and Medical Geography Specialty Group, Spatial Analysis and Modeling Specialty Group, Geographic Information Science and Systems Specialty Group
4/10/2018
4:00 PM
Lafayette, Marriott, 41st Floor
Precise space-time interventions on intra-urban dengue outbreaks using large-scale mobile phone tracking data
Liang Mao

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Geographic research on vector-borne diseases (V)
Health and Medical Geography Specialty Group, Geographic Information Science and Systems Specialty Group, Spatial Analysis and Modeling Specialty Group
4/10/2018
5:20 PM
Lafayette, Marriott, 41st Floor
A GIS-based Machine Learning Technique for Predicting Spatial Distribution of Phlebotomus papatasi (Diptera: Psychodidae), the Main Vectors of Zoonotic Cutaneous Leishmaniasis
Abolfazl Mollalo

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Land Change Science
Spatial Analysis and Modeling Specialty Group, Geographic Information Science and Systems Specialty Group, Remote Sensing Specialty Group
4/11/2018
8:20 AM
Maurepas, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Operational large-area land-cover mapping: Ethiopia case study
Reza Khatami, Jane Southworth, Carly Muir

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Topics in U.S. Regional Geography
Rural Geography Specialty Group
4/11/2018
10:00 AM
Galvez, Marriott, 5th Floor
Changing Economic Geography of Southern New England’s “Tobacco Valley”: Surviving in the 21st Century
Matthew McKay

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High-Level Perspectives: NSF, Geosciences, Big Ideas, and Geography
4/11/2018
11:50 AM – 1:10 PM
Bayside C, Sheraton, 4th Floor
This session will feature comments from William Easterling, who currently serves as the Assistant Director for Geosciences at the National Science Foundation. On assignment from positions as a professor and dean at Pennsylvania State University, Easterling is the first geographer to serve in the second-highest level of officials at NSF. His comments will touch on issues related to NSF that geographers will find of interest, including federal support for basic research; major emphases for NSF, the NSF Big Ideas, and opportunities for geographers in the Directorate for Geosciences. Other geographers currently at NSF will serve as discussants and provide complementary perspectives from their divisions in the Biological Sciences and Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences directorates. Overall, this special session is designed to provide attendees with new perspectives regarding trends, opportunities, and issues at NSF.
Michael Binford

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Environmental Geography
4/11/2018
1:40 PM
Balcony N, Marriott, 4th Floor
Morphometric differences between megafans and alluvial fans
M. Anwar Sounny-Slitine

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Spatial Demography
Population Specialty Group
4/11/2018
6:40 PM
Studio 4, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Spatially explicit age segregation index and self-rated health of older adults in U.S. cities
Guangran Deng, Liang Mao

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Hurricanes I: Climatology/meteorology
4/12/2018
9:00 AM
Napoleon D1, Sheraton 3rd Floor
Spatial characteristics of rain fields associated with tropical cyclones landfalling over the western Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea
Yao Zhou, Corene Matyas

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Geographies of health and health care V: Spatial and temporal analysis
Health and Medical Geography Specialty Group
4/12/2018
1:20 PM
Estherwood, Sheraton, 4th Floor
Understanding temporal changes of access to healthcare: an analytic framework for local factor impacts
Jue Yang, Liang Mao

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Regional evolutionary economic geography approaches to destination evolution
Recreation, Tourism, and Sport Specialty Group
4/12/2018
1:20 PM – 3:00 PM
Mid-City, Sheraton, 8th Floor
A Comparative Assessment of Tourism Development of Zambian National Parks to those in the South African Region
Brian Child

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Physical Geography Poster Session II
4/12/2018
1:20 PM – 3:00 PM
Napoleon Foyer/Common St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Accessibility to hurricane shelters for Airbnb users in Miami metropolitan area
Sanghoon Kim

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Development, Geospatial Technologies and Spatial Organization in Africa
Africa Specialty Group
4/12/2018
4:00 PM
Gallier A, Sheraton, 4th Floor
Vegetation Persistence and Change in Ethiopia as a Function of Climate
Carly Muir, Jane Southworth, Reza Khatami

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Preparing Competitive Research Grants in Biogeography
Biogeography Specialty Group, Careers and Professional Development
4/12/2018
5:20 PM – 7:00 PM
Studio 1, Marriott, 2nd Floor
This panel, organized by and for biogeographers but open to all, aims to review and discuss the ins and outs of preparing competitive research grants. Discussion topics will range from where, how, and why to successfully seek external funding for biogeographic research, NSF broader impacts and intellectual merit, lesser-known sources of funding, what to do when the big plans fall through, and much more. The panel features panelists from various career stages and areas of expertise.
Michael Binford

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Geographies of Climate Change Mitigation: Marketization, Financialization, and Decarbonization 1
Economic Geography Specialty Group, Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group
4/13/2018
8:40 AM
Grand Ballroom D, Sheraton, 5th Floor
Tropical Africa and the Political Economy of Climate Change Mitigation
Abe Goldman

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Landscape Speciality Group-Student Presentation Competition II
Landscape Specialty Group
4/13/2018
10:40 AM
Estherwood, Sheraton, 4th Floor
A landscape level analysis of urbanization, lake level change and community impacts in Mwanza Gulf, Tanzania
Ryan Good, Jane Southworth

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Wetlands and Meadows: Integrated Research in Geomorphology, Soils, Hydrology, Biogeography and Microclimatology
Biogeography Specialty Group, Climate Specialty Group, Geomorphology Specialty Group
4/13/2018
3:40 PM
Astor Ballroom I, Astor, 2nd Floor
Predicting the Potential Geographic Distributions of Non-Native Fishes in Florida with Climate Change
Joseph A. Andreoli

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Tropical Conservation, Development & Agriculture Short Papers
Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group, Geographies of Food and Agriculture Specialty Group, Graduate Student Affinity Group
4/13/2018
5:53 PM
Rampart, Sheraton, 5th Floor
Climate, Food Insecurity and Under-five Stunting in Zambia
Audrey Smith

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Tropical Conservation, Development & Agriculture Short Papers
Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group, Geographies of Food and Agriculture Specialty Group, Graduate Student Affinity Group
4/13/2018
5:53 PM
Rampart, Sheraton, 5th Floor
Situational Analysis of Mangalane, Mozambique in the context of a Community Based Natural Resource Management Project
Leandra Merz

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Health (Workforce) Geography
Geographic Information Science and Systems Specialty Group, Spatial Analysis and Modeling Specialty Group, Health and Medical Geography Specialty Group
4/14/2018
8:00 AM
Oak Alley, Sheraton, 4th Floor
Mapping rural–urban disparities in late-stage cancer with space-time rurality index and GWR
Liang Mao, Jue Yang, Guangran Deng

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Analyzing movement data using GIS: Lagrangian and Eulerian perspectives
Geographic Information Science and Systems Specialty Group, Spatial Analysis and Modeling Specialty Group
4/14/2018
4:00 PM – 5:40 PM
Napoleon B2, Sheraton 3rd Floor
Living la Vida T-LoCoH: Site fidelity amongst Florida wild and captive white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) during the epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV) transmission period
Emily Dinh, Jeremy P. Orange, Jason K. Blackburn

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Analyzing space and time in the African environments
4/14/2018
5:20 PM
Grand Ballroom D, Astor, 2nd Floor
Time Series Analysis of Vegetation Change and Changes in Persistence Analyses in Umfolozi-Hluhluwe Park 2001-2016
Meshari Alenezi

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Health and Hazards
Type: Paper
4/13/2018
6:00 PM
Napoleon B2, Sheraton 3rd Floor
Effects of Brucellosis Serological Status on Physiological Conditions and Behavioral Mechanisms of Southwestern Montana Elk
Anni Yang, Jason Blackburn

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Health and Hazards
Type: Paper
4/13/2018
6:40 PM
Napoleon B2, Sheraton 3rd Floor
Inferring processes from dynamic abundance time series
Jason Blackburn

HERNANDEZ AYALA, KEELLINGS, WAYLEN, MATYASExtreme floods and their relationship with tropical cyclones in Puerto Rico

José J. Hernández Ayala, David Keellings, Peter R. Waylen & Corene J. Matyas

Article first published online: 12 SEPT 2017 Hydrological Sciences Journal

DOI: 10.1080/02626667.2017.1368521

ABSTRACT: An extreme value analysis (EVA) point process approach has been implemented to examine the flood characteristics of Puerto Rico when tropical cyclones (TCs) are present in the discharge series and when they are removed from it. Mean daily discharge values that exceeded the 99th percentile thresholds were used in both the TC and non-TC data series. In nine of the 12 stations the maximum discharge was associated with a TC, with hurricanes Hortense (1996), Georges (1998) and Eloise (1975) responsible for most of the maximum peaks at each site. Percentage changes in the generalized extreme value parameters, which include location (central tendency), scale (variance) and shape (skewness), between the TC and non-TC data exhibited a decrease in the majority of stations. Stations in the eastern interior and central region of the island showed the largest decrease in all parameters, in flood occurrences and in return periods when TCs were removed from the series.

Read the full publication at Hydrological Sciences Journal

 

 

 

 

 

Image courtesy of Mr. Andre McFadden II
Image courtesy of Mr. Andre McFadden II

Recent Geography graduate Mr. Andre McFadden II just received the Best Paper award in the Physical Science Category from UF’s Journal of Undergraduate Research for his paper El Niño – Southern Oscillation and it’s Effect on Rainfall Patterns in the Lake Mweru Basin, Zambia. Andre graduated with a B.A. in Geography with a Certificate in Meteorology and Climatology in December 2015. He wrote the paper as part of a research project with his adviser Dr. Peter Waylen, who recommended that Andre submit it to the Journal of Undergraduate Research.

“I would like to thank the instructors and TAs that I have worked with in the Department of Geography and my research adviser Dr. Waylen for giving me the opportunity to do research and write a paper,” said Andre. “I also would like to thank a former undergraduate student Marlee Henninge who introduced me to Dr. Waylen and Undergraduate Research.”

Andre intends to attend the SouthEastern Division of the Association of American Geographers (SEDAAG) conference in November, and is preparing to apply for graduate school.

“This experience has opened my eyes to new opportunities in research and I am going to take full advantage of it,” says Andre.