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Student Profiles Draft

Steven Amesbury
Ph.D. - Zoology, University of Hawaii, 1975
M.S. - Zoology, University of Arizona, 1969
B.A. - Anthropology, University of Arizona, 1967

Viviana Barquero
M.S. - Architecture in Design and Energy Conservation Program, University of Arizona, 2011
B.A. - Architecture, Universidad Autonoma de Sinaloa, 2010

Research Interests: As an architect to generate sustainable alternatives to traditional city development plans in Mexico. Her interests through the doctoral research are primarily to assess rural-urban connectivity in Mexican arid regions and its vulnerability to climate change effects. By doing so, a sustainable model of social development could be designed which would include the use and management of available renewable resources as primary asset. Her prior research has been focused in energy efficiency and renewable energy codes for buildings in Mexican cities. Viviana is currently working as Research Assistant at the Renewable Energy Network of the Institute of Environment.

Sandra Bernal
M.S. - earned credits for 2 years Landscape Architecture and Planning, University of Arizona, 2010-2011
B.S. - Architecture, University of Mexico, 2007

Research Interests: A combination of the Border pollution issues (focusing on air) collaborative community projects, passive techniques applied to urban planning and architecture towards the mitigation of the effects of pollution.

Samuel Chambers
M.S. - Forest Services, Clemson University, South Carolina
B.S. - Forest Services, University of Idaho

Research Interests: Conservation planning involving NGO's, academia, government agencies,and local communities.

Elzbieta Czyzowska
M.S. - Geography, Uniwerytet Jagiellonski, Cracow, Poland
B.A. - Geography, Pedagogical, Cracow, Poland

Mohamed Abd Salam El Vilaly
M.S. - Water and Environmental Land Sciences, University of Avignon and Montpellier, France
M.S. - Water Resources, Hydrogeology, Physics, and Chemistry, University of Grenoble, France
B.S. - Mobilisation and Management of Territorial Water Resources, University of Nouackchott, Mauritania

Objectives: The overall objective of my research is to better understand the impact of climate variability on the processes of environmental degradation in the Sahel in Senegal, Mauritania, and Mali. Specifically, my research will analyze the relationships between changes in land use, socio-economic activities, and health and migration of both livestock and human populations. Emphasis will be placed on the hydrology of surface runoff, and on access to water resources.

Specifics Objectives:

  • Modelling hydrological Sahelian basins
    The study aims to monitor specific changes in the environment (surface conditions) due to human and climatic impacts, and how to account for environmental changes in modelling hydrological Sahelian basins.
  • Distribution of vector-borne diseases
    Many climatic and other associated environmental factors, such as soil, vegetation, orohydrography, geomorphology, hydrogeology, agriculture, population, and wildlife, will be tested to try to explain the distribution of vector-borne diseases.

Arin Haverland
M.S. - Agricultural Education, University of Arizona
B.A. - Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Arizona

Josephine "Toni" Hilliard
M.A. - Historic Preservation, Goucher College
B.S. - Interior Design, University of Arizona


Erin T. Jordan
B.A. - Botany, Miami University
B.S. - Communications, Miami University
B.S. - Geosciences, Mississippi State University

Research Interests: Flood risk and perception in arid lands, North American Monsoon, climate change, science communication, meteorology, climatology.

Ryan H. Lee
M.A. - Dual Masters of Arts in International Affairs (American University) and Natural Resources and  Sustainable Development (University for Peace)
B.S. - Environmental Science, University of Arizona
B.A. - Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Arizona

Research Interests: Using geographic information sysems to analyze how the human right to water affects humans and ecosystems.  With the specific purpose of improving human and environmental resilience, he is also interested in water harvesting and other alternative, place-relevant techniques able to mitigate human-cause environmental degradation, water management in the global South under the threat of climate change, and participatory, discursive, in situ research and project implementation.

Yu Rong Joy Liu
M.S. - School of Forest Resources, University of Washington, 2011
B.S. - Forest and Environmental Resource Conservation, National Taiwan University, 2008

Research Interests: Forest ecology and soil science. My primary interest is the social-political aspects of natural resource management, international collaboration, with a focus on forestry and agriculture.


America N. Lutz Ley
M.S. - Social Sciences, major in Public Affairs, El Colegio de Sonora, Mexico 2010
B.S. - Psychology, major in Educational Psychology, Universidad de Sonora, Mexico 2007

Research Interests: Focus on the adaptive management of natural resources (especially water resources) in face of global change phenomena in urban and rural arid scenarios; emphasizing the processes involving social and political constructions of water issues, and the role of social network in the definition of problems and solutions in resource management. A secondary professional interest is the development of community intervention programs to construct adaptive responses to environmental challenges in arid places of the world.

Fernando Mayorga
M.S. - Rural Economics, Federal University of Ceara, Brazil
B.A. - Economics, Federal University of Ceara, Brazil

Kelly Mott-Lacroix
M.S. - Environmental and Healthy Cities Planning, University of Arizona
B.A. - Political Science and Spanish, Beloit College

Research Interests: Generally, I am interested in the intersection of inherent conflict with balancing environmental and human water demands. My specific interests include creating metrics for assessing vulnerability to future supply shortages in groundwater basins in Arizona as well as methods for incorporating ecosystem services into water planning in arid environments.

Anahi Ocampo Melgar
M.S. - Integrated Planning for Rural Development and Environmental Management, Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza, Spain, 2008
B.S. Engineering, Universidad Catolica Boliviana, 2004

Research Interests: Anahi­ Ocampo Melgar joined the ALRS PhD program in 2010, building off environmental engineering experience in Bolivia and a focus on the intersection of international development and ecology in Spain. Her research interest is focused on the use of participatory multi-criteria decision support methods, for the assessment and evaluation of restoration actions applied in the world's degraded drylands. She is currently exploring the use of these methods under the framework of a global European Commission initiative entitled "PRACTICE" (Prevention and Restoration Actions to Combat Desertification- an Integrated Assessment).

The objective of the research is to capture stakeholder perspectives on the best signs or indicators of mitigation and restoration success so that a combination of local and scientific knowledge can be used in the evaluation. Tools including multi-criteria methods, geographic information systems and dynamic ecological modeling will be applied in the sites of study (that will also include Tucson, Arizona and the Chaco region in Bolivia). A better understanding of the indicators used by stakeholders to assess restoration action will allow the elaboration of a guide of good practices for a future land-use planning in these arid lands. It also will provide a means to make environmental evaluation more locally relevant while at the same time offering the possibility for comparison in different locations.

Chester F. Philips
M.F.A. - Nonfiction Writing, University of Arizona
B.A. - Creative Writing, University of Arizona
B.S. - Environmental Science: Science and Policy Focus, University of Arizona

Research Interests: Protection of instream flows and riparian areas in arid environments including the Middle East (Israel-Palestinian Territories) and North American Desert Southwest (San Pedro Watershed). Natural resource planning, especially at the community-level, for conservation and adaptation to resource scarcity. Environmentally related conflict dynamics, resolution, and political ecology.
Ibrahima Sall
M.S. - Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Arizona, 2012
B.S. - Economics and Management, Specialization in Economics Policy Analysis, Universite Cheikh Anta Diop De Dakar, Senegal

Research Interests: Economic and agricultural policy and development in sub-Saharan Africa with emphasis in analytical approaches involving spatial data use, spatial econometric methods and those that use geographic information systems (GIS) techniques.
Simona Seastrand
M.S. - Atmospheric Science, University of Arizona
B.S. - Meteorology/Physics/Applied Mathematics, Northern Illinois University

Research Interests: Climate, Weather extremes, North American Monsoon System
Lorenia Velasquez
M.S. - Economic Sciences, University Nacional Autonomaa de Mexico
B.A. - Economics, Universidad de Sonora, Hermosillo, Mexico
Steven Woods
M.S. - Computation, Oxford University, United Kingdom
B.S. - Natural Sciences, Open University, United Kingdom
B.A. - Mathematics, Oxford University, United Kingdom
Adriana Alejandra Zuniga Teran
M.A. - Design and Energy Conservation, University of Arizona
B.A. - Architecture, Technological Institute of Superior Studies of Monterey, Mexico

Research Interests: Facing the environmental catastrophe that we do today, the different disciplines must work together toward sustainability in an urgent manner. Buildings and developments are a major issue in this aim toward sustainability; since buildings consume about 60% of the energy produced, and land is transformed dramatically in every project, with serious ecological impact. Although many efforts are being done to improve the way we shape our spaces regarding the environment, there is still no certain way to evaluate projects in terms of sustainability.

What really constitutes a sustainable development? How is sustainability measured? What are the indicators of sustainable development? How does this development fit into a dynamic ecosystem? What impacts does this development have now and into the future? How can I evaluate and do long range forecasting of these impacts? As land planners, we propose, with the best of our knowledge, the most accurate solution to the development of the landscape with only minimal attention to the long term consequences of our actions. Thus, for my Ph.D. training, I am interested in doing research to bridge the gap between sustainable land planning and ecosystem science. I want to find a way to quantify and evaluate the ecological impact of development, devise ways to test and develop sustainable solutions that lead well into the future. If land planners and community designers are able to evaluate the ecological impact of a proposed development on a watershed, before it is built, more effective methods can be implemented to improve ecosystem capability, cost and energy efficiency.

I would like to work with computer modeling software that may evaluate and predict certain ecological impacts. I would like to explore this new field of "GeoDesign" that merges Geographic Information Systems (GIS), spatial dynamic modeling and design and planning practices to evaluate land development solutions.


Last updated 2 Jul 2013