Current Institutional Affiliation
Senior Staff Associate, Earth Institute, Columbia University

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2003
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Geography, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Forest Turnaround, Suburban Sprawl, and Environmental Injustice in Southern Brazil

This dissertation project will examine the historical dynamic between forest expansion, suburban sprawl, and environmental justice on Santa Catarina island in southern Brazil. This case departs from earlier accounts of forest turnaround that have attributed forest regrowth to land abandonment following declines in economic opportunity. Instead, it appears that continued forest expansion on the island is being driven by economic growth associated with tourism and real estate development. In addition, this study breaks from previous studies of forest turnaround by demonstrating that effective forest conservation can be accompanied by environmental injustice in the form of socioeconomic segregation. More specifically, protected area creation and suburban sprawl seem to be reinforcing one another and setting in motion dynamics that foster forest regeneration in several areas while encouraging real estate development in associated sprawl communities. It also appears that these dynamics and the landscape transformations that result are creating environmental injustice by excluding the poor from access to the island's environmental amenities.