Understanding the Brazilian Amazon and Deforestation – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Understanding the Brazilian Amazon and Deforestation

One of the newest members of the Environmental Studies Department, Eugenio Arima, an environmental geographer who specializes in tropical deforestation and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology, had his work published in the February issue of the Journal of Regional Science in an article titled “Road Investments, Spatial Spillovers, and Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon.

As part of a team of researchers supported by grants from NASA, Arima studied the impact that building roads has on deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. The study found that roads, whether paved or unpaved, increase the deforestation rate for that area as well as neighboring census tracks that do not have roads. The new road appears to increase the demand for products within that area and a spillover effect occurs in these regions.

Arima has been an assistant professor of environmental studies at Hobart and William Smith Colleges since the fall 2006, teaching courses on global climate change, human geography and global economy, and introductory GIS.

He holds a Ph.D. in geography from Michigan State University where he studied loggers and forest fragmentation and created a computer model that simulates deforestation based on numerous economic and other social variables. He also holds a master’s degree from Pennsylvania State University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Brasilia, Brazil.