LLILAS New Faculty Presentations Series: "Historical and Contemporary Human Use of the Land and Its Environmental Legacy in the Northeastern Caribbean"
Fri, March 28, 2014 • 12:00 PM • Hackett Room, SRH 1.313
The condition of coral reef systems lying near the coastlines of Caribbean islands is not only dependent on the ocean, but is also responsive to what transpires on land. Throughout history, the land surface of most Caribbean islands has undergone drastic changes from close to pristine conditions predating European settlement, to rampant deforestation mostly in favor sugar cane cultivation, and most recently to a period of general forest growth accompanied by increased urbanization. Changes occurring on land inevitably result in the deterioration of both fresh and marine water quality and this is believed to be one of the main causes for a Caribbean-wide decline of coral reef systems. Loss of coral is of utmost concern due to its potential detrimental consequences on fisheries and the tourism industry.
In this lecture, Carlos E. Ramos-Scharrón focuses on two case studies, St. John-U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, and will present efforts to document the impact that changes in the use of the land have had and are currently having on water quality and coral reefs. He will also discuss the challenges of translating scientific endeavors into a language that is palatable to the public and hence leads to the development of effective mitigation strategies.
Carlos E. Ramos-Scharrón completed his PhD from the Watershed Sciences program at Colorado State University (2004). Since graduation Carlos has been Principal Investigator of several NOAA-funded projects in the Eastern Caribbean, while also working as an environmental consultant with the Island Resources Foundation. His interests are in the field of hydro-geomorphology, or the study of the interactions among landforms, land-shaping processes, and both surface and near-surface hydrologic processes.
For more information, contact Paloma Diaz.