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Charles R. Hale, Director SRH 1.310, 2300 Red River Street D0800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512.471.5551

Carlos E. Ramos Scharrón

Assistant Professor Ph.D., Colorado State University

Assistant Professor, LLILAS and Department of Geography & the Environment
Carlos E. Ramos Scharrón
" The new image of the earth’s surface, completely transformed … correspond to an upheaval in the human mind and soul. - H Hesse (1926) "



land use; soil erosion; water quality; ecosystems; coral reef systems

LAS 330 • Wtr Res: Latin Amer/Caribbean

40600 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 930am-1100am SRH 1.320
(also listed as GRG 356 )
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Water is a vital asset in the natural resource arsenal of any country as abundant clean water is essential for ecosystem sustenance, agricultural and industrial production, sustainable fisheries, the generation of electricity, transportation, adequate sanitation, tourism, and to fulfill many other human needs. However, the distribution of an adequate and clean water supply is very variable in place and time as it not only depends on climatic conditions, geologic substrate, land cover, and topographic controls, but also on human uses and demands.  The variability of landscapes, climatic regions, and anthropogenic activities found throughout Latin America and the Insular Caribbean provide an adequate platform to explore the complex issues related to water resource accessibility and protection in light of the undeniable challenges to be faced in the upcoming decades due to climate change. Some of the topics to be discussed during this course will include issues related to water abundance such as desertification, incidence of drought, deglaciation, and saline intrusions into groundwater resources resulting from sea level rise. The course will also cover topics associated to contamination of both fresh and ocean waters by agricultural practices, cattle ranching, mining, urban expansion, and deforestation. Special attention will be given to the proliferation of dams and their physical, ecological, and human impacts. Case studies from various countries will be studied through qualitative and quantitative approaches with particular emphasis on water governance and adaptation measures at the national and community levels

Topics include environmental assessment methods and techniques, the conservation movement, and climate and people.

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing.

Course number may be repeated for credit when the topics vary.


LAS 330 • Environ Hazards Lat Amer/Carib

40900 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm SRH 1.320
(also listed as GRG 334C )
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The physical landscape of Latin America and the Caribbean continues to be formed and reshaped by natural processes that have acted over geologic time scales. When these processes threaten life and property they are called natural hazards. Recent documented worldwide increases in the human and economic toll associated to natural disasters are presumably related to population growth, socioeconomic factors, and climate change. This course will cover some of the natural disasters that occur throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, one of the most natural hazard-prone areas on Earth. Through readings and in class discussions students will learn about the physical phenomena that incites natural hazards, while also emerging with a comprehensive view of the temporal and geographical distribution of hazards throughout the region. The course will present humans as susceptible to hazards but also as capable of affecting the incidence and degree of damage through direct intervention of the landscape and through deficient land use planning strategies, socioeconomic inequality, and climate change. Students will also gain a well-informed perspective on risk evaluation, short-term emergency response challenges, and hazard mitigation strategies employed throughout the region.


Thomaz E, Vestena LR, Ramos-Scharrón CE, in press. The effects of unpaved roads on suspended sediment concentration of third- to fifth-order streams – A case study from southern Brazil. Water and Environment Journal.

Ramos-Scharrón CE, Castellanos E, Restrepo C. 2012. The transfer of organic Carbon by landslide activity in a tropical montane ecosystem in Guatemala. Submitted to Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences 117, GO3016.

Hernández-Delgado E, Ramos-Scharrón CE, Guerrero-Pérez C, Lucking MA, Laureano R, Méndez-Lázaro PA, Meléndez-Díaz JO. 2012. Development in tropical coastal habitats in a changing climate: lessons learned from Puerto Rico (Chapter 18). In: M Kasimoglu (Ed.), “Visions for Global Tourism Industry-Creating and Sustaining Competitive Strategies”, InTech Publications, Croatia, pp. 357-398.


Ramos-Scharrón CE, Amador-Gutierrez J, Hernández-Delgado E, 2012. An interdisciplinary erosion mitigation approach for coral reef protection- A case study from the Eastern Caribbean (Chapter 6). In: Marine Ecosystems- Intech Publications, pp. 127-160.


Ramos-Scharrón CE, 2012. Effectiveness of an erosion control method in reducing sediment production rates from an unpaved road. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 67(2): 87-100. [Email for copy]

Ramos-Scharrón CE, 2010. Sediment production from unpaved roads in a dry sub-tropical setting- Southwestern Puerto Rico. Catena 82(3): 146-158.


Restrepo C, Walker LR, Shiels AB, Bussman R, Claessens L, Fisch S, Lozano P, Negi G, Paolini L, Poveda G, Ramos-Scharrón C, Richter M, Velázquez E. 2009. Landsliding and its multiscale influence on mountainscapes. Bioscience 59(8): 685-698.


Ramos-Scharrón CE. 2009. The effects of land development on sediment loading rates into the coastal waters of the islands of Culebra and Vieques. Submitted to the Coastal Zone Management Program, PR Dept. of Natural and Environmental Resources. 94 p.


Fu B, Newham LTH, Ramos-Scharrón CE. 2010. A review of surface erosion and sediment delivery models for unsealed roads. Environmental Modelling and Software 25: 1-14.


Ramos-Scharrón CE, 2007. Sediment production from natural and disturbed surfaces in dry tropical areas of the Eastern Caribbean. Proceedings of the 7th Caribbean Island Water Resources Congress, Sangchul Hwang (Ed.), Univ. of the Virgin Islands Water Resources Research Institute, St Croix, USVI, pp. 26-30.


Ramos-Scharrón CE, MacDonald LH, 2007. Measurement and prediction of erosion rates from natural and anthropogenic sources of sediment in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands. Catena Special Issue-Soil water erosion on rural areas, 71: 250-266.


Benavides-Solorio J de D, Ramos-Scharrón CE. 2007. Impacts of forest fires and roads on hydrologic and surface erosion processes of forested watersheds. In: Manejo Integrado de Cuencas Hidrológicas (In Spanish). In: Avances de investigación en agricultura sostenible IV: Bases metodológicas para el manejo integral de cuencas hidrológicas, Sánchez-Brito et al. (eds.). INIFAP, Centro de Investigación Regional Pacífico Centro. Michoacán, México, pp. 333-386.


Ramos-Scharrón CE, MacDonald LH. 2007. Development and application of a GIS-based sediment budget model, Journal of Environmental Management, 84: 157-172.


Ramos-Scharrón CE, MacDonald LH. 2007. Runoff and suspended sediment yields from an unpaved road segment, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands, Hydrological Processes, 21(1): 35-50. 


Ramos-Scharrón CE, MacDonald LH. 2005. Measurement and prediction of sediment production from unpaved roads, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 30(10): 1283-1304.


Ramos CE. 1996. Quantification of stream channel morphological features: recommended procedures for use in watershed analysis and TFW ambient monitoring. TFW-AM 9-96-006, 89 p.


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