At the heart of IMAZON is the idea that the power of scientists to influence prevailing patterns of Amazonian land use lies in the appropriateness and quality of the information produced and in the ability to make that information accessible to those working to promote conservation and sustainable resource uses. Throughout the years of his fellowship, Uhl focused IMAZON's efforts on research, training and public education.
He also operated a university-type master's program within IMAZON, working closely with twelve young Brazilians to define research questions and design appropriate methodological approaches to answer them. These efforts resulted in 14 papers and six of the young researchers were offered scholarships at universities.
Uhl also played a significant role in securing funding for IMAZON and in developing an institutional culture that leads to continued dynamism and vitality. IMAZON now provides a powerful model of the role that civil society can play in influencing natural resource conservation and use in the country.
As a human ecologist, Christopher Uhl studies the relationship of humans to the nonhuman world using the tools and perspectives of biology, ecology, economics, political science and ethics. His efforts are aimed at promoting a sustainable world.
At the global level, Christopher has worked for nearly two decades examining the ecological impacts of human activities on Amazonian ecosystems, such as slash-and-burn agriculture, ranching, mining, logging and fire. He has examined topics ranging from nutrient cycling and plant productivity through seed dispersal and plant succession, to forest management, land-use zoning and fire ecology.
In recent years, he has extended his Amazonian research to consider the economic, social and political factors contributing to the impoverishment of Amazonian ecosystems. In 1990, working with Brazilian scientists, Christopher helped create a non-governmental research institution, IMAZON (Amazon Institute of Man and the Environment). The organization conducts research and policy analysis on the major environmental resource-use issues of Eastern Amazonia. In particular, it has explored the ecological impacts and the economic significance of logging practices in the region to develop sustainable logging strategies.
Bachelor of Science, University of Michigan
1971: Asian Studies, Michigan, USA
Ph.D., Michigan State University
Plant Ecology, Michigan, USA
KEY AWARDS & HONORS
1992: Pew Fellows Program in Conservation and the Environment