Dr. Gerardo Avalos on the Impact of Globalization on Costa Rica

Topic: The Impact of Globalization on Costa Rica’s Environment and Economy

Institution: The School for Field Studies; The Center for Sustainable Development Studies

Bio: Gerardo Avalos is the Director of the Center for Sustainable Develoment Studies in Atenas, Costa Rica. He holds a Ph.D. and an MSc in plant physiological ecology and conservation from the University of Missouri at St. Louis. After obtaining his BSc in Biology at the University of Costa Rica, Gerardo began his graduate studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and then he transferred to the University of Missouri – St. Louis, where he investigated the physiological ecology of lianas and using a construction crane to reach the canopy working with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. His dissertation examined the light acclimation of tropical lianas to temporal and spatial changes in light availability at the surface the forest canopy. His current research interests include the biomechanics of tropical palms, the impact of illegal extraction on the population biology of palms, the ecophysiology of lianas, the effects of habitat fragmentation on species conservation of local and migratory birds, and the abundance cycles of aquatic macroinvertebrates. After serving for 6 years as the Center for Sustainable Development Studies resident ecologist, Gerardo became the Center Director in 2007.

Episode Summary:

Gerardo Avalos, Director of the Center for Sustainable Development Studies in Atenas, Costa Rica talks about some of the effects of globalizaton on Costa Rica’s economy, and how he believes policies to promote education and sustainable tourism represent ideal solutions for a small developing country like Costa Rica to adapt to the challenges and opportunities that greater global integration brings.

Gerardo’s Top Three:

1. Dan Johnson (UPenn)

2. Paul Richards

3. Leonardo Da Vinci