Socio-Ecological Research Advances in Tierra del Fuego

Jean-Paul Zagarola, a Master’s of Science in Biology student at the University of North Texas, recently defended his thesis entitled “A Socio-Ecological Analysis of Southern Patagonian Watersheds”. Zagarola’s research, which was funded by a Fulbright Scholarship and a National Science Foundation grant (OISE 0854350), was the first in the region to combine empirical scientific ecological methods with social science surveys to link the “ability” of watersheds to provide ecosystem services, and the way that the local community perceives and values these services. In this way, the work is meant to combine social and ecological information to determine whether or not existing management plans are meeting social needs and expectations, thereby integrating ecology and social well being.