2016 Schmink Dissertation Awardee Seminar

TCD and The Center for Latin American Studies would like to invite you to the 2016 Marianne Schmink Dissertation Awardee special seminar

Tourism consumption of biodiversity: Thatch huts & tropical forest management

By Dr. José Antonio Sierra Huelsz

2016 Marianne Schmink Outstanding Dissertation Awardee*

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

 11:30 am — 12:30 pm

Grinter Hall – Room 404

The talk will be followed by discussion & pizza lunch in Grinter 471 .

RSVP for lunch: tcd@latam.ufl.edu


*The M. Schmink Dissertation Award recognizes outstanding PhD thesis that promotes TCD’s mission to bridge theory and practice to advance biodiversity conservation, sustainable resource use, and human well-being in the tropics.



Tourism is a major economic sector and an important consumer of natural resources globally. Nonetheless, the linkages between tourism and forest resource use have been largely ignored. Dr. Sierra Huelsz’s dissertation research used the iconic thatched hut, present in tourism destinations across the tropics, as an analytical unit to examine critically forest-tourism linkages. He conducted his work in the state of Quintana Roo, in the Mexican Caribbean region. His research integrates ecology, market governance and cultural dimensions to examine the emergence and evolution of forest-tourism linkages and the factors that drive resource vulnerability.


Dr. Sierra Huelsz received his B.S. and his MSc in biology at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, in Mexico City and Morelia campuses respectively. He obtained his PhD in UF’s School of Forest Resources and Conservation with a Tropical Conservation and Development (TCD) concentration. He has worked on diverse community-based projects from medicinal flora and non-timber assessments to sustainable forestry initiatives. He currently is a post-doctoral fellow at Morelos State University in Mexico and collaborates closely with People and Plants International.

Dr. Sierra Huelsz also received the Forest Resources and Conservation Outstanding Dissertation Award conferred by the School of Forest Resources and Conservation (SFRC).

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