martes, 28 de diciembre de 2010

Ph.D. position: The effects of roads on indigenous people’s well-being and use of natural resources. A natural experiment in lowland Bolivia

Doctoral Candidate in Environmental Sciences needed for an NSF field study in Bolivia

“Construction ahead”: The effects of roads on indigenous people’s well-being and use of natural resources. A natural experiment in lowland Bolivia.

Duration of work: January 2011- December 2013

The Bolivian government plans to build a road linking Villa Tunari in the highland department of Cochabamba with the town of San Ignacio de Moxos, a town in the lowland department of Beni. The proposed road will cut through a national park and territories inhabited by several native Amazonian groups. The proposed study uses the construction of the road as a natural experiment and includes measuring indicators of well being and use of natural resources before and after the construction of the road in treatment and control communities.

To carry out the study, a doctoral candidate in environmental sciences is needed to serve as research associate (3-years). The student will be in charge of analyzing satellite images on the area where the road would be conducted and were two native Amazonian populations in Bolivia that will be affected the by road: Tsimane' and Moxenos. The student will work in coordination with a team of three anthropologists who will be in charge of conducting the field research of the project. Candidates should have a strong background in the social or natural sciences, including courses in statistics and research methods and be fluent in Spanish. The student needs to be familiar with geographic information systems, GIS, and remote sensing. The student will be responsible for conducting a Land Use-Land Change analysis of the affected areas (including the TCOs, TIM and TIPNIS).

The student is encouraged to pursue her/his own research plan and collect data for her/his dissertation. Most of the data analysis will take place in Barcelona, but the student is expected to travel at least once to the field area. Travel and living expenses while in the field will be paid for. The project will also cover round-trip travel to Bolivia. The student will receive a scholarship during the duration of the research.

The field work component of the research (mostly affecting other members of the team) is scheduled to begin in May of 2011, but familiarization with the road construction project, and with the history and ethnography of Moxos should start in January 2011. A team meeting will take place in the area during May-June 2011. Interested students should send a letter of interest and a current CV to Professors Victoria Reyes-García ( or Ricardo Godoy ( by December 31, 2010 to receive full consideration.