Nikolai Alvarado

  • Becoming a geographer

    • My path to becoming a geographer
      My path to becoming a geographer
  • Vita

  • Area of interest

    • Area of Specialization Statement

      Regional Nature-Society Geography: Latin America



                  My academic focus is on nature-society interactions in Latin America. More specifically, I’m interested in the interactions between indigenous peoples/communities and extractive industries that have a direct and/or indirect impact upon common-pool resources and the territories that support the livelihoods of these communities. Cognizant of the multidimensionality of factors at work in human-environmental interactions and the covert political and economic interests involved in resource-based struggles, I intend to use a political ecology approach that will allow me to gain a better understanding of the status quo of such interactions at the local scale. Of particular interest to me, in using the theoretical tools provided by the field of political ecology, are the contributions that my research could make to the literature on post-colonialism, environmental justice, peasant studies and social movements.

                  In addition to this main research interest, I have increasingly become fascinated by the concept of indigeneity and the construction of identity, which has allowed indigenous peoples to rely upon national and international organizations and statutes put in place to protect their cultural, civil and political rights. For example, national indigenous laws have allowed indigenous peoples (or those communities that decide to identify themselves as such) to secure communal land titles and to protect their ancestral territories from potential development and exploitation. In yet another example, the Convention No. 169 of the International Labor Organization has provided a political platform for indigenous peoples to articulate their claims in the international arena and to hold local governments accountable for the violation of their protected rights. In order to explore these concepts further I plan on reviewing literature that touches upon the concept of indigeneity, as well as taking classes that engage in the subject of indigenous peoples and international law.

  • Thesis Topic

    • The socioeconomic and cultural impacts of salmon aquaculture development upon Mapuche-Williche communities of southern Chile.

  • Photos

    • @ PepiukelÚn indigenous community, Chile
      @ PepiukelÚn indigenous community, Chile

      With biologist Héctor Kol (Left) and Mapuche-Williche community "Pepiukelén" spokesperson (Werkén) Francisco Vera Millaquén in Pargua, Chile.

This portfolio last updated: Jan 11, 2012 11:56:52 PM