2019 Marianne Schmink Outstanding Dissertation Award in Tropical Conservation and Development

Dr. Myrian Sá Leitão Barboza is the 10th recipient of this prestigious dissertation award that honors Dr. Schmink for her significant and transformative contributions to graduate education, the Center for Latin American Studies and the TCD Program.

2019 Marianne Schmink Outstanding Dissertation Award in Tropical Conservation and Development

January 21, 2020

Our congratulations go to Dr. Myrian Sá Leitão Barboza for being selected the 2019 recipient of the Marianne Schmink Outstanding Dissertation Award from UF’s Tropical Conservation and Development Program in the Center for Latin American Studies. Dr. Barboza is the 10th recipient of this prestigious dissertation award that honors Dr. Schmink for her significant and transformative contributions to graduate education, the Center for Latin American Studies and the TCD Program. Dr. Schmink was instrumental in establishing the early interdisciplinary research and training programs that evolved into the Tropical Conservation and Development (TCD) program in the 1980’s. Dr. Barboza completed her dissertation in the Department of Anthropology under the supervision of Dr. Augusto Oyuela-Caycedo (advisor) and Dr. Marianne Schmink (co-advisor). Her dissertation was entitled “Tükuna cosmopolitical cartography: the gendered meaning and use of territories by Katukina indigenous people (Biá River, Brazilian Amazonia)”.

The Schmink Dissertation Award selection committee was impressed by Dr. Barboza’s ability to integrate indigenous knowledge and perspectives with western scientific knowledge as she documented how Katukina peoples understand and manage Amazonian landscapes. Myrian’s dissertation offers a new native perspective on space and time and contributes to the understanding of gender roles and indigenous perspectives in the construction of Amazonian territory. Myrian’s dissertation research highlights how the Katukina have established relations of use, sharing, and appropriation over time in their landscapes, and how their management of landscapes has affected biodiversity, through comparative examination by gender groups.  The committee noted that her dissertation was an outstanding example of interdisciplinary research as it reveals new insights regarding indigenous land management, including the dynamics of management for sustainability, especially relevant with changing climate in the region.

Myrian has complemented her research with a TCD Practitioner Experience grant where she returned results to the Katukina people and worked with them to produce a manual based on their indigenous knowledge. In addition, through a Schmink Innovation award from TCD, she led a collaborative training program bringing together native people and educators to develop innovative instructional curricula grounded in traditional knowledge. Dr. Barboza also received three awards for her photography, poster and numerous travel and research awards from across University of Florida. Prior to coming to UF with a competitive scholarship from Brazil’s post-graduate education agency CAPES, Myrian worked as a consultant for Brazil’s indigenous foundation FUNAI, and as a researcher for OPAN, an NGO focused on indigenous rights. After leaving UF, she resumed her professor position in the Archeology and Anthropology Program at the Federal University of Western Pará (UFOPA) in Santarém, Brazil.

The Selection Committee included Dr. Richard Stepp (UF Center for Latin American Studies & Department of Anthropology), Dr. Timothy Murtha (UF Center for Latin American Studies and Department of Landscape Architecture) and TCD alumna Dr. Amanda Stronza (Texas A&M University). The TCD program and the Center for Latin American Studies congratulate Dr. Barboza on her selection as the 2019 recipient of the Marianne Schmink Outstanding Dissertation Award!

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