November 16, 2020
We are pleased to announce that Dr. C. Andrea Baudoin Farah is the 2020 winner of the Marianne Schmink Outstanding Dissertation Award from UF's Tropical Conservation and Development Program. Dr. Baudoin received her Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Ecology in 2019 from the School of Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE) program under the supervision of Dr. Stephen Perz. The outstanding dissertation award was established in 2010 in recognition of Dr. Marianne Schmink, former Director of the TCD Program for her significant and transformative contributions to graduate education, the Center for Latin American Studies and the TCD Program.
Dr. Baudoin’s dissertation entitled “Volver a hablar con la Gente del Agua”: Meanders of indigenous autonomy in the Isiboro Sécure Indigenous Territory and National Park (TIPNIS), Bolivia” exemplifies the interdisciplinary, theoretical and praxis-oriented aspects of the UF TCD Program. In her dissertation, Andrea examined how natural resource management was influenced by the politics engulfing infrastructure development and indigenous social movements in Bolivia. Her research evaluated complexity surrounding issues of autonomy and its meanings for lowland indigenous peoples, which would prove relevant to providing insights on how national government entities would impact local efforts for sustainable resource management. Her work also examined how environmental governance changed over a 30-year period in the TIPNIS region in ways that resulted in less local control, conflict, and lowered protections for indigenous territories and national parks. Andrea’s studies also revealed how perspectives of governance and autonomy differ between the national government and local indigenous communities in ways that lessen the effectiveness of local autonomy and sustainable resource use. Throughout her work, Andrea relied on a diversity of literature and cutting-edge analytical techniques as she unraveled complex issues related to governance, territory and autonomy. She also established meaningful and trusted partnerships with local indigenous communities which were essential to understand local perspectives and gather information from a diverse set of stakeholders, often in conflict.
The selection committee noted that Dr. Baudoin has made important contributions to environmental governance, indigenous autonomy, and sustainable resource use. This dissertation exemplifies the TCD program through its ability to link theory and practice, work and establish partnerships, and contribute to addressing real-world problems.
Dr. Baudoin is currently working for the Socio-Environmental Institute Bolivia (ISA Bolivia) as capacity building and research coordinator of the “Bolivia debates” initiative (#BoliviaDebate). She is also an associated researcher at the Institute of Socio-Economic Research of the “San Pablo” Bolivian Catholic University (IISEC-UCB) and a member of the b\rd of directors of the Institute for Rural Development of South America (Instituto para el Desarrollo Rural de Sudamérica IPDRS).
The Selection Committee was composed of TCD core faculty Dr. J. Richard Stepp (Center for Latin American Studies & Department of Anthropology), and TCD affiliate faculty Dr. Augusto Oyuela-Caycedo (Department of Anthropology), and Dr. Trent Blare (TCD/UF Alum, UF Tropical Research and Education Center, Department of Food Resources and Economics).
The TCD program and the Center for Latin American Studies congratulate Dr. Baudoin on her selection as the 2020 recipient of the Marianne Schmink Outstanding Dissertation Award!