Andrea B. Chavez

Co-Coordinator Pan-Amazon Infrastructure Governance Community of Practice and Assistant Scientist
Tropical Conservation and Development Program
Center for Latin American Studies

Forest management, landscape ecology, political ecology, land use/land cover change, remote sensing and GIS applications, citizen science, social and biophysical driving forces of landscape change.


Peru, Bolivia, Brazil


As a Geographer, Andrea is co-leading the governance and infrastructure grant activities in the Pan-Amazon Community of Practice to improve transparency and accountability of infrastructure planning for good governance of protected areas mosaics. She has been a Courtesy Faculty in the Center of Latin American Studies and the Tropical Conservation and Development Program since 2015 and is an affiliated researcher in the Spatial Ecology & Conservation (SPEC) Lab. From 2009 to 2011 she has been a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Climate Change and Environmental Public Policies with the University of Florida at the Universidad Nacional Amazónica de Madre de Dios, in Puerto Maldonado, Peru and served as a Co-Director for the Project “Building Conservation Capacity in a Changing Amazonia,” with the Universidad Nacional de Ucayali (UNU), Pucallpa, Peru and the University of Richmond. The project was funded by USAID through the Higher Education for Development (HED). Since 2009, Andrea has been working on capacity building initiatives via applied research, training and extension activities in the conservation of natural resource management. She has mentored more than 30 students from Amazonian Universities to conduct interdisciplinary applied environmental research, reflect critically on natural resource management, and respond to the emerging challenges of changing Amazonia. Andrea received her doctorate in Geography from the University of Florida and received a master’s degree in Political Science from Karl-Ruprechts-Universität in Heidelberg, Germany and master’s degree in Geography from the University of Miami, Fl. For more than 20 years, Andrea has been conducting research in community management of natural resources in the forests of Cusco, Madre de Dios, Ucayali in Peru, Acre, Brazil, and Pando, Bolivia. Andrea is particularly interested in the study of environmental impacts as a result of natural processes and humans in tropical regions from a social science and natural science perspective. She has focused on the importance of government policies for land use decision-making in tropical frontier areas, where the highest total forest clearing takes place and environmental and socio-economic implications for forest cover change can be devastating.

Andrea believes scientists need to incorporate a more “eye-opening” understanding of how social and economic development pathways are linked and consider the way individuals and communities perceive themselves in relation to one another and the world around them. She is further deeply concerned about the relationship between science and society and fostering a deep understanding between practice and theory.