Joel E. Correia

Assistant Professor
Center for Latin American Studies

Social & environmental justice; human rights; Indigenous politics & indigeneity; political ecology; land politics; resource rule; legal geographies; collaborative research methods.


Paraguay; Gran Chaco; Southern Cone

  • LAS 4935/6398: Human Rights in Latin America
  • LAS 4935: Drug Wars and Oil Fortunes in Latin America
  • LAS 6938: Indigenous environmental justice, decolonization, and development in Latin America
  • LAS 6938: Infrastructure, environment, society: Geographies of socio-ecological change
  • LAS 6938: Land politics: Race, rights, and power in the Américas

Joel E. Correia is a human-environment geographer whose research and teaching focus on geographies of justice by investigating intersections of human rights, development, and environmental change with attention to Indigenous politics and decolonization in Latin America.

He writes about struggles for justice and emancipatory futures in the context of radical social-ecological change in Latin America. Much of that work examines dynamics of large-scale infrastructure development, expanding extractive frontiers, deforestation, Indigenous rights, territorialities, and social movements. His current and recent field-based research projects are based in the Gran Chaco (Paraguay, Bolivia, Argentina) and the Ecuadorian Amazon. Correia is currently working on projects related to Indigenous territorial management and land rights, the implementation of Inter-American Court of Human Rights decisions, legacies of settler colonialism, expanding agrarian frontiers, political ecologies of infrastructure, and relationships between biocultural diversity, climate change mitigation, and just conservation policy.

Joel’s research is widely published in leading geography and interdisciplinary journals that include Annals of the American Association of Geographers, Journal of Peasant Studies, Geoforum, Journal of Political Ecology, and Journal of Latin American Geography. He has also contributed chapters to edited volumes from Routledge, Edward Elgar, Oxford University Press (in review), among others. Correia’s first book, Disrupting the patrón: Unsettling racial geographies in pursuit of Indigenous environmental justice, is currently under review. In addition to academic publishing, he also contributes to public outlets like The Conversation and has been interviewed for works on Indigenous human rights and environmental change by NBC Latino, Mongabay, World Politics Review, among others.

Correia’s research is currently supported by grants and funding from the National Science Foundation Dynamics of Integrated Socio-Environmental Systems directorate, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Fulbright Scholar program. He has also received generous support from the University of Florida through competitive funding as a 2019 Global Fellow and the 2021 Global Learning Institute. His teaching has been recognized with a 2020 UF International Educator of the Year award and the 2021 Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs Junior Faculty of the Year award.

In addition to co-coordinating the MALAS Indigenous Studies Specialization, Joel is currently laying the groundwork to create a critical environments and justice working group. Students interested in working on topics related to environmental justice, climate justice, human rights, Indigenous rights, political ecology, and critical development studies are encouraged to contact Correia about opportunities at UF.

Joel is a core faculty member of the Tropical Conservation and Development program as well as the Masters in Sustainable Development Practice. He is a faculty affiliate of the Department of Geography, the School of Natural Resources and Environment, and the American and Indigenous Studies Program.  

After receiving his Ph.D. in geography from the University of Colorado Boulder in August 2017, Joel completed a Postdoctoral position at the University of Arizona (2017-18). He holds an MA in Latin American Studies from the University of Arizona and a BA in Geography from Humboldt State University.

For more information, please visit his personal website: