AmazonRyan Valdez
Ryan Valdez

Smithsonian Institution GIS scientist to speak at UTSA Oct. 18 on Amazon project

(Oct. 13, 2004)--The UTSA Department of Earth and Environmental Science and the Center for Water Research host Ryan Valdez of the Smithsonian Institution speaking on "Amazon Watching" at 7 p.m., Monday, Oct. 18 in Science Building Room 2.03.12 at the 1604 Campus.

Accompanied by a multimedia presentation, Valdez will discuss GIS (geographic information system), a computer-based tool for mapping and analyzing the Earth, and the Amazon GIS Project of the Smithsonian's National Zoological Park.

Using GIS tools, high-resolution photography, the Internet and a network of concerned scientists, the project will create maps to study the changing ecology of the Amazon and promote the survival of the rainforest.

The Amazon is the world's largest intact tropical forest, covering more than 7.5 million square kilometers of South America. Human population growth continues to soar, along with agricultural, pastoral and mining activities that negatively affect the greatest concentration of biodiversity on Earth.

The unique and irreplaceable ecosystem is in jeopardy, and development presents one of the great conservation challenges of the 21st century.

For more information contact, Stephen Brown at (210) 458-4956.

--Kris Rodriguez