Dr. Robert Walker earned his PhD in Regional Science at the University of Pennsylvania in 1984. He is currently Professor of Latin American Studies and Geography at the University of Florida. He served as economist at the International Institute of Tropical Forestry (U.S. Forest Service) in Puerto Rico, 1991-1993, and has taught at the Federal University of Pará, in Belém, Brazil, at the mouth of the Amazon River. Dr. Walker studies the manner in which ranchers, loggers, and peasant farmers impact their forest environment. In conducting his research, he has traveled thousands of miles on dirt roads crisscrossing the Amazon Basin. In 2010, he and two Brazilian colleagues transited the entire Transamazon Highway to its terminus on the Purus River, Amazonas State. Dr. Walker’s travels have afforded him the privilege of encountering a number of the region’s indigenous peoples, including the Arara, the Kararaô, the Kayapó, and the Munduruku. Dr. Walker is an environmentalist, and his primary concern is the current Brazilian plan to build mega-dams on the Tapajós River, the homeland of the Muduruku tribe.
Host Dan Loney is joined by Rachael Garrett (Assistant Professor, ETH Zurich), Robert Walker (Professor of Latin American Studies and Geography, University of Florida), and Cynthia Dahl (Practice Professor of Law; Director of Detkin IP and Technology Legal Clinic, University of Pennsylvania Law School) on the Thursday, September 5, 2019 edition of Knowledge@Wharton.