UNT Research, Volume 16, 2006 Page: Back Inside
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Miguel Acevedo's research has shown that in Venezuela, where
he once roamed the rain forests as a boy, forests are being harvested
in rotation periods of 30 years. That's far quicker than the 100
years his simulation results indicate are required for ecosystem
"If you don't cut at that rate of 30 years and you're a timber
extractor, you make less money. It's a difficult problem to solve
because it depends on the value you place on wealth and conserva-
tion of resources," he says.
A professor in the Department of Geography and the
Institute of Applied Sciences at UNT since 1992, Acevedo uses
real-time technology and collaborates with a team of researchers
across the globe to study human relationships with natural ecosys-
tems. In addition to the management of forest landscapes, he stud-
ies the protection of watersheds to determine how humans can
best use natural resources.
The interdisciplinary research - which involves biologists,
geographers, philosophers, mathematicians, computer scientists and
engineers - has also led to the creation of real-time environmental
observatories in the Denton area, where information about ozone,
water quality and ultraviolet radiation is automatically transmitted
using wireless technology.
Elementary and middle school teachers use www.ecoplex.
unt.edu to share information about the Dallas-Fort Worth
environment with their students, and long-term plans are to make
environmental observatories available in other areas of Texas and
in several Latin American countries.
The National Science Foundation has provided funding for
Acevedo's research, which includes the Greenbelt Corridor and Big
Thicket National Park in Texas as well as the rain forests of South
America. He works with a network of collaborators from UNT
and with universities in South America, Central America, Mexico
In the summers, he organizes trips for UNT students to visit
Spain, where they study science, geography, ecology and archaeology.
In 2007, the students plan to visit Mexico for studies of human
interaction with the environment.
"We need to use land and resources," Acevedo says, "but we
need to search for ways in which we can make them sustainable."
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University of North Texas. UNT Research, Volume 16, 2006, periodical, 2006; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29777/m1/47/: accessed July 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting University Relations, Communications & Marketing department for UNT.