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Extramural Research

Grantee Research Project Results

Grantee Research Project Results

Forest Ecosystems and Sustainable Environmental Management in the Temperate Rainforests of the Meseta Tarasca in the State of Michoacan, Mexico

EPA Grant Number: U915915
Title: Forest Ecosystems and Sustainable Environmental Management in the Temperate Rainforests of the Meseta Tarasca in the State of Michoacan, Mexico
Investigators: Guerrero-Murillo, Narcizo
Institution: University of Texas at El Paso
EPA Project Officer: Graham, Karen
Project Period: January 1, 2001 through January 1, 2004
Project Amount: $80,961
RFA: Minority Academic Institutions (MAI) Fellowships for Graduate Environmental Study (2001)
Research Category: Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration , Academic Fellowships , Fellowship - Environmental Science



The objective of this research project is to create an integrated forest management model to be used for temperate rainforests. In the specific case study that I will be examining, temperate rainforests are being deforested to provide land for cattle grazing, avocado orchards, and cropland. The benefits of this study include not only primary research regarding existing temperate forest ecosystems, but also an assessment of threats to this ecosystem from contemporary management or de facto practices.


The meseta is the volcanic plateau home of the Tarascan Indians in Michoacán, Mexico. In this area, the native people depend on the forest ecosystem to make their living. An over-dependency on the forest ecosystem to meet community needs has put stress on the forest ecosystem (including water and soil resources) in several communities, resulting in a lack of local employment. As a result, the native people emigrate to the United States and other locations in Mexico looking for employment. Many who emigrate to the United States frequently have negative experiences, while others live in difficult economic and social conditions on the U.S.-Mexico border. I intend to create a model for sustainable and integrated exploitation of forest ecosystems that can be implemented by the local native people and adapted to their needs. In this way, I hope to preserve forest resources, create new sources of employment, and reduce emigration to the United States.

Supplemental Keywords:

fellowship, forest ecosystem, sustainable environmental management, meseta terasca, temporate rainforest, Tarascan Indians, Mexico, integrated forest management., RFA, Scientific Discipline, INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION, Geographic Area, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Forestry, Monitoring/Modeling, Ecology and Ecosystems, International, Country & Regional Programs, model-based analysis, sustainability assessment, agroforestry models, forest management, forest ecosystem, conservation, environmental impact, ecological models, deforestation, Mexico

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The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Conclusions drawn by the principal investigators have not been reviewed by the Agency.

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