Volume 16 - 2006
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 recovery.
"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 conservation 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 ecosystems. In addition to the management of forest landscapes, he studies 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 and Spain.
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."
Coastal sediments reveal ancient tsunamis and hurricane storm surges.
- By Sara LaJeunesse
PATHS project creates interest in health fields for Hispanic students.
- By Cass Bruton
Few places on the planet have the lineup of microscopes available at UNT.
By James Naples
UNT scientists reach the Holy Grail of computational chemistry.
- By Sally Bell
Ethnomusicology research covers women's music festivals and African healing practices.
- By Cass Bruton
An art historian's quest for missing Iraqi art will help preserve a culture.
- By Ellen Rossetti
Zebrafish and chicken embryos shed light on hemophilia and heart defects.
- By Kim MacQueen
Student's award-winning research with nematodes may help treat cell damage.
- By Nancy Kolsti
Research at UNT is student centered, broad based and far reaching.
UNT research ranges from brain tracking to eye tracking, RFID to VoIP, early college high schools to early music.
Student research includes quantum mechanics, mathematical modeling, computer programming and linguistic profiling.
Cultural health beliefs, computational perception of motion, space station hardware and genetics occupy these former UNT students.
UNT authors write on emergency management, multiphase flows, structural equation modeling and entrepreneurship.
Miguel Acevedo's research makes environmental issues clear.