Researcher sees Redd as best hope for Amazon forest
Daniel Nepstad, a leading tropical-forest researcher, has studied the response of Amazonian ecosystems to deforestation, fragmentation and climate change for nearly three decades. He also has analyzed means of relieving pressure on the forest, including environmental certification of cattle ranching and soy farming. A senior scientist at Woods Hole Research Center until 2010, he co-founded the Amazon Institute of Environmental Studies, an independent research center headquartered in Belém, Brazil, in 1995. He is also co-founder of the Land Alliance and the Round Table on Sustainable Soy. Much of his work focuses on climate-change impacts; he is a lead author of the chapter on terrestrial and inland water systems in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment, due out in 2014. Nepstad has a master’s degree in plant ecology and botany from Michigan State University and a doctorate in forest ecology from Yale University. He spoke with EcoAméricas correspondent Barbara Fraser in Pucallpa, Peru, at a workshop for researchers studying fire in the western Amazon basin.