Carlos F. Mena

Carlos F. Mena
Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) · School of Biological and Environmental Sciences

Ph.D. in Geography, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

About

79
Publications
24,102
Reads
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1,640
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2008 - present
Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ)
Position
  • Co-Director
January 2008 - December 2015
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Position
  • Professor (Associate)

Publications

Publications (79)
Article
Full-text available
This research has been developed in the city of Esmeraldas, which is one of the poorest urban centers of Ecuador. Historically, the economic dynamics of the city have been related to the extraction of natural resources, but little has been invested in local populations. The objectives of this paper are, first, to create a predictive scenario of urb...
Book
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The Science Panel for the Amazon (SPA) is an unprecedented initiative convened under the auspices of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN). The SPA is composed of over 200 preeminent scientists and researchers from the eight Amazonian countries, French Guiana, and global partners. These experts came together to debate,...
Article
Full-text available
Dengue is recognized as a major health issue in large urban tropical cities but is also observed in rural areas. In these environments, physical characteristics of the landscape and sociodemographic factors may influence vector populations at small geographic scales, while prior immunity to the four dengue virus serotypes affects incidence. In 2019...
Article
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The Galapagos Islands are a global hotspot of environmental change. However, despite their potentially major repercussions, little is known about current and expected changes in regional terrestrial climate variables and sea surface temperatures (SST). Here, by analysing existing meteorological observations and secondary datasets, we find that the...
Article
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The unique marine and terrestrial ecosystems of the Galapagos Islands are highly vulnerable to human-based drivers of change, including the introduction of invasive species, unsustainable tourism, illegal fishing, overexploitation of ecosystem services, and climate change. These drivers can interact with climate-based drivers such as El Niño-Southe...
Chapter
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The assessment of the sustainability should be tackled with a systemic perspective that enables an integrated analysis of the environmental, social, economic , and institutional factors and their interactions characterizing protected areas, as well as other complex socio-ecological systems. An integrated framework for such assessment is presented w...
Article
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To limit the probable increase in global mean temperature to 2 °C, about 80%, 50% and 30% of existing coal, gas and oil reserves, respectively, would need to remain under the soil. While the concept of ‘unburnable fuels’ has become prominent, there has been little discussion on institutional mechanisms to identify specific fossil fuel reserves to b...
Chapter
The original version of this chapter was revised due to author name was incorrectly mentioned. This has now been updated as “Homero A. Paltán” in the chapter opening page and front matter of the book.
Article
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Border regions have been implicated as important hot spots of malaria transmission, particularly in Latin America, where free movement rights mean that residents can cross borders using just a national ID. Additionally, rural livelihoods largely depend on short-term migrants traveling across borders via the Amazon’s river networks to work in extrac...
Chapter
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The purpose of the RIOCCADAPT report is to assess the climate change adaptation actions being carried out in the member countries of the Red Iberoamericana de Oficinas de Cambio Climático (Ibero-American Network of Climate Change Offices or RIOCC), i.e., Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries in the Americas, the Caribbean, and the Iberian Peni...
Article
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The Texaco/Chevron lawsuit, which started in November 1993 and is still being litigated in 2020, is a prominent example of the process of judicialization of environmental conflict. The Ecuadorian plaintiffs claim that the oil company’s operations generated ruinous impacts on the environment and on the development prospects and health of nearby indi...
Chapter
Climate change poses severe threats towards global agricultural land, ultimately hindering the achievement of food security. This is particularly acute precise for inhabited oceanic islands where various intrinsic constraints challenge self-sufficiency of food. In the Galapagos Islands this is stressed out by a combination of unclear regional futur...
Chapter
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Español/ Português El Informe RIOCCADAPT, Adaptación frente a los riegos del cambio climático en los países de la Red Iberoamericana de Oficinas de Cambio Climático (RIOCC), conformada por los países de lengua española y portuguesa de América, islas del Caribe y la Península Ibérica, es una iniciativa pionera financiada por el Programa ARAUCLIMA d...
Chapter
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El Informe RIOCCADAPT tiene por objetivo evaluar las actuaciones sobre adaptación al cambio climático que se están llevando a cabo en los países de la Red Iberoamericana de Oficinas de Cambio Climático (RIOCC), esto es, los países de lengua española y portuguesa de América, islas del Caribe y la Península Ibérica. El análisis de la adaptación se ha...
Article
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This paper reports on an ongoing initiative that seeks to enhance the detection, monitoring, and reporting capabilities of local communities in the Northern Ecuadorian Amazon through the introduction of hardware and digital tools, as a strategy to strengthen their ability to produce socio-environmental evidence. A Community Based Monitoring (CBM) s...
Research
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Scientific Framework to Save the Amazon By Scientists of the Amazon Countries and Global Partners September 30, 2019 We, the scientists who study and monitor the Amazon rainforest, appeal to the reason and conscience of humankind. The Amazon, the largest rainforest in the world, is at great risk of destruction, and with it the well-being of our ge...
Article
Background: Despite relatively successful control campaigns, malaria remains a relevant public health problem in the Peruvian Amazon. Several studies suggest that malaria persistence in the area can be connected with a high prevalence of asymptomatic infections, which were subsequently shown to be connected with work-related exposure in areas of h...
Chapter
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Why do some residents of the Ecuadorian Amazon support the expansion of oil extraction in their communities even when they believe that the impact of extractive industries on their communities and families has been negative, environmentally as well as economically? Building on nearly a decade of participatory research in the region, this chapter co...
Chapter
Biodiversity of island ecosystems has made them very attractive to develop tourism activities. Nature tourism is considered a potential sustainable economic opportunity that could encourage environmental protection while improving local livelihoods. Nevertheless, given the complexity of social and ecological multi-scale interactions, a systemic ass...
Book
Designed as a learning and management tool, this book is intended to serve both local communities and environmental managers to preserve the biodiversity, ecosystem services and the beauty of the Andean-Amazonian rivers. In its first part, the book presents a characterization of these ecosystems, and a preliminary description of their diversity and...
Article
Like many other oceanic islands around the globe, environmental conditions, social circumstances and forces of globalization combine to challenge the sustainability of the Galapagos Archipelago of Ecuador. This paper describes a food-supply system in Galapagos that is mainly controlled by population growth, weak local agriculture, imports from main...
Article
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Though malaria control initiatives have markedly reduced malaria prevalence in recent decades, global eradication is far from actuality. Recent studies show that environmental and social heterogeneities in low-transmission settings have an increased weight in shaping malaria micro-epidemiology. New integrated and more localized control strategies s...
Chapter
The application of remote sensing techniques in threatened ecosystems such as the Galapagos Islands has shown to be a powerful tool for decision-making. Specifically in the case of San Cristobal Island, it will allow accurate mapping and modeling techniques at relatively low costs for battling invasive species such as guava and wax apple. This rese...
Article
This study develops a mixed, systematic, low-cost methodology to define and map native vegetation and the spread of the most aggressive invasive species in islands biomes, focusing on the Galápagos National Park (GNP). Based on preliminary legends defined by experts, Landsat 8/OLI fusion imagery was used for object-oriented classification to obtain...
Article
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In the Ecuadorian Amazon roads play the major role in transforming land cover. Since the beginning of the oil development in this region, oil exploration and road building have been linked. The objectives of this paper are twofold: First, to present a scenario of future deforestation as result of expanding the oil frontier in the Ecuadorian Amazon...
Article
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This paper examines changes over time for a full generation of migrant settlers in the Northern Ecuadorian Amazon (NEA). Data were collected from a 2014 household survey covering a subsample of households surveyed previously in 1990 and 1999. We observed changes in demographic behavior, land use, forest cover, and living conditions. As the frontier...
Chapter
The scale and impacts of changes to beaches due to natural hazards, human use, economic development, tectonic uplift and subsidence, and climate change, especially, sea level rise and storm surges can generate persistent as well as temporary beach forms that are important to tourism, animal behavior, and conservation of diverse and fragile ecosyste...
Chapter
This article explores a case study on how community monitoring systems and remote sensing can be linked to maximize opportunities. Specifically, this study tries to find new ways to find the extent of oil liabilities and to explore the real magnitude of oil impacts in the landscape in the Northern Ecuadorian Amazon. The article reports preliminary...
Article
This paper presents a decision-support system based on a system dynamics model designed to examine tourism management in the Galapagos Islands. A participatory approach was used to integrate the views of multiple stakeholders in the Galapagos Islands and to build an understandable, graphical representation of the impacts of tourism and residential...
Article
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Galapagos is often cited as an example of the conflicts that are emerging between resource conservation and economic development in island ecosystems, as the pressures associated with tourism threaten nature, including the iconic and emblematic species, unique terrestrial landscapes, and special marine environments. In this paper, two projects are...
Article
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The Amazon environment has been exposed in the last decades to radical changes that have been accompanied by a remarkable rise of both Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax malaria. The malaria transmission process is highly influenced by factors such as spatial and temporal heterogeneities of the environment and individual-based characteristi...
Research
Full-text available
CoCooN/ NEBE Working paper, January 2013
Article
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With the continuing decline in the global extent of tropical forests, agriculture-dominated landscapes now cover approximately 50 % of the tropical biome. In this context, our ability to understand and influence biodiversity and carbon sequestration in the tropics depends in large part on our understanding of actively managed landscapes. Approximat...
Article
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Plant invasive species are one of the most important threats to the ecological stability of the Galapagos Islands and Psidium guajava is one of the most aggressive invasive plants: it currently occupies large areas in the middle and upper zones of some of the islands. This study measures the future spread of Psidium guajava in the south-east area o...
Chapter
Full-text available
Analysis of marine and coastal systems is of fundamental importance to environmental scientists, engineers, and managers. Since the 1960s, remote sensing has played an important role in characterizing the marine environment, with particular emphasis on sea surface features, temperature, and salinity; mapping of shorelines, wetlands, and coral reefs...
Article
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Currently tourism is the main driver of change in the Galapagos Islands, affecting the social, terrestrial, and marine sub-systems. Tourism also has direct and indirect consequences for the unique archipelago's natural habitats and for the human well-being. Describing the mechanisms that drive and affect most the tourism development in Galapagos is...
Chapter
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This study links social and ecological aspects of the white fin fishery in San Cristobal Island. This is a traditional fishery focused at first on the Galapagos grouper (Mycteroperca olfax), a top predator and an iconic species of the archipelago as part of a traditional dish to celebrate Easter on the continent. We used anecdotal information and p...
Article
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This article focuses on two innovative approaches to teaching human–environment interactions and international engagement in geography: (1) utilization of an agent-based model (ABM) at undergraduate levels to explicitly demonstrate complexity theories, and (2) implementation of a teaching experiment that connects students simultaneously enrolled in...
Book
The recent passing of “Lonesome George,” the last remaining Giant Tortoise from Pinta Island in the Galapagos Archipelago of Ecuador, marks a sad farewell to yet another species from Planet Earth. The vulnerability of island ecosystems is particularly striking, especially given the expanding human imprint in many of these fragile settings and the c...
Article
Methods for the design of samples to collect data on migrants as 'rare elements' are applied to Colombians migrating to Ecuador. With an upsurge in violence in Colombia beginning in the late 1990s, Colombians fled in increasing numbers to Ecuador, especially to Sucumbios in the Ecuadorian Amazon, an area of extraordinary biodiversity. These migrant...
Article
This paper describes the design and implementation of an Agent-Based Model (ABM) used to simulate land use change on household farms in the Northern Ecuadorian Amazon (NEA). The ABM simulates decision-making processes at the household level that is examined through a longitudinal, socio-economic and demographic survey that was conducted in 1990 and...
Article
To examine differences in land use and environmental impacts between colonist and indigenous populations in the northern Ecuadorian Amazon, we combined data from household surveys and remotely sensed imagery that was collected from 778 colonist households in 64 colonization sectors, and 499 households from five indigenous groups in 36 communities....
Article
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This study investigates the community of Puerto Villamil, located on Isabela Island in the western portion of the Galápagos archipelago. Urban development and human-environment interactions are examined through a geographic information science perspective by (1) constructing a time-series of aerial photographs and satellite images, (2) mapping the...
Article
A challenge in land change science is to assess the causes and consequences of LULC change and associated pattern–process relations. Increasingly, land change organizations are examining land use at local to global scales for historical, contemporary and future periods through scenarios that assess population–environment interactions. Spatial analy...
Article
This chapter discusses the relationship between small farmers' land use and deforestation, with particular attention paid to the past 30 years of Amazonian colonization in Brazil and Ecuador. Our analysis calls attention to common features uniting different social groups as small farmers (e.g., social identity, access to land and resources, technol...
Article
The integration of Hyperion and Ikonos imagery are used to differentiate the subtle spectral differences of land-use/land-cover types on household farms in the Northern Ecuadorian Amazon (NEA) with an emphasis on secondary and successional forests. Approaches are examined that include the use of Principal Components Analysis to compress the Hyperio...
Article
This paper explores the temporal composition of the main Land-use/Land-cover (LULC) trajectories, examines the spatial configuration of the trajectories, and derives the probabilities of transitions in the Northern Ecuadorian Amazon (NEA). This research uses a time-series of classified Landsat images that ranges from 1974 to 2002, and a set of spat...
Article
Our research questions and analytical approaches are used to examine coupled human–natural systems in the Northern Ecuadorian Amazon. They are based on complexity theory and extend from our earlier work in Cellular Automata (CA) in which land use/land cover (LULC) change patterns were spatially simulated to examine deforestation and agricultural ex...
Article
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The papers in this special issue, resulting from two workshops intended to chart the way forward for studies of complex land-use dynamics, suggest that the paradigm of ‘complexity’, in its multiple meanings, raises both new opportunities and new challenges that require multidisciplinary attention. The opportunities include the potential to explore...