Deforestation in the Amazon of Brazil is the problem that drew me to the study of geography when I was an undergraduate and led me to do dissertation research in the region in 1996. I did some follow-up work in 2000 and 2003 and have included the region in my teaching ever since.
It was not until the rise of Jair Bolsonaro that I returned to the region in October 2019 -- at the urging of colleagues in Rondônia who were particularly concerned about both his rhetoric and his policies toward the rain forest.
The Amazon figured prominently in his political demise, leading me to a series of questions about whether his electoral defeat would improve conditions there. This was made even more interesting by the fact that he was defeated by none other than Luiz Inácio "Lula" da Silva -- a man known simply as "Squid" who had served two terms as president and some time in prison.
I am exploring all of this in "Amazon Deforestation in Lula's Encore," which I am presenting at the 101st Annual Meeting of the New England & St. Lawrence Valley Geographical Society in Portland, Maine on October 28, 2023. This presentation is a stepping stone toward an article I hope to submit for publication later this year.