Amazon Travel, Health & Safety

Amazon Program

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James R. Riach, Ph.D.
(University of Georgia, 2001)
Instructor, Earth & Environment
Fellow of the Honors College

Dr. Riach's research and teaching interests include the interconnections between ecosystem health and human well-being, with a focus on the Amazon and South Florida regions. Curious about the varied traditional beliefs different cultures have regarding the nature of the universe and human's role in it, he does not restrict himself to just one interpretation of reality or to just one disciplinary approach to studying it. His work combines multiple theories and methodologies from anthropology, ecology, and geography. He has worked on health and environmental projects among indigenous rainforest cultures including the Cayapas and the Siona-Secoya of Ecuador and the Aguaruna and Yagua of Peru. As a member of Project Amazonas, Inc., he has helped develop integrated strategies to address health, conservation, and development needs in the Peruvian Amazon.

Devon L. Graham, PhD.
(University of Miami, 1996)
Adjunct Professor in the Honors College at FIU where he has co-taught a fourth year honors field option on the Florida Everglades for 10 years.

Dr. Graham is also President of Project Amazonas, Inc., a Peruvian-American non-profit organization that focuses on humanitarian, educational, research and conservation work in the Peruvian Amazon, and which operates the Amazon rainforest field stations that will be used during the field portion of the Amazon Program. Dr. Graham's background is in tropical ecology with particular interests in botany, ornithology and fisheries, and he has been working in the Peruvian Amazon since 1994. In addition to his biological interests, Dr. Graham has been working with the Peruvian Ministry of Health and with the University of Mississippi School of Medicine to develop boat-based clinic visits to remote Amazon communities which otherwise do not have access to modern health care. At the same time, he is working with local communities in the Amazon to preserve the traditional health care knowledge of indigenous peoples.