Fausto Sarmiento

Responsive image of Fausto Sarmiento




Professor of Geography is also adjunct professor in the School of International Affairs and Courtesy Faculty in the School of Ecology at the University of Georgia. Previously, Dr. Sarmiento served as Co Director of the UGA Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and as Director of the Office of International Education at UGA. His professional training includes a bachelor’s degree from the Catholic University of Ecuador in Quito (Biological Sciences), a masters’ degree from Ohio State University in Columbus (Tropical Ecology), and a doctorate from the University of Georgia (Landscape Ecology), with a post‐doc with late Eugene P. Odum.


Franklin College of Arts and Sciences/Geography Department


As mountain geographer he looks into coupled human‐environment interactions informed by evidences of landscape transformation and dynamics of land cover/land use change, with ethnoecological insights, historical documentation, field research and modeling for alternative scenarios. His disciplinary field is Neotropical Montology, with research interest at the forest transition and other active boundaries, such as the Andean treeline and its political ecology. By studying the role of human impacts in shaping the tropical highlands he is reconstructing biogeographical theory applicable to Andean farmscapes in the midst of global environmental change; thus, he develops new narratives of mountains as tropical environments are constructed, represented, claimed and contested. His 1987 landmark publication showed how Ecuadorian ecosystems have been affected “From the Jungle to the Sea”, an anthological fashion of historical ecology of Ecuador. In 2003, his Spanish edition of “Mountains of the World: A Global Priority with Latin American Perspectives” brought the regional update of the Ives & Messerli message for the IYM. In 2012, his book on “Contesting Páramo” contributed to alternative understandings of the critical biogeography of the northern Andean highlands and sustainability.

Involvement in Watershed UGA

An avid world traveler, he has published widely with more than eleven books and a few dozen journals devoted to higher education, tropical mountains research, conservation of biodiversity, environmental planning, political ecology, and mountain community development; he has written three Spanish language textbooks widely used in the region; he is the node for the Latin American Ethnobotanical Sister Garden network, a regional initiative in favor of ethno ecological training and development

Courses incorporating Watershed UGA

Resources, Society and Environment, Honors.  GEOG 2250H

Mountain Geography.  GEOG 3290

Collaboration with other faculty

Interested faculty could contact the Neotropical Montology Collaboratory.  Current efforts include a Willson Research Cluster on Indigenous Foods and Fibers, a Research emphasis on socio-ornithology and ethnoecology of mountains, and farmscape transformation in cultural landscapes.

I am willing to mentor CURO projects

My profile is Public.