Global Issues Lecture Series to Discuss Ecotourism in Belize

Oct. 31, 2006

by Katie Brooks, student newswriter, (254) 710-1961

Baylor University Associate Professor Sara Alexander will report her research findings in a lecture titled "In the Eye of the Storm: How Hurricane Iris Exposed the Social and Economic Costs of Tourism Development in Belize" from 4-5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2, in Draper 116.

Alexander is the interim chair of the department of anthropology, forensic science and archeology, as well as an associate professor of applied anthropology.

Researching the impact of ecotourism on the local populations of Belize since 1993, Alexander will be reporting the research she conducted in 2001 and 2002, before and after the hurricane struck, she said.

Most of her work addresses the economically disadvantaged, how they live and how they can be helped in terms of socially and culturally appropriate development interventions, Alexander said.

"This research examines the coping strategies of the most vulnerable households in light of this natural disaster, Hurricane Iris," she said. The research is important to learn how to collectively improve these residents' situations in the aftermath of these types of crises, according to Alexander.

Alexander received her undergraduate degree in foreign service and German from Baylor and her masters and doctorate degrees in applied social anthropology from the University of Kentucky in Lexington.

She has experience with international non government organizations, specializing in third world development, and has researched in Honduras, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Belize and in various countries in West and East Africa.

The lecture is free and open to the public. There will be a Q & A session at the conclusion of Alexander's presentation. The Center for International Education sponsors the lecture series.

The series provides the opportunity for students, faculty and the public to have access to information on current events in the world, according to Dr. Lizabeth Souza-Fuertes, series coordinator.

For more information on the Global Issues Lecture Series, contact Fuertes at (254) 710-4531.

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