Fausto O. Sarmiento, Ph.D., a professor of Geography at the University of Georgia, directs the Neotropical Montology Collaboratory. He looks into human-environment interactions informed by evidences of landscape transformation and dynamics of land cover/land use change, with critical biogeography, political ecology insights, historical documentation, neoecological field research and modeling for alternative scenarios of sustainability.
Working at the intersection of tropical mountain geographies, he contributes research at the forest transition and other active boundaries, such as the Andean treeline, Andean sustainable development, or the implication of biocultural heritage on Andean sacred sites and indigenous revival. By studying the role of human impacts in shaping the neotropical highlands he is reconstructing ecological theory applicable to Andean farmscape transformation and Andean identity markers in the midst of global environmental change and develops new geocritical narratives of mountain sustainability as tropical environments are constructed, represented, claimed and contested.
His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Smithsonian Institution, the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences, the MacArthur Foundation, the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, the Scott Neotropic Fund, the Exposition Foundation and other extramural sources as well as intramural funding from the Willson Center, the Vice President for Research and the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Institute. Dr. Sarmiento, a Fulbrighter to Japan, was named to the inaugural cohort of Fulbright Scholar Ambassadors in the United States of America. At UGA, he is a Senior Research Fellow of the Willson Center for Arts and Humanities and member of the Teaching Academy. He is a Senior Teaching Fellow, Senior Writing Fellow, and is Inaugural Fellow of Reacting-to-the-Past pedagogy to offer historical insights into science learning on climate change.
Dr. Sarmiento has been involved in cultural landscape conservation in the Tropical Andes. He is member of the Editorial Board for the Annals of the AAG, within the section Physical Geography and Environmental Sciences; for Pirineos, the Journal of Mountain Ecology and for Parks, of the World Commission on Protected Areas of IUCN. He is steering member of the Commission on Mountain Responses to Climate Change of the International Geographic Union (IGU) and former president of the Andean Mountains Association (AMA). He was chair of the International Research and Scholarly Exchange (IRSE) Committee and former chair of the Mountain Geography Specialty Group (MGSG) at the Association of American Geographers (AAG). Currently, he is member of the Mountain Specialist Group and of the Protected Landscape Specialist Group at IUCN.