Peter Herlihy, LSU Geography 1979, received the American Geographical Society’s first Bowman Scholar award in New York City on Friday, November 18, for his pioneering work on participatory geography in Central America.
The Bowman Scholar accolade honors academic geographers who conduct exceptional fieldwork in foreign regions. Recipients are chosen from among those who lead or have led Bowman Expeditions administered by the AGS. The program and the accolade are named for Isaiah Bowman, who served as AGS Director from 1915 to 1935, advised Presidents Wilson and Roosevelt during World Wars I and II, and helped found the United Nations.
Dr. Herlihy’s research is on tropical rain forest peoples in Latin America, especially Central America and Mexico, with extended field research in the Huasteca, Sierra Juarez, La Mosquitia, Darién, and Loreto. His long-standing focus is on how state and transnational institutions impact indigenous resource use and land rights. His scholarship uses cultural and political ecology with participatory research mapping methodologies for nature conservation and indigenous land rights, and situating indigenous peoples within a globalizing Latin America. Dr. Herlihy is interested in state establishment and management of conservation areas and ethnic homeland districts for native peoples, mestizos, and Afro-descendants in Central America, most recently working with the Honduran and German governments establishing the Río Plátano Biosphere (are-definition), the Tawahka Asangni Reserve, and the Patuca National Park in the Mosquitia Protected Areas Corridor, part of the largest area of protected rain forest in Central America today.
Since 2005, Dr. Herlihy has led an international project and Bowman Expedition, called México Indígena (MI), the prototype for the American Geographical Society and US Foreign Military Studies Office concept for “Global Place-based GIS Research.”
Dr. Herlihy completed his Ph.D. at LSU under the direction of Professor William Davidson in 1979. His dissertation was entitled “Cultural biogeography of Lonchocarus Nicou: Amazonian fish poison and biodegradable insecticide.”