Bowman Expedition to the Borderlands

The AGS-KU Bowman Borderlands Project employed participatory research mapping (PRM) as a methodology for improving U. S. understanding of people and places in the Borderlands Region, defined hear as all Latin American countries bordering the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea.

Field Research and Case Studies in Central America.  Field research from July 2011 to May 2013 investigated changing land tenure patterns in the Honduran Mosquitia region of Honduras.  We selected and agreed with the indigenous leaders to map three distinct parts of the Mosquitia Rainforest Corridor that covers eastern Honduras and Nicaragua: 1) the colonization front in the UNESCO-recognized Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve; 2) colonization front in the TawahkaAsangni Biosphere Reserve; and 3) the indigenous zone of Brus Laguna, a customary indigenous zone.

GIS Work on Borderlands Regional Platform.  We constructed a regional framework for base layers of GIS (state-level and county-level area shapefiles, plus natural protected areas for 30 countries), including some ancillary base files for many countries (roads, populated places, ecosystems, etc.).  We aquired sets of tabular data which can be joined to these base layers for mapping and analysis (mainly ethnic data).  We added other Bowman Expeditions results to the GIS database.

The Borderlands Expedition Team was composed of PI Jerome E. Dobson, Co-PI Peter H. Herlihy, Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Kansas, and Ph.D. students John M. Kelly and Andrew M. Hilburn working as Graduate Research Assistants, both of whom subsequently completed their Ph. D. requirements.

If you would like to learn more about this project, click here.

Funded by the Army Research Office of the U. S. Department of Defense.