Guillermo Duran, c. Karina Varela Guillermo Duran recently joined the Azuero Earth Project as GIS Administrator. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) capture, store, analyze, and present data with reference to geographic location. Simply put, GIS is the merging of cartography, statistical analysis, and database technology. “GIS is a relatively recent and powerful tool that provides a new perspective to addressing various environmental problems,” remarked Guillermo, adding that “using GIS for conservation allows for more efficient planning than in the past. With this tool it is much easier to learn and show with maps what exists and what we want to preserve or manage.” Guillermo is creating a GIS database to establish a geographical record of priorities for conservation, including forest patches and places of environmental and historic significance. From this we can determine how forest cover is changing on the peninsula over time. These maps Guillermo serve as a resource for scientists, researchers, and the community and help landowners understand the importance of their land and appropriate land-management strategies. Originally from Costa Rica, Guillermo has always been attracted to the forest and the meaning that is has for people. “Promoting appropriate uses of forest resources is of great importance for the present and future of humanity,” he said. He has an undergraduate degree in Forestry from the Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica and a master’s degree in Geography from San Francisco State University. “In studying forestry, my desire was to help with technical knowledge for producers and farmers and in studying geography I sought to gain a less technical, and more human, perspective of the environmental situation.” For more information about Guillermo, visit Who We Are.
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