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Earth & Environment Graduate Seminar Series

This is a past event.

Friday, February 25, 2022 at 3:00pm to 4:30pm

MMC, PC 438 11200 SW 8th St

Speaker: Miss Renata Utsunomiya
PhD student at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil &
Visiting scholar and exchange doctoral student at FIU


About: The Belo Monte hydroelectric dam in Brazil has significantly modified the Xingu River, a tributary of the eastern Amazon River. By diverting the water flow from the Big Bend of the Xingu River, a 130 km stretch hosting a unique social-ecological system, it started to be dewatered. This region is the home of the “Arara da Volta Grande do Xingu” and other riverine and indigenous communities. In hydropower operations, the environmental flow concept is essential for social-ecological and water management. However, the social and cultural significance of water and rivers for Indigenous peoples and local communities are rarely considered in the definition and implementation of environmental flows by dam managers, as the Belo Monte Dam case demonstrates. In this seminar, Miss Utsunomiya will present preliminary results about the effects of reduced flow and hydrological alterations in the river ecosystem, as well as on the livelihoods and bicultural connections between the Arara indigenous people and the Xingu River.
Miss Renata Utsunomiya holds bachelors and master’s degrees in Environmental Engineering from the University of São Paulo (USP), Brazil, with a focus on Impact Assessment and Environmental Management. She is currently a Ph.D. student in the Environmental Science Graduate Program (PROCAM) at USP. Renata has seven years of experience working and conducting research with indigenous peoples in the Brazilian Amazon, focusing on the social-ecological impacts of large infrastructure projects, especially hydro electrical dams.

Event Type

Academics, Lectures & conferences


General Public


Free to public

College of Arts, Sciences & Education, Department of Earth and Environment


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