Alicia Tyson

Alicia is a Ph.D. student in the Colorado State University Department of Geosciences, conducting research with the Watershed Science, Ecosystem Science and Sustainability research group. In addition to a previous career in broadcast journalism, Alicia leverages a background in anthropology, education, and GIS by applying a mixed methods approach to address problems at the intersection of climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction, and resiliency of communities and landscapes. She holds a B.A. in Communications/Spanish from the University of Alabama-Huntsville and an M.A. in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Colorado-Boulder. Her experiences gained while earning a M.S. in GIS from the University of Denver included training undergraduate students in the fundamentals of GPS data collection and several months of field research in Cuzco and Machu Picchu Pueblo (Aguas Calientes), Peru. These valuable opportunities, along with her personal connection to her Mexican heritage, helped paved the way for her passion to work with communities throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Expanding on her master’s research, “GIS prototype modeling of landslide susceptibility and risk perception – Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Pueblo), Peru: An exploratory approach”, she is currently developing projects in the Caribbean, particularly Puerto Rico. Her research seeks to incorporate theoretical and methodological frameworks in a creative, integrated, transdisciplinary, computational, and sustainable manner that visualizes solutions across both space and time and builds capacity, particularly within marginalized communities, through co-creative integration of indigenous knowledge. Specifically, she is examining the impact of land use/cover change, anthropologically induced and naturally occurring, on hazards susceptibility and watershed management using remote sensing, GIS, and a social assessment of watershed health. This approach empowers the knowledge, attitudes, and belief systems of communities often underrepresented in collaborative resource management. She proposes that this dynamic manner of addressing watershed management is particularly vital when examining the adaptive capacity and resiliency of social and natural systems in response to climate change and extreme events such as the recent and devastating hurricanes.

International Presidential Fellows