Marliz Arteaga, a doctoral candidate in the interdisciplinary ecology (IE) graduate program, is a recipient of the 2021 Alec Courtelis Award. The award is given through the UF International Center.
Recipients are international Ph.D. students who have distinguished themselves in such ways as academic excellence, teaching, and mentorship, contributions to global research projects, or community service.
Arteaga, a native of Bolivia, has an extensive professional and academic resume. She is completing her Ph.D. in Spring 2022 and has been active as a graduate research assistant throughout her UF career. Much of that research focuses on conservation and development in the Amazon.
In addition, Arteaga serves as an associate research professor at Amazonian University of Pando in Cobija, Bolivia. She also has experience as an environmental consultant and as a program officer in higher education and nonprofit organizations.
“I am truly honored to receive the Alec Courtelis Award!” Arteaga said. “As an international student at UF, I was able to expand my research networks, meet colleagues who are committed to the sustainable development of the Amazon, and most importantly, it allowed me to broaden my perspective on the world.”
After completing her Ph.D., Arteaga plans to work on sustainable development projects in the Bolivian Amazon.
“I want to continue expanding my research networks and supporting young Bolivians to realize their dreams of becoming conservation professionals,” she said.
“I also plan to continue in academia because training future generations is fundamental to moving a country forward with sustainable development,” Arteaga added. “Education is the best tool to address social inequalities and environmental injustices.”
Her dissertation committee chair, UF Sociology Professor Stephen Perz, nominated Arteaga for the award.
“I have worked with Marliz on several large research and applied conservation and development projects, and I know of her work with other networks, organizations, and communities,” Perz said. “Those efforts, and her academic achievement, make her the ideal recipient of the Alec Courtelis Award.”