In Progress

Hydropower, agriculture, and methane: the social effects of dams amid a changing climate

Amanda Sikirica, Mauricio Betancourt, and Nick Theis

We assess whether hydroelectric power development influences agricultural methane emissions. Despite the fact that environmental sociology has enjoyed a wealth of research on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, little has examined agricultural emissions, and even less so agricultural methane emissions, the second most important GHG, whose relevance in relation to climate change is increasingly important. In order to establish the effects of hydroelectricity on agricultural methane emissions, we estimate three fixed-effects panel regression models on all nations with available data from 1975-2008, which we then split by high and non-high income categories to investigate variation in effect by affluence. We intend to send this piece to Energy Research & Social Science.

The ecological bases for economic processes: South American guano formation and commodification

Mauricio Betancourt

This paper analyzes how geophysical and ecological conditions provide the foundation and context for global trade by studying the processes whereby guano is formed off Peru and Northern Chile.

An Agroecology Project in Zaachila: the synthesis of an experience

Mariana Benítez, Cristina Alonso, Cecilia González, Emilio Mora, Emilio Petrone, Mauricio Betancourt, Adriana Uscanga, Alexandre Beaupré, Benito Vázquez, Tania Lara, Luis Bracamontes, Sergio Hernández, Diego Contreras, Ana Laura Urrutia, and Kyria Valladares.

Using information obtained through semi-structured interviews, in this book chapter we synthesize the experiences of peasants in Zaachila, Oaxaca, regarding their adoption of agroecological techniques and their involvement in a local agroecological project we were part of.


The nature-society relationship under capitalism and socialism

Mauricio Betancourt

This work examines the perspectives and techno-scientific assumptions vis-à-vis- the environment under different socioeconomic systems, by means of applying social theories.

This was my M.A. thesis in Philosophy of Science at UNAM. Read this work here (in Spanish).

The literary, scientific, and sociopolitical origins of environmentalism in the United States and its Development During the Cold War

Mauricio Betancourt

This thesis traces the diverse origins of environmentalism in the United States, paying attention to both its artistic and scientific components, as well as its sociopolitical implications in the twentieth century and the present-day world.

This was my Bachelor’s Honor’s Thesis. You can read it here (in Spanish).