T.H. Culhane and Sayang, the Orangutan, present:

The Mayan Breadnut Company
Project Iximche

Toward Anthropogenic Rainforests and an Urban Wilderness...
 The Search for Lost Edens and PlausibleTomorrows:
Click on the magnifying glass to "hunt and gather in TheRainforest.com"! You can now search our site by keywords!
A CyberSchool for Anyone Interested in Sustainable Development 




In the pages that follow, esteemed lector, you will have the opportunity to attend Graduate School with me as I pursue an MA/ Ph.D. in Sustainable Development in the Department of Urban Planning at UCLA, the University of California, Los Angeles.
The emphasis of our study will be the past, present and future of the Rain Forest Biomes of the Planet Earth, with an emphasis on the region called "The Tropics".  Here  you and I will learn everything we can about this incredible area of biodiversity and cultural richness with the aim of applying that knowledge immediately to the protection and preservation of that fecundity. 
Our principal professor and faculty advisor is Dr. Susanna B. Hecht, a world renowned expert on the political ecology of the rainforest and leading researcher on how anthropogenic forests can be used to create evolutionarily stable strategies for human cultural development.   It is from her readings and assignments that we will glean the bulk of our knowledge. Essays written for her classes are also posted on this site so you can see how other students respond to the curriculum.   You may find these essays to be valuable ways of attending her lectures in a virtual way, since they discuss the major issues presented  in class and in the readings.  So if you really want to get a feel for the dialogics of the class, click here.
My own research with Ir. Ismayadi Samsoedin of the Indonesian Dept. of Forestry will also be featured on these pages as well as the work of Dr. Mustafa Agung Sarjono of Mulawarman University, Kalimantan Timor.  He has some amazing things to tell us about the traditional "Lembo" system of agroforestry practiced by the Dayak people of Borneo.   I will also feature work I am doing with Senor Pedro Cuc, of the Quiche Maya Linguistic group, and the community of Macanche in the Peten region of Guatemala.  A GIS map of the project will be posted as it is completed. Meanwhile, you can learn GIS with me by following the class assignments here:
Go to Arcview Assignments
As much as is possible, we will endeavor to point you in the right direction toward making your decisions and dollars count in the fight to preserve biodiversity.  As we come across products whose purchase we feel can assist in rainforest conservation, we will post them on The Future Mall site.  Already we are working with indigenous groups to market rainforest honey, bird's nest health products, rotan furniture and other sustainable extractive products. 

Summer 1999: Research at Tikal, Guatemala indicates ancient Mayan silvacultural solution to deforestation issues...click here to learn about Project Iximche, then come back here and click on photo for more details...
To get an idea of 'what I did last summer' click here

Your compass bearings to a sustainable future:

As a service to our fellow rainforest aficianados, we are posting the masters and Ph.D. theses of the members of our department at UCLA (Urban Planning, Sustainable Development) here too. The work of J. Christopher Brown, who just received his doctorate after years studying stingless bees in the Amazon will also appear.

This month we are featuring the thesis of Derrick Leonard Hindery. To check this thesis out, click on the descriptive hyperlink below: 

A History of Tropical Deforestation in the Bolivian Amazon A thesis submitted in partial satisfaction of the requirements for the degree Master of Arts in Geography by  Derrick Leonard Hindery

And check these sister sites out:
Amazon Watch in Action:

Monitoring and Deterring Mega-Projects in the Amazon; 
Defending the Amazon rainforest and its traditional peoples. 

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Keep checking with us as this site grows! 
This was me at the start of the program, 10/2/98. I'm working out a deal with Dorian Gray for an advanced technology that will transfer my haggard, sleepless, stressed appearance to this picture over time and, according to the manufacturer, keep the real me looking and feeling fresh and enthusiastic. 
I'll let you know the results...!

As an Iraqi-Lebanese-Irish-French-American member of the Human Race I will endeavor to
explain on these pages why I have gone from Biological Anthropology to Urban Planning, what I'm learning here at UCLA  and where I feel Civilization went wrong, with lots of ideas on how to fix things.

For now, let's start by looking at my mother's once forested homeland:

And my father's once forested homeland:

Clifden, County Galway, Ireland

And let us ask ourselves, why are these countries now characterized by deserts and pastures? Where have all the forests gone?

The answers to that question will have tremendous impact on the future of our own precarious civilization and will be convered in these pages.

To learn more about grasses and their impact, click here.

                 Till then, as the Chinese are fond of saying, "May You Lead an Interesting Life"...

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