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Alexander Coles

Adjunct Assistant Professor

Dr. Alexander Coles is a Full Professor of Geography and Environmental Science at Florida State University, Panama Canal Campus. He is a Land Use and GIS Specialist. Before joining the FSU-Panama, he taught Geography-related seminars and courses at the Departments of Geography and Global Health at the University of South Florida (USF).

Previous joining USF, Dr. Coles held the position of Research Associate Professor at the Payson Center for International Development and Visiting Associate Professor the Roger Stone Center for Latin American Studies at Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana.  Within the frame of a a cooperative agreement between Tulane and Xavier University of Louisiana, Dr. Coles headed the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) area at the Center for Environmental Programs at Xavier . During his time in New Orleans he also served as an adjunct faculty at the Department of Geography, University of New Orleans.

In addition,  through his career he  has collaborated as faculty at the School of Architecture, Universidad de Panamá; Departments of Geography and Environmental Studies at the Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica; the Department of Public Health at University of Dakar, Senegal in the field of Medical Geography; and the Universidad Andina Simón Bolivar at La Paz, Bolivia as Visiting Professor for the Andean Region Masters Program on Global Change, Risk Management and Food Security , specifically as  expert  on the topic of “Risk Communication. ” Also has collaborated with the Colegio de Postgraduados -Puebla Campus- and the ECOMAT Program (Terrestrial and Maritime Ecology) at the University of Campeche, Mexico, in the fields of rural-environmental assessment and evaluation and community (participatory)  mapping.

Professor Coles has ample experience in Evaluation Research, Survey Research Management, Fieldwork Methodology, Policy Research, Spatial Analysis, and Geographic Information Systems. For several years he has combined teaching, research, and consulting in the areas of peasantry, rural environment, hazards, risks and disasters and GIS. Currently, and recently, he is focusing his research and teaching interests in the spatial analysis of the urban changes in Panama, with a focus on Urban Risk.  He has been a consultant for several organizations (USAID-Land tenure Center, World Bank, IDB, IFPRI, ISNAR, SNV, ICMH, WFP, Terra Institute and several small NGOs and campesino-based organizations) in the areas of GIS; Community Mapping; Policy Research for Fragile Lands Management;  Risk and Disaster Management; and Land Tenure Analysis.

Dr. Coles earned his Ph.D. in Land Resources from the Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1993. At that same University he earned a Masters Degree in Urban and Regional Planning in 1984. His Geography degree was completed at the Universidad Nacional, Costa Rica in 1978.

Primary Classification: 
  • B.S., Universidad Nacional, Costa Rica 1978
  • M.S., University of Wisconsin-Madison, Urban and Regional Planning, 1984
  • Ph.D., Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Land Resources, 1993
Country Experience: 
Costa Rica
Dominican Republic

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