I identify myself as an environmental geographer who studies the interaction of social, economic, and environmental processes. My conceptual framework is derived from an economic and social perspective that considers the behavioral attitudes of agents, and implications for the environment. My teaching has been a bit more diverse, given my earlier training and the departmental requirements where I have taught.

As an environmental geographer who addresses human-environment interactions, I pay special attention to the behavioral attitudes of agents and implications of the environment. The research strategy I employ combines both qualitative and quantitative methodologies, utilizing data and insight gained from field investigation involving household surveys and key informant interviews. I have interest in Land Reform, Land Cover and Land Use Change (LCLUCC), and Applications of GIS and Remote Sensing to LCLUC. My experience in this line of inquirity has focused primarily on Latin America.



Click the button above to download the most current CV as a PDF.

118 Seaton Hall
Department of
Geography Kansas State
University Manhattan,
KS, 66506
Phone #: 785-532-1244

Professional Preparation

2008: PhD in Geography, Michigan State University
2001: Ph.D. in Applied Economics, University of São Paulo, Brazil
1988: M.Sc. in Agricultural Economics, Federal University of Viçosa, Brazil
1984: Bachelor’s of Sciences in Economics, Pontificie Catholic University, Brazil


2013 - present: Director, International Research and Faculty Collaboration, Office of International Programs, Kansas State University
2008 - present: Assistant Professor, Dept. of Geography, Kansas State University
2002 - 2003: Post Doctoral Fellow, Center for International Development, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
1998 - 2000: Visiting Scholar at Michigan State University, Dept. of Geography-Center for Earth Observation and Remote Sensing (Former Basic Science and Remote Sensing Initiative)
1990 - 1998: Associate Professor, Dept. of Economics, Federal University of Bahia, Bahia-Brazil.
1989 - 1990: Assistant Professor, Dept. of Economics, University of Santa Cruz, Bahia - Brazil.


Kansas State University – Department of Geography – Undergraduate and Graduate Students

  • Human Geography – GEOG 200 (Undergraduate)
  • Study Abroad in Brazil: Environment, Development and Non-fiction Writing - GEOG 495 (Undergraduate)
  • Introduction to GIS – GEOG 508 (Graduate and Undergraduate)
  • Introduction to GIS – GEOG 508 (Online course) (Graduate and Undergraduate)
  • Geography of South America – GEOG 622 (Undergraduate)
  • Geographic Information System II – GEOG 708 (Graduate)
  • Political Ecology of Land Cover Change – GEOG 837 (Graduate)

Federal University of Bahia, School of Agronomy – Undergraduate & Graduate Students

  • Introduction to Microeconomics
  • Environmental and Natural Resources Economics
  • Brazilian Economy

Santa Cruz State University, Department of Economics – Undergraduate Students

  • Agricultural Production
  • Econometrics
  • Brazilian Economy

Michigan State University – Department of Geography – Undergraduate Students

  • Introduction to Economic Geography - GEO 113
  • Introduction to Geographic Information - GEO 221
  • Remote Sensing of the Environment - GEO 324
  • Spatial Data Analysis – GEO866

Advising and Committee Member

Undergraduate Students in Geopraphy: 10 students

Graduate Students: 24 students

Adviser: 3 PhD Students in Geography

  • Athena Haghighattalab (Fall 2012)
  • Steve Sherwood (Fall 2012)
  • Gabriel Granco (Fall 2013)

Adviser: 3 PhD Students in Geography

  • Carter Wang (Graduated - Spring 2012)
  • Jeff Vredenburg (Fall 2012)
  • Tyler Link (Fall 2013)

To see more please download the PDF from the link above



The program took place in the Brazilian portion of the Amazon Basin, specifically the cities of Manaus, Amazonas State. The program was designed for Geography, Biology, and English students. The program began in the Ariau Tower Eco-Resort with several days of initial lectures and excursions in the jungle. Students had different types of activities, such as: hiking, fishing, alligator spotting, and interaction with local villages (riberirinhos). The program continued in the city of Manus where students had the opportunity to interact with local college students, spend time visiting the museums, research centers, and universities. Students had to do one pre-departure assignment, keep a daily journal during the trip, and write reflection papers as final essays.




Students will register for two of the three undergraduate courses offered:

  • GEO 490: Problems in Geography
  • BIO 397: Topics in Biology
  • ENGL 465: Introduction to Creative Non-Fiction
We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein


Geographic Information System I

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are tools for the production, storage, representation, and analysis of digital spatial information. This course will consider each of these tasks, survey the rapidly growing GIS industry, cover many important principles guiding GIS use and development, and provide you with much hands-on experience with applications. Upon successful completion of the course, you should understand the components of GIS, how they are used in research as well as in public and private sectors projects, and what principles support the employment of general GISystems on specific spatial applications.

Geographic Information System II

GEOG 708 is a 3-credit course consisting of 220 minutes laboratory per week (110 each). Assigned readings will be given every week to help understand GIS theory and function . Lab sessions must be completed prior to the next lab meeting. Lab exercises are small in some cases and time-consuming in others. However, students have different GIS skills that can speed or delay labs. Students will perform many different labs in every session. Lab assignments must be completed independently to maximize hands-on experience. Students are expected to begin class already having both a conceptual and technical competence in cartography principles, thematic map design, and GIS basic skills. This course will exclusively use ArcGIS 9.3 software. Upon successful completation of the course, you should understand the components of GIS, how they are used in research as well as in public and private sector projects.

Political Ecology of Land Change

This course will review the sub-field of political ecology within geography by looking specifically at political ecologic research of land use and land cover change. We will start by examining theories and frameworks in people-environment geography, their origins and their applications to contemporary issues of land Use and Land Cover Change.

Human Geography

The basic objective of this course is to provide you with a general introduction to human geography. More specifically, I want to lead you into the geographic way of thinking about concepts and issues. We will study patterns and processes of human activity from a geographic perspective. The course is designed for student interested in the social and behavioral sciences.

Geography of South America

The basic objective of this course is to provide you with a general introduction to Geography of South America. More specifically, this course will explore the dynamic region of South America from a geographic, economic and political perspective. The first objective is to introduce students to the regions physical geography, including major landforms, climate, and natural regions. We focus in particular on forces that shape the eastern highlands of Brazil, the four great lowlands, and the Andean highlands. The second aspect of this course emphasizes the political, cultural, and economic landscapes of South America. We emphasize topical themes to understand the region, such as the geography of religion, agriculture, race, conservation, and everyday life. We will delve into contemporary issues such as poverty, the drug wars, rainforest conservation, sustainability and energy


  • 118 Seaton Hall
  • Department of Geography
  • Kansas State University
  • Manhattan, KS-66502
  • Phone: 785-532-1244
  • e-mail: caldasma@ksu.edu
  • Seaton Hall 118
    Kansas State University
    Manhattan, Kansas 66506
  • Phone: 785-532-1244