Latin America
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Historical Perspective of the Bureau in Latin America

The Bureau’s involvement in Latin America began in the 1960’s under the directorship of Dr. Peter T. Flawn, who later became President of the University. Dr. Flawn, together with the Instituto de Geología, investigated the famous silver mines of Mexico. In 1970, then-new Bureau Director Dr. William L. Fisher was invited by the Brazilian oil company Petrobras to present a week-long course on deltaic depositional systems. This marked the beginning of enriching research collaborations, training programs, student research, and UT-conferred geoscience degrees with the people of Latin America’s largest country.

A similar, positive relationship developed between Venezuela and the Bureau in the early 1970’s, when 20 Venezuelan students came to UT Austin to obtain graduate geoscience degrees. One of Dr. Fisher’s first students, current Bureau Research Scientist Dr. Edgar H. Guevara, is a testament to the success of the Bureau’s mutually beneficial and long-standing relationship with Venezuela. Over the years, many collaborative projects have been undertaken by Bureau and Venezuelan scientists.

The Bureau’s recent history in Latin America also includes projects with the peoples of Belize, Brazil, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, and Venezuela. Bureau researchers have benefited from the opportunity to study and conduct workshops and fieldwork in these Latin American countries.