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Paul Furumo

RELP Cohort: 2022, 2021
Earth System Science
School: Sustainability

Paul Furumo is a postdoctoral scholar in the Earth System Science Department and Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford. His scholarship seeks to identify and scale up solutions for zero-deforestation commodity production in the tropics by exploring the interactions, trade-offs, and opportunities between public and private governance strategies at different scales—from command-and-control measures to market-based solutions. Focusing primarily on Latin America, his research integrates remotely sensed data, policy analysis and expert interviews to understand how policymaking influences land use decisions. At Stanford, he also co-teaches a course on analyzing land use change with professor Eric Lambin.

Paul graduated high school on the Big Island of Hawai’i and received a B.Sc. in Biology from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. He began his research career studying populations of endangered Hawaiian honeycreepers on the island of Kauai, observing first-hand the cascading effects of human activity on ecosystems. He has since lived and worked extensively in the Latin America and Caribbean region, earning a Ph.D. in environmental sciences from the University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras with the support of an NSF-IGERT grant. His interdisciplinary Ph.D. research used remote sensing, bioacoustics and socio-economic surveys to explore sustainable pathways of oil palm expansion in Latin America. He spent nearly two years living in rural oil palm communities of Colombia as a Fulbright scholar and a National Geographic Explorer. Throughout his work, Paul has engaged a broad coalition of stakeholders including governments, businesses, civil society and smallholder farming communities.