2011-2012 NEXUS Cohort

2011-2012 NEXUS Cohort
2011-2012 NEXUS Cohort

The Fulbright Regional Network for Applied Research (NEXUS) Program is a network of junior scholars, professionals and mid-career applied researchers from the United States and other Western Hemisphere nations engaged in a year-long program that includes multi-disciplinary, team-based research, seminar meetings, and a Fulbright exchange experience, in one of three areas: Science, Technology and Innovation; Entrepreneurship; and Sustainable Energy.



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Meet the 2011-2012 NEXUS Scholars

U.S. NEXUS Scholars


Browne, Ruth
Associate Professor and CEO, Arthur Ashe Institute, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY
Research: Social Determinants of Health Externship Training Program for Caribbean Secondary School Students
University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus, Trinidad and Tobago
Discipline: Public Health


Forlano, Laura
Post-doctoral Research Associate, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Research: Networking Social Innovation in Urban Areas
Centre for Social Innovation, Toronto, Canada
Discipline: Communications


Gutierrez, Maria Paz
Assistant Professor, University of California--Berkeley, Berkeley, CA  
Research: Solar-Based Housing: Affordable Prototype of Integrated Nanophotonic Greywater (SHAPING) Recycling and Thermal Control
Southern University of Chile, Valdivia, Chile
Discipline: Architecture


King, Roderick
Instructor, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
Research: Advancing Health in the Caribbean through Leadership Development
Caribbean Public Health Agency, Trinidad and Tobago
Discipline: Public Health


Pierce, Suzanne
Research Assistant Professor, University of Texas--Austin, Austin, TX
Research: ENCOMPASS: Collaborative Observatories for Management, Policy and Science for Society
Catholic University of the North, Antofagasta, Chile
Discipline: Geology


Click here for more information on the NEXUS grantees

Visiting NEXUS Scholars


Bottino, Gabriel
Program Officer, United Nations Development Programme, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Research: Evaluating the Innovative Performance of Argentine Farm Equipment Manufactures Facing the Challenge Imposed by Climate Change on Agricultural Landscapes
Tufts University, Agriculture, Food and Environment Program
Discipline: Agriculture


Bulhoes Mendes, Carlos Andre
Associate Professor and Coordinator, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brasil
Research: Climate Change Impacts on Hydroelectric Power in the Amazon and Their Associated Consequences to National Interconnected System Operation
University of California--Davis, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Discipline: Environmental Sciences


Caffera Collazo, Marcelo
Associate Professor and Director, University of Montevideo, Montevideo, Uruguay
Research: Economic Experiments for the Analysis of the Compliance Behavior of Polluters with Environmental Regulation
University of Massachusetts--Amherst, Department of Resource Economics
Discipline: Economics


Castro, Lucio
Director, Center for the Implementation of Public Policies Promoting Equity and Growth, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Research: Reducing Transport and Logistics Costs to Foster Export Diversification at the Subnational Level
Harvard University, Center for International Development
Discipline: Economics


Conte Grand, Mariana
Director and Professor, University of CEMA, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Research: Evaluating the Augmenting Effect of Climate Change Over Health Damages Due to Lack of Access to Water and Sanitation Services in Developing Countries
University of California--Los Angeles, Luskin Center for Innovation
Discipline: Economics


Feng, Patrick
Assistant Professor, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada
Research: Certifying Environmental Action: Leveraging Environmental Standards and Certifications to Promote Sustainability
Arizona State University, Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes
Discipline: Public Administration


Jackson, Gary
Executive Director, The Caribbean Electric Utility Service Corporation, Castries, St. Lucia
Research: Hydro Power Distributive Generation in Portland, Jamaica
National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Integrated Applications Center
Discipline: Engineering


Jimeno Paba, Miguel
Professor University of the North, Barranquilla, Colombia
Research: A Low Cost Telemedicine Kit That Overcomes Communication Issues of Rural Areas of Colombia
University of Colorado--Boulder, Computer Science Department
Discipline: Computer Science


Ledezma Araya, Christian
Assistant Professor, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Santiago, Chile
Research: Seismic Performance of Pile-Supported Bridges and Wharfs Affected by Liquefaction and Lateral Spreading
University of Washington, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Discipline: Engineering


Loboguerrero Rodriguez, Ana Maria
Program Coordinator, National Planning Department, Bogotá, Colombia
Research: The Economics of Climate Change Study in Colombia
Columbia University, International Research Institute for Climate and Society
Discipline: Economics


Ng, Sandy
Assistant Professor, Queen's University, Kingston, Canada
Research: Sustainable Cities: Better Health and Better Future
Stanford University, Center for Integrated Facility Engineering
Discipline: Public Health


Patiño Diaz, Rodrigo Tarkus
Researcher, Mexican Center for Research and Advanced Studies, Mérida, Mexico
Research: Sustainable Hydrogen Production in Yucatan
National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Hydrogen Technologies and Systems Center
Discipline: Environmental Sciences


Preliasco Cuinat, Gabriel
Director, Latin American Robotics, Montevideo, Uruguay
Research: Design of Small Wind Turbines for Medium Average Prevailing Wind Speeds
National Renewable Energy Laboratory, National Wind Technology Center
Discipline: Engineering


Sauma Santis, Enzo
Assistant Professor, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Santiago, Chile
Research: Economic Incentives for the Transmission Investments That Will Support High Penetration of Sustainable Energy
Johns Hopkins University, Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering
Discipline: Engineering


Vazquez Zambrano, Raul Fernando
Director and Professor, University of Cuenca, Cuenca, Ecuador
Research: Assessment of Climate Change Impacts on the Hydrology of a Key Andean Catchment of Ecuador
Columbia University, International Research Institute for Climate and Society
Discipline: Engineering


Click here for more information on the NEXUS grantees

Lead Scholar for 2011-2012 Walter E. Baethgen


The Distinguished Lead Scholar will provide the overall leadership and facilitation of the Fulbright NEXUS Program.


Walter E. Baethgen Walter E. Baethgen is the Director of the Program for Latin America and the Caribbean in the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI - The Earth Institute, Columbia University). In the IRI he has been establishing regional research programs that aim to improve climate risk assessment and risk management in agriculture, health, water resources, and natural ecosystems. Before joining the IRI Baethgen was a Senior Scientist in the Research and Development Division of IFDC (International Soil Fertility and Agricultural Development Center) where he worked mainly in Information and Decision Support Systems for the Agricultural Sector (1987-2003). Since 1990 (first with IFDC and now with the IRI) he has been establishing and coordinating regional research programs in Latin America in collaboration with National and International organizations.


Dr Baethgen has acted as a consultant for the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the United Nations (UNDP, UNIDO, FAO), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the World Bank and the Inter-American Institute for Agricultural Science (IICA). He participated as Principal Investigator in several NOAA and NASA International research programs. He also acted as consultant for the governments of Brazil, Paraguay, Guatemala and Uruguay, and for the private sector in Argentina, Uruguay and Venezuela. He was a lead author for IPCC’s Second (1995) and Third (2001) Assessments Reports and contributing author for the Fourth Assessment (2007), as well as the review editor for IPCC’s special issue on Technology Transfer (2000).


He serves or has served as a member of scientific advisory committees of several International organizations including the CGIAR’s Science Council, IAI (Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research), CIIFEN (Centro Internacional para la Investigación del Fenómeno de El Niño), IGBP and WMO. He was also reviewer of several International research programs (NOAA, NASA, NSF, IAI, German government, Norwegian government). Baethgen is an Editorial Board Member of the peer-reviewed journals Agricultural Systems (Elsevier Science) and Journal of the International Hydrological Programme (UNESCO).


He acted as a member of the advisory committees of the International Research Institute for Climate Prediction (IRI) and of CLIMAG (Research Program for Climate Forecasts Applications in Agriculture, World Meteorological Organization). He was also a member of an Expert Team of Open Program Area Group (OPAG, WMO): “Developing Guidance on Climate Watches”.


Baethgen obtained his PhD and M.Sc. degrees in Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and his B.Sc. in Agricultural Engineering from he University of Uruguay. He has over 100 publications to his credit. Walter E. Baethgen CV


Distinguido Lider Walter E. Baethgen
El distinguido líder provera la dirección total y facilitación del Programa Fulbright NEXUS.


Walter E. Baethgen El Dr. Walter E. Baethgen es el Director del Programa Regional para América Latina y el Caribe del IRI (International Research Institute for Climate and Society) de la Universidad de Columbia, Nueva York, EEUU. En el IRI Baethgen ha venido estableciendo programas regionales de investigación, educación y entrenamiento orientados a mejorar la evaluación y la gestión de riesgos climáticos en la producción agropecuaria, los recursos hídricos, la salud humana y los desastres. Antes de incorporarse al IRI en el año 2004, Baethgen fue Científico Principal de la División de Investigación y Desarrollo del IFDC (International Soil Fertility and Agricultural Development Center) con sede central en Alabama, EEUU. En el IFDC Baethgen trabajó 15 años en Sistemas de Información y Soporte para la Toma de Decisiones para la agricultura y la forestación estableciendo proyectos en América Latina, Norte de África y Cercano Oriente. Estos sistemas aprovechan la disponibilidad de herramientas modernas de análisis y generan información que puede ser fácilmente interpretada y utilizada por agentes públicos y privados para mejorar la planificación y la toma de decisiones, y para contribuir a mejorar las políticas públicas.


Baethgen se ha desempeñado como consultor en proyectos de investigación y desarrollo para NASA, BID, Banco Mundial, PNUD, ONUDI, FAO, IAEA, IICA, y para los gobiernos de Brasil, Paraguay, Guatemala y Uruguay. También ha actuado como asesor para empresas del sector privado de Argentina, Uruguay y Venezuela. Integra o ha integrado varios comités científicos internacionales incluyendo el CGIAR, IAI, IGBP, NSF, OMM, y el CIIFEN. Ha actuado como revisor de varios programas Internacionales (IAI, NOAA, NASA, Gobierno de Alemania, Gobierno de Noruega) y es miembro del consejo editor de la revista científica Agricultural Systems publicada por Elsevier Science. Fue autor principal en el segundo y tercer informes del Panel Intergubernamental para el Cambio Climático (IPCC) de los años 1995 y 2001, y autor contribuyente para el cuarto informe (2007) por el cual el IPCC recibió el Premio Nobel de la Paz. En 1997 actuó como Editor del informe especial del IPCC sobre Transferencia Tecnológica.


Baethgen obtuvo sus títulos de PhD y MSc en Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences (Ciencias Ambientales de Plantas y Suelos) de Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Es Ingeniero Agrónomo por la Universidad de la República del Uruguay. Ha publicado más de 100 artículos científicos y técnicos en revistas internacionales y nacionales. Walter E. Baethgen Vita

2011-2012 Timeline

August 2010 | Fulbright NEXUS Scholar Program Launch
November 15, 2010 | U.S. and Visiting Scholar Application Deadline
Mid-February 2011 | Finalists Notified of Select or Non-Select Decisions
May 15-19, 2011 | First Group Meeting and Orientation hosted by the Argentine Fulbright Commission, in Buenos Aires, Argentina
October 5-8, 2011 | Mid-Year Group Meeting and Orientation hosted by COMEXUS, in Querétaro, Mexico
April 23-25, 2012 | Final Group Meeting (Washington, DC)