Dr. David Salisbury’s Web Page

anacondadavidcrop9_12_18_07.jpg Dr. David S. Salisbury
Associate Professor of Geography
309 Carole Weinstein Intl. Center
28 Westhampton Way
University of Richmond, VA 23173
Phone: (804) 289-8661
Skype: david.s.salisbury
Dr. Salisbury and anaconda (Eunectes sp.)

Research Interests

I am a human-environment geographer interested in the reconciliation of conservation and development in the humid tropics of Latin America. More specifically, my research focuses on the Amazon borderlands shared by the nine nation states straddling or adjoining the Amazon basin. These poorly understood borderlands stretch across the international boundary from one advancing settlement frontiers to another and are a culturally, ecologically, and natural resource rich battleground contested between indigenous peoples, conservationists, drug runners, illegal resource extractors, colonists, and development oriented policy makers. I use a transboundary political ecology-geography framework, an applied and collaborative approach, and a combination of geospatial techniques and ethnographic, ecological, and participatory methods to understand the complexities of this rapidly changing and threatened transboundary region. In 2015-2016 I am on sabbatical in Granada, Spain where I am writing a book on the Amazon borderlands. For more about my research click on the research tab at the top of the page.


I primarily teach courses in the Department of Geography and the Environment, and in the Environmental Studies and International Studies programs. A few of my classes have received attention from the press both within the University (see Artes Liberales page 3: Geography professor brings the Amazon to Richmond) and in the larger community (Richmond Times-Dispatch article: UR students’ research helps protect wildlife and plants in Afghanistan or an  MP3 podcast from a WCVE 88.9 FM (local NPR) December 4, 2009 interview with John Ogle).  Below are a few courses I’ve taught or will be teaching at the University of Richmond. For more detail click on the teaching tab at the top of the page.

  • IS 400 Boundaries, Borderlands, and Frontiers
  • IS 400/ENVR 391/GEOG 401 Senior Seminar: Transboundary Political Ecology
  • ENVR 391 Environmental Senior Seminar: Socio-Environmental Impacts of Road and Rail
  • ENVR 391 Environmental Senior Seminar: Human Dimensions of Climate Change
  • GEOG 333 Geographies of Amazonia
  • GEOG 345 Society, Economy, and Nature: Global Perspectives on Sustainable Development
  • ENVR 301 Environmental Research Methods
  • LAC 250 Communication and Culture in the Amazon (Spanish)
  • IS 290 International Perspectives
  • GEOG 221 Mapping Sustainability: Cartography and Geographic Information in an Environmental Context
  • GEOG 210/IS 210 Geographic Dimensions of Human Development


For interesting links, blogs and news items about Amazonia and other interests see the sidebar to the right. For more information about my background click on the background tab at the top of the page.