Jorge García Polo is a researcher and the acting Director of the Centro de Estudios Atitlan (CEA) of the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, a center working with national and international collaborators to research and monitor the socio-ecological state of the Lake Atitlán, Guatemala and its watershed. Its main goal is to find solutions to the problems affecting people and ecosystem health, with an emphasis on the concurrent problem of the cyanobacterial blooms registered for the first time in 2009.
Jorge has an MSc. in Environmental Management from Kyoto University in Japan, and he is currently a PhD. Candidate at the State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF). His study area is Ecosystem Restoration and centers on transdisciplinary research of wetland restoration in Lake Atitlán, Guatemala informed by social and ecological sciences, and Traditional Ecological Knowledge of farmers, fishermen and artisan of the Lake Atitlán area. The findings will inform a more holistic vision for Lake Atitlan restoration through designing novel frameworks of ecological and biocultural restoration developed in analytical participatory workshops with TEK holders, scientists, communities and practitioners. This process is vital for Guatemala and elsewhere in Mesoamerica.