The seat of the graduate program in environmental biology (PPBA) is located in the city of Bragança, situated in the coastal area of Northeastern Pará. Considered one of the oldest cities in the State, Bragança has an important historical/cultural acquis, while it is recognized for its importance to the economic development of the State. The main foundations of the local economy are tourism (third most visited coastal region of the State) and fishing (second largest fishing production of Pará), however the coastal systems and the potential of its water resources are still little known.
Bragantino coast is one of the most studied Amazon coast, due mainly, research linked to the graduate program in environmental biology and, consequently, of the cooperation established between the researchers linked to the program and researchers from other national and international institutions. However, there has been the need to expand this knowledge to other aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, as well as to improve the training of human resources on studies related to Amazonian ecosystems. Changes in the areas of concentration that went into effect in 2015 are broadening the range of possibilities of research within PPBA.
The graduate program in environmental biology, with an emphasis on Ecology of coastal ecosystems, was created at the masters level in 1999 and implemented in 2000, presenting a proposal for a multidisciplinary character to form human resources able to develop studies on the dynamics of coastal ecosystems and its forms of preservation and management, seeking the construction of an integrated vision of the problems pertaining to the use and degradation of coastal ecosystems and natural resources of Amazon. For being the only one in the Amazon with a focus back to the coastal area, this master's been attracting students from various parts of the State, as well as other regions of the country.
The PPBA was the first graduate program at the Federal University of Pará (UFPA), master's and doctoral levels, whose headquarters are outside the capital (Belém), which demonstrates the effectiveness of several Campi expansion adopted by that institution, serving as a model for other campuses of interior that are starting the process of deploying a graduate degree program and which will contribute even more to the formation and establishment of human resources in the Amazon region.
In the year 2007, through the approval of the doctoral-level course (doctorate in Biological Resources of Amazon coastal zone), the program took a major step in the development of new research projects, training of human resources and scientific dissemination of its results. Currently (July 2015), the program has nearly 50 Ph.d. students and 75 students. In 2014, were two selections, in addition to the entry of several PhD students through teaching projects grants (total of 11 students) and a master's degree (of 22 students). Thus the PPBA comes satisfying the demand in the region, as well as receiving students from other States, which will provide the training and establishment of new graduate students (masters and PhD) in the northern region of Brazil, where it is still stumbling the number of doctors operating, when compared to existing in other regions of the country.
Actions to internationalize the PPBA have been carried out. In April 2014, the PPBA joined the Partnerships Program Program for la Educación y la Capacitación de la OEA (ECAP) of the Organization of American States to receive students from other South American countries to study for a master's degree. On the other hand, PPBA students are performing stages abroad and currently, at least 5 doctoral students of PPBA had the opportunity to conduct part of its activities abroad through the program CAPES and went to several countries: Portugal, Spain, Canada and Australia.
Until December 2014, the program generated around 200 dissertations and theses 17. Most dissertations and theses produced in the évoltada coastal PPBA issues of Northeastern Pará as central focus, but always seeking integration with neighbouring ecosystems and correlated.
The impact on human resources training have been remarkable. The vast majority of students graduating from the course doctorate and/or was absorbed by the job market, acting in high school and University in educational institutions of the Amazon region (MATO GROSSO, UFPA, UFRA, UEPA, IEFET, UFOPA, IFPA, among others) or in other private or public institutions (NGOs, environmental consultancy, SEBRAE, EMBRAPA, among others). In this sense, the course is meeting with its main missions.
The PPBA features post-doc Fellows mentored by Faculty of the program. In December 2014, the PPBA acquired a postdoctoral scholarship that has been implemented to develop teaching and research activities on the Campus of Braganza.
The objectives of the proposal the graduate program in environmental biology are:
(i) Cataloguing and describing the social and environmental characteristics of the coastal ecosystems of northern Brazil;
(ii) understand the dynamics, structure and function of coastal ecosystems, their biotic components abiotic and socio-economic, and their interrelationships;
(iii) to deepen the knowledge about the dynamics of coastal water resources, for Amazon in the near future these environments are used rationally and sustainably;
(iv) Identify the impact of human activities or natural processes in the landscape and ecological relations of all that inhabit these ecosystems;
(v) develop methodologies with interdisciplinary approaches to the treatment of issues related to the development of coastal ecosystems in the North;
(vi) propose measures for the sustainable management and preservation of these ecosystems;
(vii) contribute to the sustainable development, enabling a more efficient transfer of scientific knowledge to residents and regional and local managers,
(viii) Train teachers/researchers with inter-and multidisciplinary training in the area of Ecology with emphasis on coastal ecosystems in the North;
(ix) develop projects and extension activities with local communities in order to contribute to environmental conservation and improve the quality of life.