A VISITING PROFESSOR in the Faculty of Engineering of the Nacional University of Asuncion, Paraguay, Marc M. Delgado teaches GIS applications in land use planning and urban studies, as well as geodatabase design. Marc completed his PhD (summa cum laude) and MS (magna cum laude) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium and his BS at the University of the Philippines. His research interests are in the applications of participatory geographic information systems (PGIS) in natural resource management, rural development, and health issues.
In 2006, the Belgian minister for development cooperation awarded Marc with the Development Cooperation Prize for his master’s thesis on the role that accessibility to basic services has on poverty incidence in a tropical mountain area of the Philippines. For his PhD research, the U.S. Regional Chapter of the International Association for Landscape Ecology awarded him with the Foreign Scholar Travel Award in 2012. While finishing his PhD, Marc worked with Philippine-based NGOs on topics related to poverty and health. He was the GIS specialist for the Peace and Equity Foundation where he developed poverty maps in 28 Philippine provinces so that development projects can be targeted to fit the geographic limitations and conditions of poor areas.
His current research and teaching focus on the use of geospatial tools for visualizing and analyzing geographical data, mainly through the active participation of local users. He has done this using participatory landscape terrain modeling in natural resource planning; the promotion of open-source GIS such as QGIS, gvSIG, and MapWindow in GIS education; and using the mobile app KoboToolBox to enhance the usefulness of geography in teaching college. He also mentors a set of Paraguayan students to become the next generation of modern geographers in a country where GIS and other mapping technologies are still relatively new and not widely accessible.