Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Resource Conservation (International Conservation and Development)

Department or School/College

College of Forestry and Conservation

Committee Chair

Stephen Siebert

Commitee Members

James Burchfield, Rustem Medora


ethnobotany, traditional knowledge, medicinal plants, Peru


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Latin American Studies | Other Life Sciences


Understanding and preserving Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Practices (TEKP) are essential for the continued resilience and cultural diversity of humanity. TEKP faces a multitude of threats from habitat loss, growth of the market economy, globalization, and acculturation. Medicinal plant use in the high Andean town of Carhuamayo, Junín, was studied to assess the vibrancy of that particular branch of TEKP in that area, in what parts of the population it was held, and what factors influence its loss or growth. Gender, age, migrant status, and acculturation levels were not found to be statistically significant in predicting medicinal plant knowledge. Analysis through a livelihoods lens further demonstrated that gender was not a significant determinant of medicinal plant knowledge and those whose livings depend on natural resource use may be more knowledgeable. The uniformity of ethnobotanical knowledge in Carhuamayo was attributed to the unified nature of the community through many organized groups and widespread sharing of knowledge. The uniformity of medicinal plant knowledge may also reflect the loss of TEKP over many generations. Factors that may have resulted in the erosion of local TEKP could be historical colonial forces and terrorism, migration, application of agrochemicals, pollution from mining and other sources devastating biodiversity, and climate change.



© Copyright 2014 Anastasia Orkwiszewski