Thomaz Carvalhaes

2015 Roadmap to Success


After living and traveling abroad throughout his life, Thomaz Carvalhaes has cleared a path leading straight toward success.

An environmental science major pursuing a certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Thomaz hopes to combine his professional and academic ventures to create meaningful work for the benefit of the community and environment.

Thomaz accepted a summer internship at Focus: HOPE. In this role, he used GIS technology from UM-Dearborn’s Geospatial Analysis and Mapping Lab to chart bus routes and assess them for safety. He walked the streets of Detroit with a map in one hand and a checklist in the other. His mission? Locate and assess bus stops across 10 square miles.

Thomaz was able to utilize his skills in GIS to impact his community for the better. Focus: HOPE plans to use his map to signal which bus stops require more attention in relation to blight removal and inadequate lighting. The increased public awareness likely will result in safer bus stops across Detroit.

A native of Toronto, Thomaz had a mission when he moved to Detroit: Improve the city’s public transportation. Through his determination and hard work, Thomaz has accomplished that mission.

“There are several socioeconomic and environmental issues I feel very strongly about and wanted to get involved with at the local level,” Thomaz said.

Thomaz’s latest research project is called “Identifying Urban Stream Deserts in America’s Megaregions: A Characterization of Streams in Urban Areas.” He has plans to submit a manuscript to The International Journal of Geographical Information Science.

From mapping metropolitan Detroit to exploring America’s urban streams, Thomaz’s research has greatly impacted the urban landscape with his recommendations for tangible change. CASL Academic Adviser Lisa Andrews said of Thomaz, “Whether through research as a doctoral candidate or professional breakthroughs, we can expect noteworthy impact on the global level from Thomaz in the future.”

Thomaz makes a difference on campus as an active member of the Eco Club, which explores how the university may employ environmentally sustainable methods. He has been on the Dean’s List every semester and is a member of Tau Sigma Honor Society.

So what is next for Thomaz?

“My dream is to do research that synthesizes fieldwork with Geographic Information Systems to help solve environmental and social problems,” he said.

Sounds like he is headed in the right direction.