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Anthropological Center for Training and Research on Global Environmental Change

A Research Center of the Office of the Vice Provost for Research at Indiana University Bloomington
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Welcome to ACT!!


ACT is an interdisciplinary training and research center on the human dimensions of global environment change.

The current environmental crisis has made us aware of the need to "think globally, act locally" - yet this dictum is rarely carried out in research and training. The globalization of the environment crisis bears the risk of the research and training at Universities being purely global in nature. This would fail to take into account the highly variable local causes of human activities or to discover sustainable solutions to the use, conservation, and restoration of human ecosystems.

ACT's research and training objectives focus on how particular local populations manage resources and how those activities may be monitored using remote sensing technologies and field studies.  ACT has been a leader in linking social sciences and remote sensing, and it continues to lead by examining dynamics of land use, of health and disease, and population and environment.


ACT's Mission

The mission of the Anthropological Center for Training and Research on Global Environmental Change is to provide a setting where interdisciplinary training and research on the human dimensions of global environmental change can take place -- thus, the reason for naming it "anthropological." The Center's acronym "ACT" suggests that its goal is to be an active player in global environmental research currently underway here and abroad. It represents a pioneering effort to make it possible to address both the local and the global dimensions of environmental change.

ACT provides training and research opportunities for faculty, graduate and undergraduate students and visitors. To date, training and research have focused on studying deforestation in the Amazon Basin, on population and environment, land use & land cover change and on integrative methods for analysis.  New projects at present are also addressing land use dynamics in Yucatan, Mexico and emerging disease challenges as a result of tourism and migration.At present, training and research focus on studying deforestation in the Amazon Basin on population and environment, land use & land cover change and on integrative methods for analysis. The Center is designed to be interdisciplinary and to place greater emphasis on local responses to environmental change than is the norm at global change centers.

Take a tour of this ACT site and take a look at the ACT brochure.  You can also click on many images on our site to access high-resolution versions.

Feel free to contact us for more information.

Dear ACT Friends and Collaborators,  

For 20 years, ACT has created a community of collaborators and friends that spans the world. This community has been founded on the vision and hard work of Emilio F. Moran. Emilio founded ACT based on a vision of doing collaborative research and training by breaking disciplinary borders while strengthening disciplinary contributions, by asking questions in new ways, and by facing the challenge of working together in the field and in the lab, by "playing hard and having fun" as he puts it.

It is difficult to imagine ACT without the spirit and leadership of Emilio. Many challenges are ahead and many opportunities too, after all we are building upon a solid foundation and international recognition of committment to academic excellence. While we await particular decisions from the IU administration, we are fortunate to have Prof Rinku Roy Chowdhury (Geography) assuming the leadership of the center this semester. We are also fortunate to have such strong partner centers at IU such as the Ostrom's Workshop, CIPEC, and several departments and schools.

We, of course, will continue to see Emilio as lifelong member of the ACT family.

The spirit and research activities of ACT will continue and we hope to strengthen existing collaborations and start new ones. The history and legacy of research Emilio is leaving are too strong to suggest otherwise.

On behalf of the whole ACT community, THANKS Emilio and wishes of success and joy in this new phase!

Eduardo S. Brondizio
Professor, Department of Anthropology, Indiana University Bloomington
Professeur Invité, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3, Institut des Hautes Etudes de l'Amérique Latine, Paris