Anthropology | THE HUMAN FOOTPRINT: THE STUDY OF LAND USE AND COVER CHANGE
E600 | 0487 | Brondizio


Course Description and Goals:

This course focuses on the relationship between land use systems, human
settlement pattern and their impact on land cover and landscape structure.
It aims to link the theoretical and methodological approaches that
ecological anthropology and landscape ecology bring to land use and
production system analysis. The link between production system, factors
affecting farmers decision regarding land use, land cover change, and
landscape structure will be discussed in the context of contemporary
problems, such as deforestation, agriculture intensification, and human
dimensions of global environmental change.
The course integrates three overlapping aspects of land use and cover
analysis:

1.	Human ecology of production systems: in this part we look at
settlement pattern and ecological structure of different production
systems, such as foraging, pastoralism, subsistence and market-oriented
horticulture, industrial agriculture and husbandry. In this part we
emphasize the development of different production and land use systems
from a human ecological perspective focusing and their spatial and
temporal characteristics.

2.	Levels of analysis on land use research: We start with a
historical analysis of land use as an integrative area of study and its
interfaces with anthropology, geography, and ecology, specially landscape
ecology. This section is followed by a discussion of appropriated
variables in studying land use and land cover change at different scales.
Examples of global, regional, and local analysis of land use will be used
to illustrate scale dependent variables and models, as well as data
integration across scales. This includes elaboration of multi-purpose land
use/cover classification systems, data spatial and temporal resolution,
and spatial and temporal sampling of land use systems.

3.	Spatial and Temporal dynamics of land use systems: The course will
integrate methods of multi-temporal and spatial analysis of land use and
cover change (specially using remote sensing data), landscape
configuration and structure, and measures and rates of site specific
(e.g., fallow/crop frequency) and land use spatial intensification. We
will associate different measures of landscape structure and configuration
(e.g., fragmentation, diversity, patchness, complexity) and agricultural
intensification (e.g., frequency, input factors, area size/productivity)
to describe the landscape footprint characterizing different land use
systems.

The course combines lectures and laboratory sections. Students will take
active role in laboratory and discussion of particular readings. A
research paper will be required on a topic of relevance to the student
(research paper related to thesis and dissertation encouraged).