| THE HUMAN FOOTPRINT: THE STUDY OF LAND USE AND COVER CHANGE
E600 | 0462 | Brondizio
E600-0462, Tuesday: 11:15 am-12:30 pm (S.B. 138), Thursday: 9:05-11:00 am
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 human
ecology and landscape ecology bring to land use and production system
analysis. The link between production system, land use, land cover, 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
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
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
The course combines lectures and laboratory sections. Students will take
active role in laboratory and discussion of particular readings.