land use-land cover change seminar

Course overview

Land change science seeks to understand land dynamics and their various consequences through an examination of coupled human-environment systems. Changes in land-use (human use) and land-cover (biophysical condition) affect key aspects of Earth system functioning at multiple spatial and temporal scales or extents, such as land productivity, diversity of plant and animal species, and biogeochemical, circulation and hydrological cycles. Such changes also affect economies and human welfare and the vulnerability of places and people to climatic, economic and socio-political perturbations.

Course details

This seminar examines the development of land change studies and the theoretical and methodological challenges to linking biophysical, socio-economic, and remote sensing/GIS analysis. The central themes of land change science include: (1) detection and monitoring of land cover change processes (with particular emphasis on remote sensing methods), (2) driving forces of land cover change, and finally, (3) impacts and consequences of those changes. This course will focus on themes (1) and (2), with specific emphasis on the underlying and proximate drivers of different land cover transitions.

This will be a seminar style course: the heart of the class will be reading and discussing scientific journal articles and chapters each week. Everyone in the class will take a turn leading discussion, and grading will be based on class participation, level of preparation and enthusiasm during each week’s discussion, as well as a final project of the student’s choice. Students will select a project topic early in the semester, and hand in regular assignments related to the paper (topic choice, bibliography, etc.). The topic should draw on the material and readings in class, but students are encouraged to integrate the material with their own research interests. For those students actively involved in research, this paper will provide a means to advance this work.


Days and times: Spring 2017, Wednesdays, 2:15-4:45 pm
Location: Science Hall room 110

If this class sounds interesting, please look into signing up. I hope to see you in class – diversity is welcome and always makes for more interesting discussions!

Course resources

Syllabus  |  Reading list  |  Readings  |  Teams  |  Assignments  |  Calendar  

Course number: Env St 900

Instructor: Annemarie Schneider
Credit hours: 3
Offered: every other spring

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