Columbia–Rutgers Workshop on Land Use Transitions in the Tropics
Department of Geography, Rutgers University and
Department of Ecology, Evolution & Environmental Biology, Columbia University.
Tom Rudel (rudel AT aesop.rutgers.edu)
Laura Schneider (laschnei AT rci.rutgers.edu)
Maria Uriarte (mu2126 AT columbia.edu)
Call for papers
the last fifty years humans have converted tropical landscapes to a
wide variety of uses with disturbing consequences for biodiversity,
climate, the provision of ecosystem services, and human societies.
During the past two decades researchers in the earth, natural, and
social sciences have struggled to understand these land use transitions
through a wide range of research efforts. What have we learned? From
this vantage point what are the continuing challenges that we must
confront in order to construct a useful land change science for the
tropics? What are the interdisciplinary challenges? To address the
questions, we plan to convene a workshop next March on land-use
transitions in the tropics.
For analytic convenience we think of land transformations as a
continuum, beginning with deforestation or disturbance, passing through
an intermediate stage that often involves agriculture, and then in some
instances leading to a partial recovery of the forest. Building on this
simple typology, we ask participants to draw upon their own research to
write and present synoptic papers looking at one of three critical
stages: 1) Deforestation, 2) Agricultural Change, and 3) Forest
recovery. We encourage the submission of papers that evaluate
theoretical and methodological approaches rather than focus on
particular case studies. We also ask that participants explicitly
consider how they would integrate information from earth, social and
ecological sciences in their understanding of land transformation.
The conference will consist of three half-day paper presentation
sessions and one half day working discussion session followed by a
plenary meeting. The papers presented, as well as a series of articles
that summarize insights from participant’s discussions, will be
submitted for publication in a special issue of a peer-reviewed
journal. The deadline for submitting an extended abstract (no more than
2,000 words) is September 30th. The first day of the conference will be
hosted in New York City (Columbia University.) and the last two days in
New Brunswick, NJ (Rutgers University.).
View the flyer.