Case Study Using GISRemote Sensing to Study Amazonian Deforestation

The Amazon region experienced deforestation prior to 1975, but on a small scale. The population collapse of indigenous communities through war and disease following European discovery resulted in a pattern of small communities practicing shifting cultivation and moving their settlements frequently (Meggers 1971 Roosevelt 1989 Beckerman 1991). Assessments using Landsat MSS found that less than one percent of the Amazon Basin evidenced deforestation in 1975 (though the resolution of MSS probably...

Individual Behavior and Environmental Decisions

The activities of individuals and households have a profound impact on the environment (e.g. consumer expenditures account for two-thirds of GDP NRC 2005b 69). Households account for nearly half of the US carbon emissions and large percentages of other noxious effluents (Stern and Gardner 1981 Cutter et al. 2002 Van den Burgh 2004 Stern 2007). Individual behaviors have significant and direct impact in the aggregate in areas such as transportation, housing, energy use, solid waste, water, and...

Population and Environment Theories

In contrast, and at a whole different scale of analysis, we find considerable value in the use of the theory of the household life cycle. The anthropologist Goody 1958 described households as the locus of social reproduction, and described the cycle followed by households over time. Households pass from an expansion stage where birth rates are high and the family is growing through a dispersion stage where children are leaving the household to a decay stage when the original household head dies...

Population Technology and Central Place Theories

One of the most influential theories is that of Malthus, and followers of these views are often referred to as Malthusians or neo-Malthusians no negative connotations intended or implied . The Reverend Thomas Robert 1 This section is based on an earlier discussion found in Chapter 2 of Moran and Ostrom 2005 . Readers from the social sciences may find the discussions here gloss over a lot of Malthus, writing at the turn of the nineteenth century, remains one of the most influential figures to...

Characterization of Contemporary Global Environmental Changes

The present condition of our planet is worrisome to those who pay close attention to the evidence. More and more species are becoming endangered or going extinct. Wetlands are disappearing at a rapid rate, endangering the migration routes of birds, and the maintenance of local and even intercontinental biodiversity. Unprecedented levels of CO2 threaten our climate system, coral reefs, and the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. Pollution levels in a growing number of cities can only be called...

The Evolution of Social Ecological Systems

As a species we have relied on our capacity for sociality and communication in order to surpass our physical limitations Richerson 1977 . Our success as a species in spreading and colonizing the planet was through operating as relatively small groups of hunter-gatherers HG . HGs' advantages were their behavioral flexibility, based on small-group trust and reciprocity, in response to opportunities and their highly mobile strategy of resource harvesting. This strategy served our species well for...