Cancer Control Research5R21HD051645-02
Rindfuss, Ronald R.
POPULATION, LAND USE AND HEALTH IN FRONTIER REGIONS(RMI)
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This project brings together seven interdisciplinary research teams working on characterizations, explanations and predictions of land use change in frontier regions around the globe. Land change science is an emerging scientific field that is dynamic, draws on multiple disciplines, and has not yet developed standardized methodologies. The overall goals are to a) synthesize knowledge of approaches, methods, data and analyses of these seven studies, b) parallel to this synthesis is the development of a set of "best practices" for reporting on site, data, and methods for emerging land change science, c) plan, conduct and validate comparative analyses using emerging agent-based techniques, and d) evaluate the potential of a future project that would be an integrated study of land use change in multiple sites. "Frontier" is a land area that is under-used/un-managed by humans and which has the potential/likelihood to be transformed into a more heavily used and managed landscape. Underutilization of land compared to its potential is a relative concept, dependent on developments in markets, technology, institutional arrangements and the like. Frontiers are important because the typical agricultural transformations that occur have had the largest impact on global land cover, and these transformations, in turn, are related to local and global health issues. Examples of local health concerns include exposure to schistosomiasis in China and Lyme disease in New England. The seven teams have research sites across North America, South America and Asia. All seven teams are currently funded to examine population-land use-environment linkages and changes, but heretofore there have been no formal links across projects. Each team is multi-disciplinary, and across the seven teams the following disciplines are represented: anthropology, biostatistics, botany, demography, developmental studies, ecology, economics, environmental science, geography, history, hydrology, meteorology, remote sensing/GIS, reserve management, and sociology.