Seeing the Forest for the Trees: Perspectives in Reconstructing Past Forest Cover for Studying Climate and Human-Environment Interaction

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Climate Specialty Group, Paleoenvironmental Change Specialty Group, Remote Sensing Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 5:20 PM / 7:00 PM (MDT)
Room: Edgewood AB, Sheraton, 4th Floor
Organizers: Katharine Johnson, Elizabeth Burakowski
Chairs: Katharine Johnson


Changes in forest cover affect local to regional climate (Bonan, 2016; Hansen et al. 2013), and the legacy of forest cover history has persisting impacts on forest community structure and soils (Motzkin et al. 1999; Foster et al. 2008). While observations for current or recent land cover conditions are increasingly available at fine spatial and temporal resolution, gridded estimates of past forest cover and land use estimates used in climate models (e.g., Klein Goldewijk et al., 2011) and human-environment studies could be greatly improved with the rich information gleaned from regional studies in a variety of areas ranging from paleoenvironment and archaeology to historical geography.

To understand present and future impacts of forest cover change, it is integral to understand the extents of past human-environment processes related to forest cover change. Through this paper session, we seek to bring together a broad range of research interests and perspectives to discuss 1) methods of studying, or reconstructing, past forest cover; 2) impacts of past forest cover (or lack thereof) on the climate and environment; 3) impacts of past deforestation on other processes in human-dominated landscapes. We invite papers from a variety of areas ranging from geospatial and remote sensing to climate, paleoenvironment, and historical geography.

Organizers: Katharine M. Johnson, ERT, Inc. at NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, and Elizabeth A. Burakowski, Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space, University of New Hampshire

Discussant: Michael Palace, Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space, University of New Hampshire


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter William Collier*, Clark University, The Politics of Forest Governance and Resource-Use in Kenya and the Impacts of Commodity Production Networks in the Mau Forests Complex, 1895-2017 20 5:20 PM
Presenter Michael Coughlan*, University of Georgia, Donald R Nelson, University of Georgia, Michael Lonneman, University of Georgia, Gone with the witness tree: A reconstruction of historical forest cover change in the South Carolina Piedmont ca. 1790-1940 using metes and bounds survey witness trees 20 5:40 PM
Presenter James Brey*, American Meteorological Society, Two Creeks Revisited: Paleoforests and the Climate of the Times 20 6:00 PM
Presenter William Ouimet*, University of Connecticut, Katharine Johnson, Earth Resources Technology, Inc., Cheyenne Haverfield, University of Connecticut, Reconstructing 17th to early 20th forest cover and land use dynamics in the northeastern US using airborne LiDAR 20 6:20 PM
Discussant Michael Palace University of New Hampshire 20 6:40 PM

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