Exploring coupled-human natural systems in coastal South Carolina: a land cover change analysis

Authors: Jennifer Smith*, Indiana University Of Pennsylvania
Topics: Remote Sensing, Development, Coupled Human and Natural Systems
Keywords: land cover change, coastal communities, urban growth, coupled-natural human systems
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: Download


As extreme weather events become more frequent, understanding the potential impacts of these events on coastal urban environments is an important first step in developing mitigation strategies. However, it is important to note that these weather phenomena are only one factor contributing to local change. This research explores the coupled-human and natural systems in a climatically sensitive region of the eastern Carolina coast. To fully understanding these dynamic land and waterscapes, it is important to embark upon a research project that is holistic in its analysis of both the human and physical elements contributing to change, change management, disaster management, as well as community planning and resilience in coastal environments. Rather than looking for specific drivers of change, this research seeks to use a process-based understanding of the complexity of coupled human and natural systems. While this research endeavor employs a combination of methodologies to measure and document change at the regional and local scales including satellite imagery analysis, qualitative interviews, and archival work, this poster highlights the first phase of research: land cover change in along the South Carolina coast and in historically marginalized communities. Using a support-vector machine classification algorithm (using ENVI software), this research demonstrates local and regional development in terms of conversion to impervious surfaces and the reduction of wetlands in coastal communities. By documenting urban/impervious surface landscape change local communities can better prepare for and manage extreme weather events.

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