Land systems science – Research frontiers and challenges at the intersections of remote sensing and qualitative social-scientific approaches and methods

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group, Qualitative Research Specialty Group, Geographic Information Science and Systems Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM (Eastern Standard Time)
Room: Jackson, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Organizers: Martin Lukas
Chairs: Martin Lukas


Human land uses have transformed much of the earth’s surface. The patterns and changes of these land uses are an outcome of numerous environmental and societal factors interacting across scales and distances. Their environmental and societal effects are multifaceted. Land use is a major dimension of global change and central to some of humanities’ most pressing challenges, from poverty reduction, nutrition security, equity issues, and energy production to climate change, soil degradation, water issues, and biodiversity. This highly cross-cutting nature of land use change calls for inter- (or non-) disciplinary ways of thinking and integration of approaches, methods, and information rooted in different scientific communities. The emergence of land systems science as an increasingly multi- and interdisciplinary network reflects and has contributed to considerable progress in this respect. Meta-analyses and an increasing amount of research that directly links remote sensing with ecological and social-scientific analyses have greatly enhanced our knowledge of the drivers, patterns, and effects of land use (change) and related governance issues and challenges.

Yet, much of the potential of inter- or (non-)disciplinary research still remains untapped. Some major research frontiers in land systems science lie at the intersections of remote sensing and qualitative social-scientific research. Directly linking analyses of land use and land cover patterns and changes with (sometimes messy, insecure, and contested) tenure arrangements; the roles, interests, and livelihoods of different (conflicting) actors; various site-specific social, economic, cultural, and political factors and institutions; and their historical trajectories through combining a range of research approaches and methods often generates the most novel and insightful findings – findings that would remain hidden, if the research adhered to only one line of inquiry or method. Yet, while providing large potential, the integration of remote sensing and qualitative social-scientific research also poses conceptual, methodological, capacity-related, and other challenges. The session aims to explore these research frontiers and challenges at the intersections of remote sensing and qualitative social-scientific methods.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Hannah Friedrich*, Oregon State University, Remote sensing time series analysis for monitoring agriculture to assess food security and temporality of settlements of internally displaced peoples (IDPs) 20 8:00 AM
Presenter Betsy Breyer*, University of Illinois, Green spaces of disinvestment: Integrating property market dynamics with land cover change in Cleveland’s historically redlined area 20 8:20 AM
Presenter Anupam Anand*, Global Environment Facility, World Bank Group, Geeta Batra, Independent Evaluation Office, Global Environment Facility, World Bank Group, Integrating remote sensing analysis with qualitative assessment for evaluating international development interventions 20 8:40 AM
Presenter Izabela Delabre*, University of Sussex, Anthony Alexander, University of Sussex, Pedram Rowhani, University of Sussex, Alexander Antonarakis, University of Sussex, Politics and power in managing data on zero deforestation: Lessons and challenges for integrating multi-disciplinary natural and social science methods 20 9:00 AM
Presenter Samayita Bandyopadhyay*, Oklahoma State University, Land-Use/Land Cover Change and Livelihoods Amidst Landslides – Survival and Vulnerabilities in Kurseong, India 20 9:20 AM

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