Understanding Social-Ecological Systems


  • Watmough, Gary Richard (Project participant)
  • Svenning, J.-C. (Project participant)
  • Palm, Cheryl, Agriculture and Food Security Center, Columbia University, United States (Working partner)
  • University of Florida
  • Columbia University's Earth Institute
  • University of British Columbia
See relations at Aarhus University
In developing countries the majority of rural communities rely on natural resources and environmental products for food, fuel, building materials and medicines. Rapidly changing socioeconomic conditions can have important consequences for environmental resources and ecosystem services. Consequently, the pressure that natural resources experience from population growth is a significant barrier to sustainable human development. This research project will broaden the approach to sustainable development research by studying population-environment relationships using data with unrivalled spatial and temporal resolutions. The objectives of the research are to identify: (1) How satellite data can be used to estimate aspects of environmental resources and ecosystem services important for livelihoods; (2) the relationships between household poverty and remotely sensed environmental conditions? And are these relationships consistent at different time periods? and; (3) how changes in poverty relate to changes in environmental conditions and vice versa? To study these relationships household panel survey data and remotely sensed environmental data will be coupled using GIS and non-parametric Classification and Regression Trees (CART) and random forests models which can handle and represent meaningfully the complex, nonlinear relationships between poverty and environment.


  • Socio-ecological systems, remote sensing, poverty, Sustainable livelihoods, human macroecology, tropical ecosystems, ecosystem services



ID: 94184632