In this lecture, Dr. Tom Rudel presents two examples of the use of spatial methods to understand difference and stratification in human impacts on the landscape. He presents one example of suburban sprawl in New Jersey, and discusses the use of geospatial data and spatial regression to characterize stratification in development patterns. He then presents a second example of land cover change and agricultural management in Ecuador. He describes the research questions and process of combining remote sensing data with household surveys and interviews to understand the drivers of differences in tree cover in pasture lands. He uses the example to illustrate how to interpret spatial stratification in the social and natural context within which it occurs.
Rudel, T.K., Katan, T., and Horowitz, B. (2013). Amerindian livelihoods, outside interventions, and poverty traps in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Rural Sociology 78(2): 167–185.
Tom Rudel studies the social dimensions of landscape changes in the Americas, both North and South. His research has focused on metropolitan expansion in the United States and forest losses in the Ecuadorian Amazon. The latter set of studies has included work on "the forest transition." He has also done research on the forces that have driven suburban sprawl, primarily through field studies in the northeastern United States. He just finished a book, entitled Defensive Environmentalists and the Paths to Global Environmental Reform, to be published by Cambridge University Press. He is a Distinguished Professor in the Departments of Human Ecology and Sociology at Rutgers University.