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Maps and Locals (MALS): A Cross-Site LTER Comparative Study of Land-Cover and Land-Use Change with Spatial Analysis and Local Ecological Knowledge, 2012

Humphries, H.C., Bourgeron, P.S.

LTER Databits (Spring 2012)
NWT Accession Number: NWT1908


The Maps and Locals (MALS; project started in 2009 as a collaborative effort funded as social science supplements for 11 participating LTER sites (AND, ARC, BNZ, CCE, CWT, GCE, JRN, KBS, KNZ, LUQ, and NWT) to investigate changes in socio-ecological systems using a mixed methods comparative approach. Other LTER sites and groups have been involved at various levels. MALS coordinators are Gary Kofinas, BNZ & ARC; Robert (Gil) Pontius, PIE; and Nathan Sayre, JRN. The specific objectives of MALS are to: (1) use spatial representations of land cover and land use to identify patterns of landscape change in regions in and around LTER sites; and, (2) integrate local ecological knowledge (LEK) and other existing social data into theories and models of social ecological change and their implications for human livelihoods. LTER sites participating in this program of research emphasize these activities to varying degrees. Cross-site comparisons are being conducted to develop methods and questions, test hypotheses over larger scales, and set the stage for cross-site comparative studies. Three workshops were held to coordinate MALS activities. A three-day training/planning workshop will be held in 2012 that provides LTER investigators, LTER graduate students, and others with a theoretical orientation, practical skills, and the research tools to document local ecological knowledge and integrate that knowledge with spatial analysis and other forms of scientific data to understand socio-ecological resilience.


Socio-Ecological Interactions, Human Impact, Ground Cover, Wildland-Urban Interface

Associated Niwot LTER Researchers:

Related Field Location(s):



Humphries, H.C., Bourgeron, P.S., (2012) Maps and Locals (MALS): A Cross-Site LTER Comparative Study of Land-Cover and Land-Use Change with Spatial Analysis and Local Ecological Knowledge. LTER Databits (Spring 2012)

CU Boulder

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Cooperative Agreement #DEB-1637686. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the material are those of the author(s) and do not necesarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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