Environmental Changes and Surface Processes
The Environmental Changes and Surface Processes cluster focuses on environmental changes as conditioned by biotic, climatic, geomorphic, and anthropogenic factors. Research questions span several spatial scales, from land use changes in response to regional climate change to fine-scale processes of soil development or sediment transport. The temporal scale of inquiry spans Quaternary, historical, and modern time-scales, utilizing ethnographic, archival and radiometric approaches to dating. Research settings include field projects in Latin America (Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Peru, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, and elsewhere), Hawaii, southern Africa, the Mediterranean, northern Europe, and Texas.
Several representative themes of research include climate change and paleoecology, channel adjustment and floodplain processes of large fluvial systems, soil and ecological relationships atop high volcanic mountains, water management, agriculture, and human-environment interaction of peoples past, present, and future. The Environmental Change and Surface Processes cluster involves such sub-disciplines as hydrology, geomorphology, soils, biogeography, landscape ecology, paleoecology, geoarchaeology, cultural ecology, political ecology, agricultural geography, and environmental history, and interfaces with complementary Departmental clusters in Digital Landscapes and Space, Place and Social Worlds.