Research

Twin Cities Metropolitan Area (TCMA). We seek to understand the dynamics of land change in the city their relationships with human and environmental systems. Answering these questions require data ranging from the parcel level to broader social and environmental organization of the landscape. Funded by NASA, Minnesota Population Center Faculty Proposal Development Grant, Grant-In-Aid Of Research, Artistry and Scholarship, Office of the Dean of the Graduate School; McKnight Land-Grant Professorship; Faculty Interactive Research Program, Center for Urban and Regional Affairs.

Multifunctional Agriculture. In  collaboration with researchers in rural sociology and agronomy, we have started a multi-year project on the environmental and institutional ramifications and possibilities of sustainable agriculture in rural MN. Funding: National Science Foundation. BE/CNH: Understanding the Importance of Weak-Tie Networks in Complex Human-Environment Systems: Ecosocial Feedback in Multifunctional Agriculture; Intercollegiate Research Network, University of Minnesota. 

  • Manson, S. M., Nelson, K. C., N. Jordan, R. F. Brummel (2016). Effect of social networks on adoption of multifunctional agriculture. Environmental Modeling and Software  75: 388-401. [Code]

Southern Yucatan Peninsular Region (SYPR). We have a large amount of data focused on land use and its determinants in this region of Mexico, ranging from household interviews to GIS layers on environmental systems and social institutions (1987-2005). Funding: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, New Investigator Program in Earth-Sun System Science; Minnesota Population Center Faculty Proposal Development Grant, University of Minnesota. McKnight Land-Grant Professorship, University of Minnesota; National Science Foundation. BE/CNH: The Vulnerability and Adaptive Capacity of Coupled Human-Environment Systems in the Southern Yucatan Peninsular Region; Faculty Summer Research Fellowship Program, College of Liberal Arts.

Global Data. In collaboration with the Minnesota Population Center, Institute on the Environment, and Libraries, we conduct research that integrates the social science of population and natural science of the environment in the global change research. The first focus of this work is population and land use at the global scale and the second is spatiotemporally harmonizing census data in rapidly developing areas via NIH-funded projects on Latin America and Eurasia. Third is Terra Populus, an ambitious project to create population-environment data that are both locally accurate and global in coverage. A final focus is on issues of spatiotemporal data more generally, such as developing harmonized school attendance boundaries. Funding: National Science Foundation OCI: Terra Populus: A Global Population/Environment Data Network; National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health. Integrated Samples of Eurasian Censuses; National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health. Integrated Samples of Latin American Censuses; and National Science Foundation. School Attendance Boundary Information System (SABINS).

Human-Environment Education and Spatial Thinking. The HEGIS lab is combining spatial thinking and environmental education at the K-12 and post-secondary education levels. Funding: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, New Investigator Program in Earth-Sun System Science; Office for Public Engagement, University of Minnesota. Strengthening Public Engagement Through a Web-Based Curriculum on Spatial Thinking in Environmental Education; and Information Technology Fees Committee, College of Liberal Arts.