Partnering for Land Use Sustainability (PLUS 2011-2013)
We are building an FNR signature program that addresses the overarching research question: what ecological footprints are needed for sustainable land use futures? Specific research questions explored are:
what individual behaviors impact ecological footprints?
how can tools such as models and decision support systems be used to determine the course to sustainability?
how can policies be adopted that alter behaviors to sustain ecological footprints?
Members of the PLUS group believe that a fresh approach is needed that places sustainability into a context of lifestyle choices, behavior characteristic of landowners and decision makers, and biological thresholds and carrying capacity limits occurring in ecosystems. Our project is designed to help frame current discussions on land use occurring in Indiana, including: What would ecological footprints of a biofuel future look like for Indiana? If current development trends continue, what would the ecological consequences be? What are the configurations, location, and quantity of wild lands needed to sustain ecosystems? What behaviors (drivers of change) impact the use of our land for housing, economic development, food, fiber, wildlife, and energy?
To determine ecological footprints needed for sustainable land use futures.
2 Year Objectives
1. Build capacity and tools that result in sustainable land use systems
2. Demonstrate ability to apply expertise and tools to land use planning problems that impact sustainable ecological footprints
3. Develop proof of concept material that will be used to seek funding from large extramural funding programs
The Partnering for Land Use Sustainability Area of Excellence builds upon the expertise of faculty and staff in the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, utilizes the rich datasets and tools we have developed, and links to successful extension programs that engage communities in using our discoveries to inform local land use and economic development decisions. Project activities center around 6 integrated tasks:
Data development and integration
Sustainability framework development
Model development and application
Decision support system enhancement
Student mentoring and interdisciplinary team building
This integrated research & extension project will support and enhance the emerging undergraduate program in Natural Resource Planning & Decision Making. This Area of Excellence addresses the following 4 goals of NSF’s new strategic plan:
Achieving a sustainable lifestyle
Increasing multidisciplinary research
Improving computational infrastructure and development of new tools
Connecting all research to social/policy issues of global relevance
Last updated March 6, 2011