Land Use Projects

Himalayan Forest Conservation

A key challenge for Earth system sustainability is to balance human needs with healthy ecosystems. Sustainable development strategies strive to mitigate the environmental degradation that results from population growth and economic development. The overarching goal of our work in the Himalaya is to improve our ability to assess impacts of sustainable development policy on the environment. The High Himalaya is an excellent natural laboratory for our research because Himalayan temperate forests are one of the most threatened biomes on earth, and diverse sustainable development strategies have been implemented in varied socio-political contexts.


  • Jodi Brandt, Boise State University
  • Teri Allendorf and Volker Radeloff, University of Wisconsin
  • Jeremy Brooks, Ohio State University
  • Van Butsic, University of California-Berkeley
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Great Lakes investigation team

Integrated Stewardship of Great Lakes Coastal Wetlands

Early response is required for cost effective management of invasive species. However, early intervention strategies for newly-invaded ecosystems are understudied. We integrated remote sensing, restoration ecology, and anthropological research to identify effective early response strategies for exotic plants in the Great Lakes. We performed our research in culturally-important wetlands of the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians in northern Michigan. We developed a new method to identify new invasions using object-based analysis of multi-temporal RapidEye satellite imagery. We tested alternative intervention strategies using in-situ experiments, and found that newly-invaded wetlands retain high coverage of native plants, and early intervention may exacerbate the invasion. We interviewed tribal members, and found a wide range of perceptions about invasive species that could inform future interventions. Our project identifies integrated approaches to steer changing ecosystems on sustainable trajectories.


Matt Unitis and Jodi Brandt, Boise State

Eric Clark and Joseph Lautenbach, Sault Ste Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians

Nicholas Reo, Dartmouth College

Shane Lishawa and Brendan Carson, LUC

Jason Tallant, University of Michigan

Dennis Albert, Oregon State

Beth Lawrence, University of Connecticut


Funding and Sponsorship:

EPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

Michigan Invasive Species Program

Dartmouth Neukom Fellowship

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Boise State students surveying people

Ecosystem Services Supply and Demand

Idaho’s landscapes provide a variety of environmental benefits that contribute to human well-being, including clean water, the production of food, and outdoor recreation. We are conducting a research project to understand how those environmental benefits may change in the future, as the population increases and urban developments expand into agricultural and open lands. We are interviewing ~ 500 Treasure Valley residents, to identify which environmental benefits are most important for their well-being. The overall objective of our interviews is to gather useful information that will be incorporated into land use policy and decision-making processes.


Jenna Narducci and Jodi Brandt, Boise State

Antonio Castro, Idaho State University


Funding and Sponsorship:

Idaho EPSCoR,

Programme on Ecosystem Change and Society (PECS)

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