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The academic journal Land Use Policy published UNC Curriculum in Environment and Ecology’s 2015 spring semester course 569 class paper titled: Socio-environmental drivers of forest change in rural Uganda. (

UNC ENEC 569 class paper image of forest cover loss and forest cover gain across UgandaUNC ENEC 569 class paper conceptual framework image

ENEC 569 titled Current Issues in Ecology is taught by Curriculum in Environment and Ecology adjunct faculty member Dr. Clark Gray who is an Associate Professor of Geography. As part of the course, students work together on one or more research projects with the goal of producing a publishable manuscript. The result of the spring 2015 semester was aforementioned published paper.

The paper’s abstract:
Tropical deforestation and forest degradation are among the top global threats to biodiversity, carbon storage and rural livelihoods, but the social processes underlying these changes remain difficult to observe across large spatial scales and in data-poor contexts such as tropical Africa. We link longitudinal survey data from agricultural households in rural Uganda to high-resolution satellite data on forest cover change, and use this linked dataset to investigate processes at two scales: tree planting and harvesting at the parcel scale, and deforestation and reforestation at the community scale. This multi-scale analysis reveals that tree planting is more common on parcels with secure tenure, by educated heads and in isolated communities. Deforestation is highest in land-rich, agrarian communities with low population density and high baseline forest cover. These results provide explicit evidence that the social drivers of forest change in Uganda vary across scales, indicating a need for additional multi-scale studies.

For more information visit:
The pre-submission/open-access version of the paper (PDF)
The syllabus for ENEC 569
The website of Clark Gray

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