Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Engaging land-use stakeholders is model behavior

Date:
September 2, 2011
Source:
Michigan State University
Summary:
Taking land-use models out of the lab for a test drive with the people who live the models gives scientists a new way to develop possible future scenarios.

Taking land-use models out of the lab for a test drive with the people who live the models gives scientists a new way to develop possible future scenarios.

James Millington, a former post-doctoral researcher at Michigan State University's Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability (CSIS) and now a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at King's College in London, has paired the relatively new use of agent-based land-use modeling with follow-up interviews with the stakeholders in those areas.

The article has been published in the Journal of Land Use Science.

"We're looking at a more participatory way of doing science -- democratic science," Millington said. "These models are representations of our theories of the world -- it's important to check how they relate back to the real world. That's the real value of this approach. You get out of the lab and into the real world and see how people react to how you've represented their activity in the model."

Agent-based modeling of land-use change has been around about a decade, making its traditional use fairly brief. Scientists are searching for more effective applications.

In this project, Millington, along with David Demeritt of King's College London Department of Geography and Raϊl Romero-Calcerrada of the School of Experimental Science and Technology, Rey Juan Carlos University, Madrid, Spain, developed agent-based land-use models of a traditional mixed-use farming landscape west of Madrid to understand how land use change might influence and interact with wildfire regimes.

According to the paper, "The model represents two 'types' of land-use decision-making agents with differing attitudes towards the reasons to farm; 'commercial' agents that are perfectly economically rational, and 'traditional' agents that represent part time or 'traditional' farmers who manage their land because of its cultural, rather than economic, value."

Millington and his colleagues then took the resulting simulations to the farmers, explaining to them how it was used and its projections to get their feedback.

In this case, the group was small and the farmers had strongly held, somewhat down-beat views on farming's future in the area. In other words, they were more content sticking with their own opinions than exploring the alternative possibilities the models offered.

But Millington said the possibilities of bringing agent-based modeling to the people is tantalizing.

"This isn't necessarily about using the model to find the 'right' decision, it's a means of going through the decision-making process to find out what could happen," he said. "We can say 'look at how your activities can affect the landscapes.' They can see how they have an effect on the land, and see how it might play out over time scales they find hard to envision otherwise. The advantage is you are engaging more with the people who are making the decisions themselves."

The research is jointly funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and Natural Environment Research Council of the United Kingdom.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Michigan State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. James D.A. Millington, David Demeritt, Raϊl Romero-Calcerrada. Participatory evaluation of agent-based land-use models. Journal of Land Use Science, 2011; 6 (2-3): 195 DOI: 10.1080/1747423X.2011.558595

Cite This Page:

Michigan State University. "Engaging land-use stakeholders is model behavior." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110902133059.htm>.
Michigan State University. (2011, September 2). Engaging land-use stakeholders is model behavior. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110902133059.htm
Michigan State University. "Engaging land-use stakeholders is model behavior." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110902133059.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) — Operators of recreational businesses on western reservoirs worry that ongoing drought concerns will keep boaters and other visitors from flocking to the popular summer attractions. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) — After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Heartbleed Hack Leads To Arrest

Heartbleed Hack Leads To Arrest

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) — A 19-year-old computer science student has been arrested in relation to a data breach of 900 social insurance numbers from Canada's revenue agency. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) — The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins