“Environmental and social implications of land use and land cover change in the Americas”
Miami, Florida, USA, July 16 – August 4, 2000
The Institute explored the dynamics and interactions of land use and land cover change as both major inputs to, and consequences of, global environmental change. Land-use and land-cover changes have major implications for sustainable development and livelihood systems in the Americas. The Institute’s theme was explored from a multidisciplinary perspective, including both its natural and social dimensions. Twenty candidates from the social and natural sciences were selected to participate in the Institute.
To promote effective communication and collaboration between early career natural and social scientists from the Americas, the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI) and the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (UM-RSMAS) have joined efforts to implement a Summer Institute on Interdisciplinary Global Change Science in the Americas. The IAI/UM Summer Institute is a 3-year venture with support from the United States’ National Science Foundation.
Each year, the Summer Institute is organized around a regionally important global change issue with societal relevance for the Americas. The Institute’s theme is approached from a multidisciplinary perspective, including both the natural and social dimensions. The chosen theme serves as the central focus for various Institute’s activities (lectures, research mini-projects).
General background on the Summer Institute’s design and a detailed list of Institute objectives can be found at http://www.rsmas.miami.edu/IAIUM/GeneralInfo/inst_backgr.html. The first Summer Institute was held July 11–30, 1999, and focused on the social and economic dimensions of interannual climate variability. More information on the 1999 Institute can be found on http://www.rsmas.miami.edu/IAIUM/Inst199/first_inst.html.
THE SUMMER INSTITUTE 2000
The second IAI/UM Summer Institute will be held in Miami, Florida, USA, between July 16 and August 4, 2000. The theme selected is “Environmental and social implications of land use and land cover change in the Americas”. The 2000 Institute will explore the dynamics and interactions of land use and land cover change as both major inputs to, and consequences of, global environmental change. Land-use and land-cover changes have major implications for sustainable development and livelihood systems in the Americas. The Institute’s theme will be explored from a multidisciplinary perspective, including both its natural and social dimensions. Twenty participants will be selected to participate in the Summer Institute 2000. It is the organizers’ goal to select approximately equal numbers of participants from the social and natural sciences.
Preliminary Institute Program
A preliminary program for the Summer Institute 2000 includes the following sub-themes:
Overview of issues related to land use/ land cover change;
Conceptualizing global to local scales in land use change;
Methods for monitoring regional land use/ land cover changes;
Modeling land use/ land cover change for global studies;
Linkages between land use/ land cover changes and carbon cycles;
The International Human Dimensions Program land use/land cover science/research plan;
Population growth and environmental change;
The role of property rights, public policy and institutional factors in land use and land cover change.
The Institute will involve formal lectures and hands-on activities to be completed by participants. Two world-class scientists (whose names will be announced in the near future) will lead and coordinate all activities during the 3-week Institute. The Institute Leaders will have complementary backgrounds on the social and natural dimensions of the central theme. The Institute’s theme will serve as the central focus for most activities. Background lectures by Institute Leaders will introduce participants from diverse disciplines to the various dimensions of the Institute’s theme. Recognized experts will deliver guest lectures on some of the sub-themes listed in the preliminary Institute Program. The Summer Institute likely will include one or more hands-on research mini-projects to be carried out by participants. The mini-projects will emphasize the need for multidisciplinary, multinational collaboration when dealing with global change problems with multiple natural and social dimensions.
Applicants must have academic and/or professional background in disciplines relevant to the Institute’s theme. Minimum academic qualifications include a 4-year university degree in a relevant discipline. Fields of study appropriate for Institute applicants include, but are not limited to: geography, ecology, agronomy, hydrology and water resources, biogeochemistry, soil science, remote sensing, statistics, resource economics, environmental policy, sociology, anthropology, environmental legislation, population studies, and political science.
Applicants must be affiliated with a research, educational, or resource management institution, governmental or not, in an IAI Ratified Member Country (although they may be temporarily in another institution, for example as graduate students). Currently the IAI Ratified Member Countries include: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, The United States of America, Uruguay and Venezuela.
Preference will be given to applicants in the early stages of their careers (within 8 years of graduation). Nevertheless, mid-career scientists and advanced graduate students also are encouraged to apply.
Preferably, applicants must either be actively involved in scientific research or in management positions involving use of scientific information. Applicants involved in activities related to the Institute’s theme, particularly as part of ongoing or future IAI-sponsored projects, will have a better opportunity of being selected. Applicants with purely administrative posts are unlikely to be selected.
Applicants need to have sufficient command of English (the language in which most Institute activities will be conducted) not only to understand lectures and assigned reading material, but also to participate actively in discussions and group activities. Applicants who are not native English speakers must attach documents demonstrating English language skills (e.g., Diplomas or Certificates of English proficiency, Test of English as a Foreign Language – TOEFL, scores) to their applications.
If selected, participants who are not citizens or legal residents of the United States must fulfill conditions necessary to enter the United States (in most cases, a US visa will be needed).
Institute participants will be selected on the basis of:
Academic and/or professional record;
Demonstrated motivation, interest, and qualification to pursue multidisciplinary research;
Conceptual clarity of the application essay (Statement of Interest);
Relevance of the Institute’s theme to the applicant’s current research or professional activities;
Participation in ongoing or planned IAI-sponsored research; and
Geographic distribution and gender balance between participants will be additional considerations for selection. Selected participants must commit to exclusive dedication to the Summer Institute activities during the three-week period between July 16 and August 4, 2000.
Applicants selected for Institute participation will receive round-trip airfare between the airport closest to their home institution and Miami. Housing will be provided for participants at the University of Miami (UM) in Coral Gables, Florida, for the period July 15 to August 5, 2000. Alternate or longer accommodations cannot be supported. Participants will receive a stipend to cover meal expenses (except when meals are provided as part of Institute’s activities). Daily travel will be provided between Coral Gables and UM’s Rosenstiel School, where Institute activities will take place. The Institute will cover health insurance costs. Participants or their home institutions must cover all other expenses.
Complete application materials must be postmarked no later than 31 March 2000 and received in Miami no later than 10 April 2000 in order to be considered.
HOW TO APPLY
Complete instructions on how to apply for participation in the IAI/UM Summer Institute 2000 are available at the Institute’s WWW site (http://www.rsmas.miami.edu/IAIUM/Inst2000/application.html). Potential applicants having difficulties in accessing the instructions via the WWW can request a printed copy via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by fax (1.305.361.4622).
Any questions related to the IAI/UM Summer Institute should be adddressed to:
Summer Institute Science Coordinator
University of Miami RSMAS/MPO
4600 Rickenbacker Causeway
Miami FL 33149-1098, USA