Carolina Population Center Ecuador Projects

Northern Amazonian Studies

Agricultural Colonization in the Ecuadorian Amazon
The goal of this project is to identify socio-economic and demographic (SED) determinants of land use & land cover change in the northern Oriente of Ecuador. To achieve this goal, longitudinal SED data are analyzed in conjunction with a satellite image time-series and other geospatial data.

Comparison of Colonists and Indigenous Amazonian Land Use
A comparison of land use practices between indigenous groups and colonists in the northern Oriente of Ecuador.

Simulating the Effects of Urbanization on Landuse and Landcover Patterns in the Northern Ecuadorian Amazon
Urban influences are used to inform cellular automata (CA) models for predictive land use & land cover change (LULCC) over time. These influences are quantified through data from a community survey, from 2000, that is linked to spatial point locations for each community. The CA models identify likely trends in LULCC from a beginning time period forward.

Modeling the Scale Dependent Drivers of LCLU Dynamics in Northeastern Ecuador: Simulating Patterns of Landscape Change and Assessing their Cause and Consequence through Multi-Level Models and Cellular Automata
Multi-level models and cellular automata (CA) models are utilized to assess the rate, pattern, and mechanisms of forest conversion to agricultural and urban land uses. Scale dependent drivers of land cover & land use dynamics determined from household-level social data are examined in both space and time, combined with biophysical and geographic data.

Urbanizing the Ecuadorian Frontier: Links between Rural and Urban Places in the Northern Oriente
Cellular automata (CA) models are used to further explore the effects of urbanization and the nature of rural-urban links on land use/land cover (LULC) patterns in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Models will incorporate direct and indirect affects of communities, including their origins and characteristics, household-level data from the 1999 social survey, and feedbacks between new roads and protected areas to better simulate the changing urban environment in the Oriente.

Multi-agent Models of Land Cover/Land Use Dynamics in the Northern Ecuadorian Amazon:  Coupling Human and Natural Systems through Pattern-Process Relations and Spatial Simulations
Integrative and synthetic study of the causes and consequences of land cover/land use (LCLU) change using agent-based models.

Andean Studies

Frontier Migration and the Rural Environment in Ecuador
Investigation of causes and determinants of out-migration from three areas in the Ecuadorian highlands.

Galapagos Islands

The Center for Galapagos Studies (CGS) is the coordinating unit for UNC’s Galapagos Initiative, which marshals Carolina’s research strengths to address the complex human and environmental pressures in the Galapagos archipelago, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and birthplace of evolutionary science.