Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Turner, B. L.
Location Arizona State University
Primary Field Human Environmental Sciences
Secondary Field Environmental Sciences and Ecology
 Election Citation
Turner has profoundly changed our view of how populations subsist, grow, and transform the Earth in field explorations of the Central Mayan lowlands, in tests of the Boserup hypothesis, in studies of long-term population dynamics, in synthesis of agricultural systems, and in reconstruction of human-induced global change.
 Research Interests
I am a geographer engaged in the study of human-environment relationships. I have examined these relationships in three principal ways: the use of land and resources by the ancient Maya civilization in the Yucatan peninsular region; the intensification of land use among contemporary smallholders in the tropics; and land-use and land-cover change as part of global environmental change. I have helped to document the extensive use of sophisticated and intensive agriculture by the ancient Maya, providing an understanding of the support base of that civilization. With my students, I have examined the behavior of indigenous farmers, assisting in the development of the induced intensification thesis of agricultural change and the hybrid nature of decisionmaking in households engaged in subsistence and market activities. Recently, I have helped to create an international study agenda on global to local land-use/cover change. This work integrates process, empirical, and integrated models of this change and identifies their linkages to remotely sensed data. These three efforts enrich understanding of the relationships among population, technology, political economy, and environment across different temporal and spatial scales.

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