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Postgraduate Courses

Land Use and Cover Change Modeling

Course Syllabus

Part I: Basic concepts of land change

– Lectures: land use and cover change concepts; Concepts of temporal and spatial scales; Land use trajectories; Change drivers and examples; Feedbacks, SES project, LUCC for Land project; Perspectives of understanding, case studies and meta-analysis, archetypes, syndromes, CL theories.

– Practical exercises: group discussion (applying concepts to case studies): direct and indirect drivers of change for selected case studies at different scales. Part

II: Land change modeling approaches

– Lectures: Modeling goals and approaches; scenario concepts and typologies: typologies of LC modeling approaches; Examples of different modeling approaches for the same problem.

– Practical exercises: discussion (applying the concepts to the case studies): How would you model the case studies for your thesis problem?

Part III: Modeling process

– Lectures: from conceptual to quantitative modeling; TerraME overview: cellular spaces, neighborhood, modeling approaches; LuccME overview: discrete and continuous components.

– Practical exercises: Configuration of the modeling environment; thinking about drivers and collecting spatial data; build a cell database using the FillCell tool to combine raster and vector data; temporal dimension; building data for your scenarios; analyzing how LC and driver spatial patterns relate to each other in your database.

Part IV: Discrete and Continuous LC Models

– Lectures: Statistical analysis for LC processes; Potential, allocation and demand components for discrete and continuous models.

– Practical exercises: Construction, calibration and validation of discrete and continuous LuccME models.

Part V: Alternative Modeling Approaches

– Invited lectures on different modeling approaches, for example: Integrated Assessment Models (IAM), agent-based models, System Dynamics, Deep Learning, spatial optimization models, etc. Project presentation.


Assessment criteria: Practical presentation of the project (related to the student’s thesis). The passing grade requires participation, participation in practical exercises and discussion groups.

This course is offered at the Postgraduate Course in Earth System Science – PGCST/INPE (CST-401-3) in which it is possible to enroll as a regular student (for PGCST students) or as an isolated course and at Stockholm University (Course Syllabus).

At the end of the course, the student is expected to: (a) acquire a general understanding of the different types of LCM and their applicability for different purposes; (b) be able to analyze the factors underlying land change processes at different scales and conceptualize LCM and scenarios; and (c), be able to build alternative spatially explicit models and scenarios using the LuccME/TerraME modeling framework.