Africa Center Leadership Publications

The Africa Center's principal investigators are dedicated to their research on adaptation and resilience in social-ecological systems throughout Africa. Browse this page to find their recent publications focused on biodiversity, conservation, climate change, development, governance of natural resources, human and animal health, and sustainability.

Nutritional Status of Maasai Pastoralists under Change

Kathleen A. Galvin, Tyler A. Beeton, Randall B. Boone, and Shauna B. BurnSilver

Abstract

Mapping Current and Potential Distribution of Non-Native Prosopis juliflora in the Afar Region of Ethiopia

Mapping Current and Potential Distribution of Non-Native Prosopis juliflora in the Afar Region of Ethiopia

Tewodros T. Wakie, Paul H. Evangelista, Catherine S. Jarnevich, Melinda Laituri

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The Future of Human–Landscape Interactions: Drawing on the Past, Anticipating the Future

Without question, humanity is at a crossroad amidst rapid environmental changes. Some of these changes are natural, such as climate variability, but human-induced alterations on Earth have accelerated in recent decades, reaching a scale and intensity like never before. Virtually no place on Earth remains untouched by human activity. This special feature explores new scientific questions and frameworks for tackling research frontiers for understanding human–landscape systems.

-Chin, A, KA Galvin, AK Gerlak, CP Harden, E Wohl (2013). The Future of human-landscape interactions: Drawing on the past, anticipating the future. Environmental Management. DOI 10.1007/s00267-013-0082-0​​

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Changing Wildlife Populations in Nairobi National Park and Adjoining Athi-Kaputiei Plains: Collapse of the Migratory Wildebeest

Abstract: There is mounting concern about declines in wildlife populations in many protected areas in Africa. Migratory ungulates are especially vulnerable to impacts of changing land use outside protected areas on their abundance. Range compression may compromise the capacity of migrants to cope with climatic variation, and accentuate both competitive interactions and predation. We analyzed the population dynamics of 11 ungulate species within Kenya’s Nairobi National Park, and compared them to those in the adjoining Athi-Kaputiei Plains, where human settlements and other developments had expanded. The migratory wildebeest decreased from almost 30,000 animals in 1978 to around 5,000 currently but the migratory zebra changed little regionally. Hartebeest, impala, eland, Thomson’s gazelle, Grant’s gazelle, waterbuck, warthog and giraffe numbers declined regionally, whereas buffalo numbers expanded.

Understanding Human–Landscape Interactions in the ‘‘Anthropocene’’

Abstract: This article summarizes the primary outcomes of an interdisciplinary workshop in 2010, sponsored by the U.S. National Science Foundation, focused on developing key questions and integrative themes for advancing the science of human–landscape systems. The workshop was a response to a grand challenge identified recently by the U.S. National Research Council (2010a)—‘‘How will Earth’s surface evolve in the ‘‘Anthropocene?’’—suggesting that new theories and methodological approaches are needed to tackle increasingly complex human–landscape interactions in the new era. A new science of human–landscape systems recognizes the interdependence of hydro-geomorphological, ecological, and human processes and functions. Advances within a range of disciplines spanning the physical, biological, and social sciences are therefore needed to contribute toward interdisciplinary research that lies at the heart of the science.

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