Dr. Meshari Alenezi, Dr. Di Yang, Dr. Jane Southworth, Dr. Hannah Herrero, and Dr. Xavier Haro-Carrión at the 2019 University of Florida Summer Commencement.
Image courtesy Sensors

BUNTING, CHILD, HERRERO, SOUTHWORTHIntegrating Surface-Based Temperature and Vegetation Abundance Estimates into Land Cover Classifications for Conservation Efforts in Savanna Landscapes

Hannah Victoria Herrero, Jane Southworth, Erin Bunting, Romer Ryan Kohlhaas, and Brian Child

Article first published online: 07 AUG 2019 Sensors

DOI: 10.3390/s19163456

ABSTRACT: Southern African savannas are an important dryland ecosystem, as they account for up to 54% of the landscape, support a rich variety of biodiversity, and are areas of key landscape change. This paper aims to address the challenges of studying this highly gradient landscape with a grass–shrub–tree continuum. This study takes place in South Luangwa National Park (SLNP) in eastern Zambia. Discretely classifying land cover in savannas is notoriously difficult because vegetation species and structural groups may be very similar, giving off nearly indistinguishable spectral signatures. A support vector machine classification was tested and it produced an accuracy of only 34.48%. Therefore, we took a novel continuous approach in evaluating this change by coupling in situ data with Landsat-level normalized difference vegetation index data (NDVI, as a proxy for vegetation abundance) and blackbody surface temperature (BBST) data into a rule-based classification for November 2015 (wet season) that was 79.31% accurate. The resultant rule-based classification was used to extract mean Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) NDVI values by season over time from 2000 to 2016. This showed a distinct separation between each of the classes consistently over time, with woodland having the highest NDVI, followed by shrubland and then grassland, but an overall decrease in NDVI over time in all three classes. These changes may be due to a combination of precipitation, herbivory, fire, and humans. This study highlights the usefulness of a continuous time-series-based approach, which specifically integrates surface temperature and vegetation abundance-based NDVI data into a study of land cover and vegetation health for savanna landscapes, which will be useful for park managers and conservationists globally.

Read the full publication at Sensors

 

 

 

 

 

BUNTING, SOUTHWORTH, HERRERO, RYAN, WAYLENUnderstanding Long-Term Savanna Vegetation Persistence across Three Drainage Basins in Southern Africa

Erin L. Bunting , Jane Southworth, Hannah Herrero, Sadie J. Ryan, and Peter Waylen

Article first published online: 25 JUN 2018 Remote Sens. 2018, 10(7), 1013

DOI: 10.3390/rs10071013

ABSTRACT: Across savanna landscapes of southern Africa, people are strongly tied to the environment, meaning alterations to the landscape would impact livelihoods and socioecological development. Given the human–environment connection, it is essential to further our understanding of the drivers of savanna vegetation dynamics, and under increasing climate variability, to better understand the vegetation–climate relationship. Monthly time series of Advanced Very High-Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR)- and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) derived vegetation indices, available from as early as the 1980s, holds promise for the large-scale quantification of complex vegetation–climate dynamics and regional analyses of landscape change as related to global environmental changes. In this work, we employ time series based analyses to examine landscape-level vegetation greening patterns over time and across a significant precipitation gradient. In this study, we show that climate induced reductions in Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI; i.e., degradation or biomass decline) have had large spatial and temporal impacts across the Kwando, Okavango, and Zambezi catchments of southern Africa. We conclude that over time there have been alterations in the available soil moisture resulting from increases in temperature in every season. Such changes in the ecosystem dynamics of all three basins has led to system-wide changes in landscape greening patterns.

Read the full publication at Remote Sensing

 

 

 

 

The UF Geography Department is sending a large contingent to New Orleans for the 2018 meeting of the American Association of Geographers

Find out where you can see a GeoGator present their research below:

Anthropogenic change to fluvial systems, I
Geomorphology Specialty Group, Paleoenvironmental Change Specialty Group, Water Resources Specialty Group
4/10/2018
8:20 AM
Balcony K, Marriott, 4th Floor
Anthropogenic Disturbances and Sand Bar Size Variations of Coastal Plain Rivers, USA
Joann Mossa

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Geographic research on vector-borne diseases (I)
Health and Medical Geography Specialty Group, Geographic Information Science and Systems Specialty Group, Spatial Analysis and Modeling Specialty Group
4/10/2018
9:00 AM
Lafayette, Marriott, 41st Floor
Using a Network Analysis Framework to Discuss Delivery of Mosquito Abatement Services in Machala, Ecuador
Catherine A Lippi, Liang Mao, Sadie J Ryan

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Anthropogenic change to fluvial systems, II
Geomorphology Specialty Group, Paleoenvironmental Change Specialty Group, Water Resources Specialty Group
4/10/2018
11:20 AM
Room: Balcony K, Marriott, 4th Floor
Riffle-Pool Variability in the Confined Lowermost Mississippi River
Chia-Yu Wu, Joann Mossa

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Applications of Time Series Remote Sensing at the Global to Landscape Scale
4/10/2018
12:40 PM
Grand Chenier, Sheraton, 5th Floor
Examining vegetation changes in Eastern Zambia savanna landscapes from 1984-2016: an integrated approach
Hannah Herrero, Jane Southworth

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Applications of Time Series Remote Sensing at the Global to Landscape Scale
4/10/2018
1:20 PM
Grand Chenier, Sheraton, 5th Floor
Latitudes and land use: global biome shifts in greenness persistence across three decades
Jane Southworth, Sadie J Ryan, Reza Khatami, Peter Waylen, Hannah V Herrero

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Geographic research on vector-borne diseases (III)
Health and Medical Geography Specialty Group, Geographic Information Science and Systems Specialty Group, Spatial Analysis and Modeling Specialty Group
4/10/2018
1:40 PM
Lafayette, Marriott, 41st Floor
The future is uncertain: global shifts in potential distribution and seasonal risk of Aedes-transmitted viruses
Sadie Jane Ryan

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Experiential Learning in Geography Education II
Geography Education Specialty Group
4/10/2018
3:40 PM
Napoleon A1, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Recruitment and retention in Geosciences through integrated professional and academic experiences
Heidi J. L. Lannon, Corene Matyas

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Geographic research on vector-borne diseases (IV)
Health and Medical Geography Specialty Group, Spatial Analysis and Modeling Specialty Group, Geographic Information Science and Systems Specialty Group
4/10/2018
4:00 PM
Lafayette, Marriott, 41st Floor
Precise space-time interventions on intra-urban dengue outbreaks using large-scale mobile phone tracking data
Liang Mao

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Geographic research on vector-borne diseases (V)
Health and Medical Geography Specialty Group, Geographic Information Science and Systems Specialty Group, Spatial Analysis and Modeling Specialty Group
4/10/2018
5:20 PM
Lafayette, Marriott, 41st Floor
A GIS-based Machine Learning Technique for Predicting Spatial Distribution of Phlebotomus papatasi (Diptera: Psychodidae), the Main Vectors of Zoonotic Cutaneous Leishmaniasis
Abolfazl Mollalo

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Land Change Science
Spatial Analysis and Modeling Specialty Group, Geographic Information Science and Systems Specialty Group, Remote Sensing Specialty Group
4/11/2018
8:20 AM
Maurepas, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Operational large-area land-cover mapping: Ethiopia case study
Reza Khatami, Jane Southworth, Carly Muir

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Topics in U.S. Regional Geography
Rural Geography Specialty Group
4/11/2018
10:00 AM
Galvez, Marriott, 5th Floor
Changing Economic Geography of Southern New England’s “Tobacco Valley”: Surviving in the 21st Century
Matthew McKay

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High-Level Perspectives: NSF, Geosciences, Big Ideas, and Geography
4/11/2018
11:50 AM – 1:10 PM
Bayside C, Sheraton, 4th Floor
This session will feature comments from William Easterling, who currently serves as the Assistant Director for Geosciences at the National Science Foundation. On assignment from positions as a professor and dean at Pennsylvania State University, Easterling is the first geographer to serve in the second-highest level of officials at NSF. His comments will touch on issues related to NSF that geographers will find of interest, including federal support for basic research; major emphases for NSF, the NSF Big Ideas, and opportunities for geographers in the Directorate for Geosciences. Other geographers currently at NSF will serve as discussants and provide complementary perspectives from their divisions in the Biological Sciences and Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences directorates. Overall, this special session is designed to provide attendees with new perspectives regarding trends, opportunities, and issues at NSF.
Michael Binford

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Environmental Geography
4/11/2018
1:40 PM
Balcony N, Marriott, 4th Floor
Morphometric differences between megafans and alluvial fans
M. Anwar Sounny-Slitine

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Spatial Demography
Population Specialty Group
4/11/2018
6:40 PM
Studio 4, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Spatially explicit age segregation index and self-rated health of older adults in U.S. cities
Guangran Deng, Liang Mao

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Hurricanes I: Climatology/meteorology
4/12/2018
9:00 AM
Napoleon D1, Sheraton 3rd Floor
Spatial characteristics of rain fields associated with tropical cyclones landfalling over the western Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea
Yao Zhou, Corene Matyas

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Geographies of health and health care V: Spatial and temporal analysis
Health and Medical Geography Specialty Group
4/12/2018
1:20 PM
Estherwood, Sheraton, 4th Floor
Understanding temporal changes of access to healthcare: an analytic framework for local factor impacts
Jue Yang, Liang Mao

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Regional evolutionary economic geography approaches to destination evolution
Recreation, Tourism, and Sport Specialty Group
4/12/2018
1:20 PM – 3:00 PM
Mid-City, Sheraton, 8th Floor
A Comparative Assessment of Tourism Development of Zambian National Parks to those in the South African Region
Brian Child

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Physical Geography Poster Session II
4/12/2018
1:20 PM – 3:00 PM
Napoleon Foyer/Common St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Accessibility to hurricane shelters for Airbnb users in Miami metropolitan area
Sanghoon Kim

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Development, Geospatial Technologies and Spatial Organization in Africa
Africa Specialty Group
4/12/2018
4:00 PM
Gallier A, Sheraton, 4th Floor
Vegetation Persistence and Change in Ethiopia as a Function of Climate
Carly Muir, Jane Southworth, Reza Khatami

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Preparing Competitive Research Grants in Biogeography
Biogeography Specialty Group, Careers and Professional Development
4/12/2018
5:20 PM – 7:00 PM
Studio 1, Marriott, 2nd Floor
This panel, organized by and for biogeographers but open to all, aims to review and discuss the ins and outs of preparing competitive research grants. Discussion topics will range from where, how, and why to successfully seek external funding for biogeographic research, NSF broader impacts and intellectual merit, lesser-known sources of funding, what to do when the big plans fall through, and much more. The panel features panelists from various career stages and areas of expertise.
Michael Binford

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Geographies of Climate Change Mitigation: Marketization, Financialization, and Decarbonization 1
Economic Geography Specialty Group, Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group
4/13/2018
8:40 AM
Grand Ballroom D, Sheraton, 5th Floor
Tropical Africa and the Political Economy of Climate Change Mitigation
Abe Goldman

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Landscape Speciality Group-Student Presentation Competition II
Landscape Specialty Group
4/13/2018
10:40 AM
Estherwood, Sheraton, 4th Floor
A landscape level analysis of urbanization, lake level change and community impacts in Mwanza Gulf, Tanzania
Ryan Good, Jane Southworth

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Wetlands and Meadows: Integrated Research in Geomorphology, Soils, Hydrology, Biogeography and Microclimatology
Biogeography Specialty Group, Climate Specialty Group, Geomorphology Specialty Group
4/13/2018
3:40 PM
Astor Ballroom I, Astor, 2nd Floor
Predicting the Potential Geographic Distributions of Non-Native Fishes in Florida with Climate Change
Joseph A. Andreoli

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Tropical Conservation, Development & Agriculture Short Papers
Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group, Geographies of Food and Agriculture Specialty Group, Graduate Student Affinity Group
4/13/2018
5:53 PM
Rampart, Sheraton, 5th Floor
Climate, Food Insecurity and Under-five Stunting in Zambia
Audrey Smith

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Tropical Conservation, Development & Agriculture Short Papers
Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group, Geographies of Food and Agriculture Specialty Group, Graduate Student Affinity Group
4/13/2018
5:53 PM
Rampart, Sheraton, 5th Floor
Situational Analysis of Mangalane, Mozambique in the context of a Community Based Natural Resource Management Project
Leandra Merz

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Health (Workforce) Geography
Geographic Information Science and Systems Specialty Group, Spatial Analysis and Modeling Specialty Group, Health and Medical Geography Specialty Group
4/14/2018
8:00 AM
Oak Alley, Sheraton, 4th Floor
Mapping rural–urban disparities in late-stage cancer with space-time rurality index and GWR
Liang Mao, Jue Yang, Guangran Deng

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Analyzing movement data using GIS: Lagrangian and Eulerian perspectives
Geographic Information Science and Systems Specialty Group, Spatial Analysis and Modeling Specialty Group
4/14/2018
4:00 PM – 5:40 PM
Napoleon B2, Sheraton 3rd Floor
Living la Vida T-LoCoH: Site fidelity amongst Florida wild and captive white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) during the epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV) transmission period
Emily Dinh, Jeremy P. Orange, Jason K. Blackburn

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Analyzing space and time in the African environments
4/14/2018
5:20 PM
Grand Ballroom D, Astor, 2nd Floor
Time Series Analysis of Vegetation Change and Changes in Persistence Analyses in Umfolozi-Hluhluwe Park 2001-2016
Meshari Alenezi

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Health and Hazards
Type: Paper
4/13/2018
6:00 PM
Napoleon B2, Sheraton 3rd Floor
Effects of Brucellosis Serological Status on Physiological Conditions and Behavioral Mechanisms of Southwestern Montana Elk
Anni Yang, Jason Blackburn

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Health and Hazards
Type: Paper
4/13/2018
6:40 PM
Napoleon B2, Sheraton 3rd Floor
Inferring processes from dynamic abundance time series
Jason Blackburn

UF President W. Kent Fuchs and UF Geography Chair Jane Southworth’s style game is on point in their new GeoGator swag. Photo credit Mr. Nick Dowhaniuk.

The GeoGator swag has arrived! Come down to 3141 Turlington Hall so you can join President Fuchs in showing your GeoGator pride!

UF Geography PhD student Mr. Nick Dowhaniuk, UF President W. Kent Fuchs, and UF Geography PhD student Hannah Herrero’s style game is on point in their new GeoGator swag. Photo credit Dr. Jane Southworth.

HERRERO, SOUTHWORTH, BUNTING, CHILD – Using Repeat Photography to Observe Vegetation Change Over Time in Gorongosa National Park

HANNAH V. HERRERO, JANE SOUTHWORTH, ERIN BUNTING, and BRIAN CHILD

Article first published online: JUN 2017 African Studies Quarterly

ABSTRACT: Protected areas are important conservation tools, as they can be managed to preserve baseline ecosystem health, including that of vegetation dynamics. Understanding long-term ecosystem dynamics within a protected area enables one to understand how this static park landscape responds to outside pressure and changing drivers. In this study, a repeat photography analysis was used to analyze changes in the vegetation pattern and abundance at Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique across seventy-two years of the parks history. Archival photographs dating as far back as 1940 were selected for sites that could be relocated in a subsequent field visit in 2012. Qualitative and quantitative analysis on vegetation abundance by structural group was undertaken using Edwards’ Tabular Key. Results when comparing the photographic pairs show that, in general, tree cover has increased on average from 25 percent to 40 percent over the last seventy-two years. This 15 percent increase may be in response to environmental drivers such as human management, herbivory, fire, and precipitation. Contrary to many recent studies on shrub encroachment in southern Africa, this study finds an increase in tree cover. Such analysis and results are valuable in that they demonstrate long-term ecological change within a managed protected area.

Read the full publication at African Studies Quarterly

 

Image courtesy Ms. Hannah Herrero.

Congratulations to Hannah Herrero, recipient of the 2017 University Women’s Club Graduate Scholarship!

Established in 1922 by President Murphree for women faculty, staff and spouses, the University Women’s Club seeks to offer social and service opportunities to its members. Today any woman interested in the University of Florida is invited to join us. Over the years many garage, bake sales and other fund-raisers took place to raise money for scholarships “to promote student welfare”. Our UF Foundation endowment funds undergraduate scholarships in honor of the “first ladies” of the University each year.  In addition, the graduate awards given are funded solely by money raised each year through individual member contributions.

HERRERO, SOUTHWORTH, BUNTING – Utilizing Multiple Lines of Evidence to Determine Landscape Degradation within Protected Area Landscapes: A Case Study of Chobe National Park, Botswana from 1982 to 2011

Hannah V. Herrero, Jane Southworth, and Erin Bunting

Article first published online: 28 JUL 2016 Remote Sensing

DOI: 10.3390/rs8080623

ABSTRACT: The savannas of Southern Africa are an important dryland ecosystem as they cover up to 54% of the landscape and support a rich variety of biodiversity. This paper evaluates landscape change in savanna vegetation along Chobe Riverfront within Chobe National Park Botswana, from 1982 to 2011 to understand what change may be occurring in land cover. Classifying land cover in savanna environments is challenging because the vegetation spectral signatures are similar across distinct vegetation covers. With vegetation species and even structural groups having similar signatures in multispectral imagery difficulties exist in making discrete classifications in such landscapes. To address this issue, a Random Forest classification algorithm was applied to predict land-cover classes. Additionally, time series vegetation indices were used to support the findings of the discrete land cover classification. Results indicate that a landscape level vegetation shift has occurred across the Chobe Riverfront, with results highlighting a shift in land cover towards more woody vegetation. This represents a degradation of vegetation cover within this savanna landscape environment, largely due to an increasing number of elephants and other herbivores utilizing the Riverfront. The forested area along roads at a further distance from the River has also had a loss of percent cover. The continuous analysis during 1982–2011, utilizing monthly AVHRR (Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer) NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) values, also verifies this change in amount of vegetation is a continuous and ongoing process in this region. This study provides land use planners and managers with a more reliable, efficient and relatively inexpensive tool for analyzing land-cover change across these highly sensitive regions, and highlights the usefulness of a Random Forest classification in conjunction with time series analysis for monitoring savanna landscapes.

Read the full publication at Remote Sensing