USGS - science for a changing world

Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center

National Land Change Assessment

Analyzing the long-term trends and the changing dynamics of US land systems

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Percent annual rate of Ecoregion Change

The National Land Change Assessment (NLCA) is a research effort that examines the causes, trends, and implications of United States land change. The project takes a comprehensive approach towards understanding land change by systematically examining land conversion and management across a full range of land use and land cover types and climate and ecological settings. Land change is a key driver of environmental change and has important implications related to climate variability and change, biodiversity, natural resources, and ecosystem services.

Historical and recent land transformations are examined using an innovative multi-scale ecoregion framework . The approach employs a variety of spatial analysis approaches to provide an understanding of the geographically- and temporally-variable processes of land change, focusing on the interactions between humans and their environment. A goal of the project is to provide a scientific basis for land management and policy decisions related to issues of sustainability and resilience.


Changes to the National Landscape

How are the long-term trends, land change transitions, and historical legacies of land use change affecting social-environmental systems and sustainability? This research examines the spatial-temporal dynamics and implications of US land change within the context of global environmental change.

Landscape Conservation Cooperatives

Great Plains

Eastern U.S.

Intensive Land Systems

Project Team

Mark Drummond (website): Principal Investigator, USGS Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center (GECSC), Denver and Fort Collins, Colorado
Roger Auch: USGS Earth Resources and Observation Science (EROS) Center, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Glenn Griffith: USGS Western Geographic Science Center, Corvallis, Oregon
Dave Hester: GECSC, Denver, Colorado
Jamie McBeth: GECSC, Denver, Colorado
Jodi Riegle: GECSC, Denver, Colorado
Chris Soulard: USGS Western Geographic Science Center, Menlo, California
Mike Stier: GECSC, Denver, Colorado
Janis Taylor: Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies, Contractor to the USGS, Whitefish, Montana

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