The Bioregional Planning Program at Utah State University focuses on large scale landscapes through application of scientific, policy-based, social and cultural criteria, using GIS as a tool for spatial modeling and analysis. Methods of analysis are particularly responsive to undeveloped regions in which competing demands threaten ecosystem integrity. Recent research efforts have sought to develop an understanding of the key processes and functions in the watersheds of the Upper Colorado River Basin, an area covering approximately 442,500 square kilometers, using both the biophysical factors such as natural resources, land form, habitat, water quality and quantity as well as anthropogenic demands such as housing development, infrastructure, energy, recreation, and agriculture.
Alternative futures models were developed in order to evaluate the effects of growth scenarios, and to evaluate the balance between human growth and support for ecological integrity. Assessment models were used to understand the ecological, social, and economic implications of each scenario. Final recommendations were made to the sponsor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, for preservation of critical wildlife habitat.
This research provides interdisciplinary data, methodologies and models for conducting evaluations of the impacts of growth in this and similar regions.
|Keywords:||Bioregional Planning, Alternative Futures, Colorado River Basin, Energy, Wildlife Habitat, Development|
Graduate Research Assistant, Bioregional Planning Program, Department of Environment and Society, College of Natural Resources, Utah State University, Logan, Utah, USA
Professor, Bioregional Planning Program, Department of Environment and Society, College of Natural Resources, Utah State University, Logan, Utah, USA