Investigator:

Dana Graef

Advisor: Michael Dove

Description:

This project is a quantitative analysis of land use and land tenure change on the Brunka indigenous territories of southern Costa Rica after construction of the Inter-American Highway bisected the region in the 1950's.  I intend to classify land use and land tenure maps from a historical study conducted in 1964.  I will also classify a land tenure map from 1994 to compare with recent land use data I have acquired. This will allow me to assess the relationship between land use change (deforestation, transition to pasture and agriculture) and land tenure change (loss of indigenous lands to non-indigenous colonists) on the territories.

While I have conducted preliminary analysis and have acquired the maps, I have not yet conducted a spatially explicit quantitative analysis.  A possible second stage of analysis would include considering broader rates of deforestation in southern Costa Rica in the region surrounding the indigenous territory.