Advisor: Michael Dove
This project looks at social and environmental change in the highlands of Northeast Cambodia. Highland agriculturalists in Ratanakiriri Province practice swidden agriculture, a form of 'dry' (not inundated) rice agriculture relying on the felling of secondary forest, the burning of felled trees, and short (two to three year) growing periods followed by long fallows during which converted land reverts to forest.
The radical transformations of agricultural production patterns enacted by the Khmer Rouge regime (1975 -1980), and the prolonged civil conflict that has only recently ended, had serious implications for highland farming. That disruption, and the disruptions or modifications of the system caused by the recent and rapid expansion of the market economy in the region, have had significant effects on the landscape.
One element of this projecet involves a historic study of land use change, which will compare historical accounts obtained in interviews and published documents with remotely sensed data from aerial photographs and satellite images.