Judith Ament

Advisor: Oswald Schmitz


While thinking about potential topcis for PhD research in the future, I recently became interested in the effectiveness of protected areas for achieving conservation goals. Especially in South Africa, there has been a recent rise in the number of privately owned protected nature reserves. Privately owned nature reserves now amount to more than twice the area of all South African National Parks. The installment of these private, as well as public, protected areas not only influences the areas within park boundaries, but also affects areas directly outside parks. These spill-over effects could lead to increased development and elevated property prices in the vicinity of protected areas. It is also possible, that through protecting nature within park boundaries and exclusion of any resource extraction, the land just outside these protected areas is used more intensively. I would like to work in the Center for Earth Observation to do some preliminary research investigating the feasibility of a land cover change study which would compare the "park-boundary-effect" of privately owned nature reserves to that of publicly owned national parks.