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Agricultural and Biological Engineering

Agricultural and Biological Engineering

Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) Topic 8 (Army Research Office)

Towards a Multi-Scale Theory on Coupled Human Mobility and Environmental Change

Awardee:  Dr. Rachata Muneepeerakul, University of Florida

The overarching goal of the project is “a modeling platform that is flexible enough to explore different approaches at multiple spatiotemporal scales as well as to strike the right balance of predictive power and facilitation of the development of an integrative theory” of coupled dynamics of environmental change and migration at multiple scales.  To achieve this overarching goal, we have established and pursued the following set of more specific goals:

  1. Empirical patterns of migration and their interactions with environmental forcing to be used as foundation to build our models
  2. Advantages and drawbacks of existing data analysis methods, especially as applied to migration data, and how they may be combined to complement one another or integrated/modified into novel methods
  3. Mechanistic models of migration and environmental change where relationships between different social and biophysical factors are clearly laid out and their effects can be rigorously studied
  4. Systematic and flexible protocol to incorporate the empirical patterns into model design and structure
  5. Healthy dissemination of the project’s findings to generate interest and subsequently feedbacks to improve our models and theory

Research Topic Chief: Dr. Lisa Troyer, 919-549-4230,