Professor of Environment and Sustainability and Research Professor, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research
Dan Brown, PhD, currently serves as the Dean of SNRE. Brown’s research interests focus on land use change and its effects on ecosystems and on human vulnerability. This work connects a computer-based simulation (e.g., agent-based modeling) of land-use-change processes with GIS and remote sensing based data on historical patterns of landscape change and social surveys. Brown and colleagues are working to couple these models with GIS-based data and other models to evaluate consequences of change. They are also working to understand the ways in which land-use decisions are made. Collaborative research investigate the effects of spatial and social neighborhoods on the physical and social risks on human health.
Though most of Professor Brown’s earlier work has been in the US, his work is becoming increasingly international, with projects in China, Africa, and India.
Research on land-cover and land-use change is funded by the NASA Land-Cover Land-Use Change Program and by programs at the National Science Foundation on Human and Social Dynamics (HSD) and the Dynamics of Coupled Natural and Human Systems (CNH) and conducted in collaboration with colleagues in SNRE and in the Center for the Study of Complex Systems. Research on spatial aspects of public health is conducted in collaboration with colleagues in the School of Public Health and funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the US Environmental Protection Agency.