Sustainable Communities on a Sustainable Planet: The Human-Environment Regional Observatory Project

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $15.02
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 89%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (10) from $15.02   
  • New (5) from $15.02   
  • Used (5) from $24.25   


Scientists and policymakers have realized that localities are central to addressing the causes and consequences of global environmental change. The goal of the Human-Environment Regional Observatory project (HERO) was to develop the infrastructure necessary to monitor and understand the local dimensions of global change. This book presents the philosophy behind HERO, the methods used to put that philosophy into action, its results, and the lessons learned from the project. HERO used three strategies: it developed research protocols and data standards for collecting data; it built a web-based networking environment to help investigators share data, analyses and ideas from remote locations; and investigators field-tested these concepts by applying them in diverse biophysical and socioeconomic settings - central Massachusetts, central Pennsylvania, southwestern Kansas, and the US-Mexico border region of Arizona. The book highlights the unique focus of HERO regarding thinking and acting on complex, integrative, and interdisciplinary global change science at local scales, and is valuable for global change scientists.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521895699
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 11/30/2009
  • Pages: 348
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Brent Yarnal is Professor of Geography at Penn State University. His research and teaching interests bridge the physical and social sciences, and integrate climate change, natural hazards, land-use change, water resources, and the use of environmental information in decision making. His research focuses on vulnerability to and adaptation planning for present and future climate change, local and regional greenhouse gas emissions inventories and mitigation planning, and the role of climate information in water resource decision making. He has authored and contributed to numerous books and journal articles, and was the editor of Climate Research - Interactions of Climate with Organisms, Ecosystems and Human Societies from1996-2001.

Colin Polsky is Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Geography at Clark University, Worcester, MA. He is a geographer specialising in the human dimensions of global environmental change. He has explored ways to blend quantitative and qualitative methods for the study of social and ecological vulnerability to environmental changes in the Arctic, the US Great Plains, and central and eastern Massachusetts. This research requires the blending of statistical techniques (such as empirical downscaling and spatial econometrics) with insight gained from qualitative methods (such as interviews and participant observation). Professor Polsky has an extensive range of publications on the subject.

James O'Brien is Principal Lecturer in the School of Geography, Geology and the Environment at Kingston University, London. His research and teaching interests include Geographic Information Systems (GIS) enterprise and research, GIS software development, internet GIS, GIS and natural hazards, spatial databases, and geographic semantics. He has co-presented papers at international conferences on geographic semantics and the role of GIS in education.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

1. Infrastructure for observing local human-environment interactions Brent Yarnal, John Harrington, Jr., Andrew C. Comrie, Colin Polsky, and Ola Ahlqvist; 2. Theory: computing with knowledge to represent and share understanding Mark Gahegan, William A. Pike, and Junyan Luo; 3. Infrastructure for collaboration Bill Pike, Alan MacEachren, and Brent Yarnal; 4. Representing and reasoning with conceptual understanding Ola Ahlqvist and Chaoqing Yu; 5. Establishing vulnerability observatory networks to coordinate the collection and analysis of comparable data Colin Polsky, Rob Neff, and Brent Yarnal; 6. Comparative assessment of human-environment landscape change John Harrington, Jr., Brent Yarnal, Diana Liverman, Billie Lee Turner II and Brandi Nagle; 7. Landsat mapping of local landscape change: the satellite-era context Rachel M. Kurtz, Robert Gilmore Pontius, Jr., John Harrington, Jr., and Cynthia L. Sorrensen; 8. Assessing local vulnerabilities: methodological approaches and regional contexts Colin Polsky, Cynthia Sorrensen, Jessica Whitehead, and Rob Neff; 9. Rapid vulnerability assessments of exposures, sensitivities, and adaptive capacities of the HERO study sites Colin Polsky, Andrew Comrie, Jessica Whitehead, Cynthia Sorrensen, Lisa M. Butler Harrington, Max Lu, Rob Neff, and Brent Yarnal; 10. Evaluating vulnerability assessments of the HERO study sites Colin Polsky, Cynthia Sorrensen, Jessica Whitehead, Lisa M. Butler Harrington, Max Lu, Rob Neff, and Brent Yarnal; 11. The mounting risk of drought in a humid landscape: structure and agency in suburbanizing Massachusetts Colin Polsky, Sarah Assefa, Kate Del Vecchio, Troy Hill, Laura Merner, Isaac Tercero, and Gil Pontius; 12. A diverse human-environment system: traditional agriculture, industrial agriculture, and service economy in central Pennsylvania Brent Yarnal; 13. Fossil water and agriculture in southwestern Kansas Lisa M. Butler Harrington, Max Lu, and John A. Harrington, Jr.; 14. Urbanization and hydroclimatic challenges in the Sonoran Desert border region Cynthia L. Sorrensen and Andrew C. Comrie; 15. Lessons learned from the HERO project Brent Yarnal, John Harrington, Jr., Andrew C. Comrie, Colin Polsky, Ola Ahlqvist, and the HERO Team; References; Index.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)