Research Topics

The Land Change Science Program scientists conduct research on topics that include drought, sea-level rise, Arctic ecosystems, plant and animal communities, changing carbon cycle, as well and land-use and land-cover change.


Because of their potential impacts on our Nation’s infrastructure, natural resources, and security, the Land Change Science Program conducts research on topics that include:

  • Droughts, floods, and availability of fresh water
  • Rates, causes, and impacts of sea-level rise
  • Variability of Arctic ecosystems
  • Patterns of fire frequency and severity
  • Changes in distribution of plant and animal communities
  • Impacts of changing land use and climate on the carbon cycle
  • Causes and consequences of land-cover change

A comprehensive understanding of these research topics is essential for managers and policy makers to accurately forecast accessibility of fresh water, suitability of habitats for food production and natural resources, and potential displacement of populations by land loss and flooding along rivers and coasts.