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Special Issue "Remote Sensing of Human-Environment Interactions"

A special issue of Remote Sensing (ISSN 2072-4292). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Remote Sensing".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 November 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Stephen Walsh

Department of Geography, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3220, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Dr. Stephen J. Walsh’s research interests involve the fusion of multi-scale remote sensing assets and information extraction methods to assess the spatial-temporal patterns of land cover/land use change (LCLUC) and the associated social-ecological drivers of change. Through extensive work in Thailand, the Ecuadorian Amazon, and the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador, remote sensing data products are integrated with multi-dimensional human-environment data to examine pattern process relationship and the feedbacks between human behavior and environmental dynamics. Scenario testing is conducted to study the impact of exogenous and endogenous factors in shaping and reshaping human-environment interactions and LCLUC patterns that are assessed through statistical methods and spatial simulation models, including, agent-based models and dynamic systems models
Guest Editor
Prof. Conghe Song

Department of Geography, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3220, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: remote sensing of the environment with multiple sensors for natural resource monitoring; land surface biophysical parameter extraction; land cover/land use change (LCLUC) detection; modeling of the ecological consequence of the terrestrial ecosystem as a result of LCLUC in the context of climate change, and understanding the socioeconomic driving factors of LCLUC

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are calling for papers for a Special Issue on “Remote Sensing of Human-Environment Interactions”. Due to the rapid increase in the global human population, its re-distribution through migration, and associated economic growth, the direct and indirect human footprint on the natural environment has never been larger and it is increasing in areal extent and intensity, seriously threatening the welfare of future generations. Humans are extracting increasingly more resources from the environment, including, but not limited to, unprecedented use of fertile land for urban expansion, agricultural land extensification and intensification for food production, timber harvesting, freshwater usage, and mineral, gas and oil excavation, all of which have profound environmental and social consequences. On the other hand, the waste matter coming out of the human system in solid, liquid or gaseous forms, and entering into the atmosphere and/or water system, further compromises the vital ecosystem services that the natural environment provides and the health and well-being of humans require. At the same time, tremendous efforts have been invested by national and international agencies and government organizations in conservation of the existing vital ecosystems, restoration of the degraded environments, and creative management for sustainable use of key natural resources. Remote Sensing provides an indispensable tool to monitor, visualize, analyze, and model human-environment interactions for better understanding of what has happened in the past and the consequences of the future. Linking geospatial data to remotely sensed data to characterize people, environment, and their interactions is vital to implementing and accomplishing sustainable development involving the integration of policy actors across multiple sectors and levels of government. To stimulate more research on human–environment interactions using remotely sensed data in both the continental and island settings and its international dissemination, we call for papers on a range of topics in this Special Issue, such as

(1) Urban-agricultural land use dynamics and the social-ecological consequences.
(2) Natural resource management programs or environmental policies.
(3) Deforestation and reforestation and other environmental restoration programs.
(4) Mining, fracking and other forms of extraction of underground natural resources.
(5) Social-ecological impacts of tourism and population migration.
(6) Island ecosystems and challenges to their sustainability.

Prof. Stephen J. Walsh
Prof. Conghe Song
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Remote Sensing is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Human-Environment Interactions
  • Land-Cover/Land-Use Change
  • Ecosystem Services
  • Natural Resource Management
  • Environmental Policy Evaluation
  • Tourism and Development
  • Climate and Environmental Change
  • Urbanization
  • Population Migration
  • Land Abandonment
  • Land Degradation
  • Invasive Species
  • Agricultural intensification & Extensification

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle Integrating Spatial Continuous Wavelet Transform and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index to Map the Agro-Pastoral Transitional Zone in Northern China
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(12), 1928; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10121928
Received: 29 October 2018 / Revised: 26 November 2018 / Accepted: 28 November 2018 / Published: 30 November 2018
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The agro-pastoral transitional zone (APTZ) in Northern China is one of the most important ecological barriers of the world. The commonly-used method to identify the spatial distribution of ATPZ is to apply a threshold rule on climatic or land use indicators. This approach [...] Read more.
The agro-pastoral transitional zone (APTZ) in Northern China is one of the most important ecological barriers of the world. The commonly-used method to identify the spatial distribution of ATPZ is to apply a threshold rule on climatic or land use indicators. This approach is highly subjective, and the quantity standards vary among the studies. In this study, we adopted the spatial continuous wavelet transform (SCWT) technique to detect the spatial fluctuation in normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) sequences, and as such identify the APTZ. To carry out this analysis, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) NDVI 1-month data (MODND1M) covering the period 2006–2015 were used. Based on the spatial variation in NDVI, we identified two sub-regions within the APTZ. The temporal change of APTZ showed that although vegetation spatial pattern changed annually, certain areas appeared to be stable, while others showed higher sensitivity to environmental variance. Through correlation analysis between the dynamics of APTZ and precipitation, we found that the mean center of the APTZ moved toward the southeast during dry years and toward the northwest during humid years. By comparing the APTZ spatial pattern obtained in the present study with the outcome following the traditional approach based on mean annual precipitation data, it can be concluded that our study provides a reliable basis to advance the methodological framework to identify accurately transitional zones. The identification framework is of high importance to support decision-making in land use management in Northern China as well as other similar regions around the world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Human-Environment Interactions)

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