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Fecha:Sabado, 24 de Enero, 2004  01:04:01 (-0300)
Autor:Humboldt <humboldt>

CeHuNews 13/04


Environmental Modelling and Earth Observation


This group comprises four lecturing staff (Professor Mike Barnsley, Dr Sietse Los, Dr Adrian Luckman and Dr Peter North), research staff (Mr Tristan Quaife and Mr Alan Steel) and postgraduate students. The group's research addresses a range of environmental issues including: the interactions between vegetation and climate; glacier dynamics; and urbanisation.  The group attracted over £780,000 of new research grants in the period 1996-2001 (90% from NERC).


Mike Barnsley and Peter North have pioneered the multi-angle approach to biophysical property retrieval (atmospheric aerosol loadings, albedo, LAI, fAPAR, etc.) using Earth Observation through the development of numerical models of shortwave radiation transport, their numerical and analytical inversion against satellite-sensor data (NERC funded, in collaboration with Prof. Alan Strahler, Boston University, USA), and the design and implementation of novel satellite-sensor missions (CHRIS/PROBA, in collaboration with Dr. Philip Lewis of University College London, NERC funded). 


Adrian Luckman has developed new multifrequency and interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) techniques to measure the spatial extent and biomass of temperate and boreal forests in connection with the analysis of forest management and carbon budget (EU-funded project) and for carbon-offset verification (BNSC-funded, in collaboration with Dr. Terry Dawson, Oxford University). 


Sietse Los's work on the analysis of long time-series satellite-sensor data sets and their assimilation within global climate and geophysical cycle models (with Dr. Piers Sellers and Dr Jim Tucker, NASA) has been instrumental in demonstrating the linkages and feedback between global vegetation patterns and climate (e.g. ENSO events). 


The climate theme is also being addressed by Adrian Luckman and Dr Tazio Strozzi (University of Bern) with their research on the dynamics of surging glaciers in East Greenland and Svalbard.  These dynamics serve as a model of ice-stream behaviour, making use of differential and dual-azimuth SAR interferometry and a novel speckle-tracking approach (Royal Society and NERC funded, with Dr Tavi Murray of Leeds University). 


In addition, Mike Barnsley and Adrian Luckman (in collaboration with Prof. Paul Longley of University College London) have attracted NERC funding to investigate interferometric SAR and structural pattern-recognition techniques for urban land use monitoring

Urban and Social Policy and Practice


This group seeks to understand, and add to, the evidence-base available to social and economic policy formulators. It comprises six lecturing staff (Dr Rosemary Bromley, Prof. David Herbert, Mr Craig Johnstone, Dr Kevin Rees, Dr Vaughan Robinson, Mr Andrew Tallon and Dr Colin Thomas), together postdoctoral and postgraduate research assistants and postgraduates. The group has two main research themes: urban transformations and migration.


The first strand of the urban transformations theme is social change in the city. Rosemary Bromley and Colin Thomas have developed a strong focus on city centre revitalisation, especially safe shopping environments. Their research into the 24-hour city concept has focused on the spatiality of safety and security. This links with David Herbert's long established and often pioneering work into the geographies of crime, and broader issues of social disadvantage in the city. David Herbert and Colin Thomas's recent study on educational attainment and social backgrounds extends this research, while the former's involvement in the ESRC Edinburgh Youth Criminality study and ongoing work into policing in the city sustains the interest in environmental criminology. Craig Johnstone adds to the group's work on crime through his interest in social disorder and the effectiveness of CCTV surveillance and partnership initiatives.


The second strand concerns urban economic change. Kevin Rees has worked in Canada on innovation, urban high-tech clusters and knowledge regions.  Rosemary Bromley in collaboration with Colin Thomas have a well-established interest in measuring the impact of retail decentralisation on the traditional hierarchy. Considerable research has also been undertaken on urban heritage and place promotion. David Herbert's innovative projects in France, England and (with Pyrs Gruffudd, Board of Celtic Studies funded) Wales have a strong conceptual base, but also explore the implications for place promotion policies as culture and the arts become part panaceas for urban regeneration. Finally, Rosemary Bromley and Dr Gareth Jones (London School of Economics) have researched place promotion policies in historic cities in Ecuador and Colombia (Nuffield Foundation funded).


The second theme, migration, concerns the work of the Migration Unit (established in 1992). Vaughan Robinson and Keith Halfacree have produced five authored and edited books on different aspects of migration, helping to rechart the field. Current research by Halfacree focuses on the ways in which the concept of ‘counterurbanisation’ has been discursively constructed in a selective fashion by both academics and the general public.  He is also continuing work on the gendered characteristics of migration in developed countries (in collaboration with Prof Paul Boyle, St Andrews University and Dr Darren Smith, Brighton University).  Vaughan Robinson’s current work centres on integration policies for migrants, with his research contributing to the definition of best practice in the EU through participation on the Integration Taskforce and leading a team comparing refugee dispersal policies across Europe (EU grant of £39k) (in collaboration with Prof Roger Andersson, Uppsala University and Prof Sako Musterd, Amsterdam University). He has also developed his research evaluating integration interventions through: (i) an innovative project with Jeremy Segrott analysing the expectations of asylum seekers on arrival in the UK (Home Office grant of £63k); (ii) an evaluation with Caroline Coleman of the Bosnian Refugee programme (Nuffield Foundation grant of £22k); (iii) studies of the dispersal of asylum seekers in the UK (two Home Office grants totalling £38k); and (iv) participation in an Anglo-American ethnic social mobility study (with Prof. Steve Teles, Boston University and Prof Tariq Modood, Bristol University).