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Smarter land use — a response to climate change

Annual Research Report Article
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FAMU-FSU Engineering
Blueberry farm

Gang Chen, Ph.D., a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, is leading a team of investigators to study the effects of farming and land development on the environment.

Gang Chen, Ph.D., a professor of civil and environmental engineering

Chen received a $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to study the issue. This group seeks to provide solutions to increase the resiliency of food production while reducing the negative environmental, economic and social consequences of agriculture.

The study, “Land-use Changes in Response to Climate Change: A Vulnerability Analysis,” is a collaborative effort with research scientists from the USDA Forest Service, Washington State University, Florida A&M University and the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering.

The group’s focus is the impact of climate-induced temperature increases and altered precipitation patterns. They are looking at effects on water quantity and quality, food production and energy consumption.

“We are proposing targeted land-use changes to mitigate the diverse impact on water, food and energy, and on the economy and society,” said Chen, who is also a professional engineer. “These changes should eventually reduce the vulnerability of the agroecosystem.”

The findings of this project will advance strategies to sustain food production while conserving water and energy. By looking at the multifaceted impacts of land-use changes due to climate change, the researchers can provide guidelines to aid local and regional policy and decisionmaking.