Christoph Nolte & Hariri Institute Fellows Series

3:00 pm on Wednesday, March 20, 2019
4:30 pm on Wednesday, March 20, 2019
CAS 132
Join us Wednesday when Christoph Nolte delivers “PLACES: Measure the effects of private land conservation with large-scale ownership and satellite data,” part of the Hariri Institute for Computer’s Meet Our Fellows Series. ABSTRACT: The voluntary, permanent protection of private lands is a key instrument in the conservation toolbox. In the United States, organizations and individuals spend billions of dollars every year to protect habitats and open space by acquiring full or partial rights to land. Yet where do these transactions occur? How much do they cost? What difference do they make? Answering these questions requires the synthesis of rich datasets on land ownership, sales, protection actions, demographics, land cover change, and physical attributes. The Private Land Conservation Evidence System (PLACES), a spatial data warehouse developed at BU, is designed to expedite the creation of such property-level datasets nationwide. In this talk, assistant professor Christoph Nolte showcases how PLACES 1) has helped uncover new patterns in the long-term effects of land protection in Massachusetts, and 2) can assist in the detection of tax fraud in conservation transactions in Colorado. As states are increasingly moving towards the provision of public-access parcel datasets, PLACES offers a shortcut for researchers interested in understanding the effects of land protection at unprecedented spatial scales and resolutions.