Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Sandra Basgall


Prior to the age of agriculture, more than 10,000 years ago, the earth was cloaked with forest and open woodland estimated at over six billion hectares. With the passage of time, forested lands have dwindled to approximately two-thirds of that figure, due to a combination of land clearing for crop production, fuelwood gathering, commercial timbering, and livestock ranching (Bene et al. 1977).

As a result of prolonged, extreme alterations to the natural environment, some civilizations were adversely affected to the point of decimation; still, human progress has proceeded, generally unthwarted, through the centuries. In fact, some of the land use practices which have lead [sic] to these problems, i.e., land clearing and the over-harvesting, or unsustainable mining, of forest products, have had a strong role in the social development and economic expansion of civilizations around the world.


Agricultural and Resource Economics