Upcoming Events

04.01.2015 | 09:30AM | Faculty/Staff Meeting
04.21.2015 | 08:00AM | AAG Annual Meeting: CHICAGO 2015
04.29.2015 | 09:30AM | Faculty/Staff Meeting
Laura Schneiger

Laura  C. Schneider
Associate Professor
Department of Geography
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phone: (848) 445-0071

Curriculum Vita
Research website
Google Scholar Profile

Research Interests: I am biogeographer specialized in land change science. My research focuses on human-environment relations affecting patterns and processes of land-use land-cover change. My specific research interests are monitoring and modeling land transformation, biophysical remote sensing and ecological dynamics of plant invasions.

Results of my research show how important land transitions in the tropics, such as deforestation and the spread of invasive species, are caused by land management practices occurring under particular ecological contexts. My findings show how the ecology of invasive species, particularly its growth and expansion, is linked to farmers’ economic incentives and labor practices; I also developed ways to characterize heterogeneous tropical land cover types. My research findings from collaborative efforts also demonstrate how agricultural intensification does not necessarily release spare land for other types of uses.

Ongoing projects are 1) Environmental Disturbances in Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico supported by Moore Foundation and 2) The Spontaneous Spread of Silvopastoral Landscapes in the Ecuadorian Amazon supported by the National Science Foundation through the Dynamics of Coupled Natural and Human Systems Program.

Recent Publications: L. C. Schneider and N. Fernando. 2010. An untidy cover: Invasion of Bracken Fern in the shifting cultivation systems of Southern Yucatán, Mexico.Biotropica 42 (1):41-48.

Rudel T.K., L. C. Schneider, M. Uriarte, B.L. Turner II, R. DeFries, D.Lawrence,  J. Geoghegan, S. Hecht, A. Ickowitz, E. F. Lambin,  T. Birkenholtz, S. Baptista and R. Grau. Agricultural Intensification and Changes in Cultivated Areas, 1970-2005. 2009. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 106: 20675-20680.

L.C. Schneider. 2008. Plant Invasions in an Agricultural Frontier: Linking satellite, ecological and household survey data.  In Land Change Science in the Tropics: Changing Agricultural Landscapes, A. Millington and W. Jepson eds. Kluwer publishers. Pag 117-140.

L.C. Schneider.  2006. The effect of land management practices on bracken fern invasion in the region of Calakmul , Mexico Journal of Latin American Geography. 5(2): 91-107. 

L.C. Schneider and J. Geoghegan. 2006. Land Abandonment in an Agricultural Frontier after a Plant Invasion: The Case of Bracken Fern in Southern Yucatán , Mexico . Agricultural and Resource Economics Review: 35(1):167-177. 

 L.C. Schneider. 2004. Bracken Fern (Pteridium aquilinum (L.) Kuhn) Invasion in Southern Yucatán Peninsular Region: A Case for Land-Change Science. Geographical Review. 94(2):229-241.

J. Geoghegan, L. C. Schneider and C. Vance. 2004. Temporal Dynamics and Spatial Scales: Modeling Deforestation in the Southern Yucatan Peninsular Region. Geojournal. 61(4):353-363.

L. C. Schneider and R. G. Pontius Jr. 2001. Modeling land-use change in the Ipswich watershed, Massachusetts, USA. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment
85(1-3) p. 83-94.

Courses Offered: Remote Sensing: 450-322
Latin America: 450-336
Biogeography: 450-404
Advanced Geographic Information Systems: 450: 421
Land Change Science: 450:511
Graduate Students: Tabby Fenn (PhD)
Diya Paul (PhD)
Joshua Randall (MS)
Irene Zager (PhD)
Colleen Earp (MA-2011)
Jacob Gable (MA-2013)


Graduate Student Ariel Otruba

Coming Face to Face With War


To better understand the impact on everyday life in villages affected by the occupation along the South Ossetian Administrative Boundary Line, Ariel Otruba wanted to experience it. So Otruba spent the past summer in Georgia’s capital city, Tbilisi, to learn the language and get to know the people. She felt that a personal involvement would help her produce a more effective dissertation.


Feature article in Rutgers Today

Geography Knows No Boundaries


Geography majors receive a liberal arts education that is an appropriate base for further specialized training in academic disciplines which address environmental and international issues or in related professional fields such as planning and public policy, law, and environmental management. Students are also offered courses in which they learn specific technical skills in spatial data analysis, cartographic design, remote sensing, and geographic information systems that are suitable for direct entry employment positions. The Geography Graduate Program encourages work on a wide range of research specialties and fosters strong interdisciplinary ties. The program offers the following degree options: Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MS), and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).



  • Professors Robin Leichenko & Asher Ghertner win Int'l Collaborative Research Grants.
  • Graduate student Divya Karnad wins the 2014-2015 Dean's Research Award.
  • Professor Bob Lake wins the 2014-2015 Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award.
  • Graduate student Kim Thomas awarded a Post-doctoral Teaching Fellowship.
  • Graduate student Jenny Issacs wins a 2015-16 CCA Graduate Fellowship.
  • Alumna Ella Watson-Stryker among Ebola fighters named Time Magazine Person of the Year.

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    Department of Geography-Rutgers University
    Lucy Stone Hall
    54 Joyce Kilmer Avenue
    Piscataway, NJ 08854-8045
    Voice  848.445.4103 or 848.445.4107
    Fax  732.445.0006
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