• Laura  C. Schneider
  • Laura C. Schneider
  • Professor & Graduate Program Director
  • Office: Lucy Stone Hall Room B-234
  • Phone: (848) 445-0071
  • Research Interests: land systems science, tropical ecosystems, remote sensing, Latin America
  • Degrees: (Ph.D., Clark)
  • Core Faculty, Graduate Faculty

Curriculum Vitae



Research website: Welcome to the Land Systems Science Research Group

Google Scholar Profile

Research Interests:
Laura Schneider’s research intersects land systems science and biogeography.  Her research focuses on understanding changes in tropical landscapes using a socio-ecological systems approach. She is interested in measuring forest responses following environmental disturbances, monitoring and modeling tropical deforestation and re-growth, and mapping forest dynamics. Her research shows how tropical secondary forests are resilient to disturbances, and how rural landscapes are shaped by land management practices occurring under particular ecological contexts. It also demonstrates the importance of methods linking field data to regional characterizations using remotely sensed data in assessing ecosystem services.

Dr. Schneider’s ongoing projects include Environmental Disturbances in Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico, supported by a grant from the Moore Foundation; and The Spontaneous Spread of Silvopastoral Landscapes in the Ecuadorian Amazon, which was supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation through the Dynamics of Coupled Natural and Human Systems Program. Recently, Laura held a Fulbright Distinguished Chair Award in Biodiversity and Sustainable Development. Her Fulbright research focuses on landscape change in the Colombian Orinoco: the effects of armed conflict on deforestation in protected areas and the effects of the peace treaty reached in 2016 on land consolidation programs in the region.

Selected Publications:

Armenteras, D., L. Schneider and L. Davalos. 2019. Fires in protected areas reveal unforeseen costs for Colombian peace. Nature Ecology and Evolution, https://rdcu.be/bb0aX

Schneider, L., A. Lerner, M. McGroody and T. Rudel. 2018. Assessing the provision of ecosystem services by sivopastoral landscapes: estimating above ground carbon in Ecuadorian Amazonian silvopastoral farms using optical remote sensing and field measurements. Journal of Land Use Science/ https://doi.org/10.1080/1747423X.2018.1542463

Ramirez, C. D., Orrego S. A. and L. Schneider. 2018. Identifying Drivers and Spatial Pattern of Deforestation in a Strategic Watershed, Rio Grande Basin (Colombian Andes). Journal of Latin American Geography, 17(1):108-138.

Rudel, T., B. Paul., D. White, I.M. Rao, R. Van Der Hoek, A. Castro, M. Boval, A. Lerner, L. Schneider and M. Peters. LivestockPlus: Forages, sustainable intensification, and food security in the tropics. AMBIO, DOI 10.1007/s13280-015-0676-2

McGroody, Lerner, A, D. Burbano  L. Schneider and T. Rudel. Carbon Stocks in Silvopastoral Systems: A Study from Four Communities in Southeastern Ecuador. Biotropica 47 (4) 407-415.

Lerner, A., T. Rudel, L. Schneider, M. McGroddy, D. Burbano and C. Mena. The spontaneous emergence of silvo-pastoral landscapes in the Ecuadorian Amazon: patterns and process. 2015. Regional Environmental Change 15 (7): 1421-1431

McGroody, M., D. Lawrence, L. Schneider, J. Rogan, I. Zager and B. Schmook. 2013. Damage patterns after Hurricane Dean in the southern Yucatán: Has human activity resulted in more resistant forests. Forest Ecology and Management. 310, 812-820

Márdero S., Nickl E. , Schmook B., Schneider  L. , Rogan J., Christman  Z. and Lawrence D.  2012.  Sequías en el Sur de la Península de Yucatán: Análisis de la variabilidad anual y estacional de la precipitación/ Droughts in the Southern Yucatán Peninsula: Analysis of the annual and seasonal precipitation variability. Investigaciones Geográficas. 78:19-33.

Vandecar, K., D. Lawrence, D. Richards, L. Schneider, J. Rogan and B. Schmook. 2011. Response of dry tropical forest to Hurricane Dean in the southern Yucatán Peninsula: Species-level impacts. Biotropica. 43(6):676-684.

Rogan J., L. Schneider, Z. Christman, M. Millones, D. Lawrence and B. Schmook. 2011. Hurricane Disturbance Mapping using MODIS EVI Data in the South-Eastern Yucatán, Mexico.  Remote Sensing Letters 2(3): 259-267

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


Remote Sensing: 450-322
Global Ecosystems and Biodiversity: 450-306
Latin America: 450-336
Graduate Seminar in Land Change Science: 450:511

Graduate Students:

  • Leonardo Calzada (PhD) (starting Fall 2020)
  • Steven King  (MA)
  • Alana Rader (PhD)
  • Tabby Fenn (PhD, 2018)
  • Diya Paul (PhD, 2018)
  • Irene Zager (PhD, 2015)
  • Gabriella Ulloa (MA, 2018)
  • Joshua Randall (MS, 2015)
  • Jacob Gable (MA, 2013)