Historical Ecology

A major component of the ULTRA-Ex project is to reconstruct an historical ecology of the 19th and early 20th century Everglades region that would become Miami-Dade County. Miami's relatively recent development as a city makes such an endeavor not only possible but worthwhile for understanding how processes of urbanization transformed and continue to transform the area's coastline, rivers, swamps, mangroves, and pinelands.

This project has so far used a combination of geospatial technologies including 1920's aerial photography, LiDAR data, and GIS mapping to understand Miami's early 20th century socioecology. Investigating how early settlers reacted and responded to the region's immensely wet landscape as well as the climatic conditions, soils and wildlife and allows us to trace the unique history of Miami's transformation from wetland to major urban city, a transformation that bore profound implications for the city's future. The Miami-Dade ULTRA project considers a deep understanding of this history to be essential for thinking through the current and future challenges presented by climate change and sea level rise.

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