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Science Priorities for the Human Dimensions of Global Change
center(s) for human dimensions of climate change that Congress has called for establishing in 1995, because such center(s) could play an important role in land use change research. The implementation plan should clarify the roles of research in centers, contracts or cooperative agreements between centers and individual researchers, research supported directly by agencies, and the networking function of centers for linking investigator-initiated research with the center-based research.
The proposed research on land use change should be a significant part of the U.S. human dimensions research program. One should not underestimate the costs of conducting research that is intended to become policy relevant. An objective must be to identify not only the driving forces and the existing relationships among them and changes in land use, but also the mechanisms explaining those relationships and the variables that can be manipulated to achieve desired policy goals. Research focused on global change consequences and options in the land use area must include careful attention to the fact that agents anticipate such changes and respond, rationally or otherwise, to anticipated changes and to anticipated policy responses.