Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Agroecosystem design, sustainability, and subjective well-being in a lowland Tsotsil Maya community in Chiapas, Mexico
by Kelsen, Sarah J., M.S., State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, 2011, 100; 1506087
Abstract (Summary)

The Tsotsil Maya of Santo Domingo las Palmas, Chiapas, Mexico practice various forms of land management, while maintaining communal forest land. The goal of this study was to create a community-scale indicator framework to quantify how traditional field stage cultivation, mixed coffee agroforestry, and cattle ranching affect sustainability and producer subjective well-being. Land management sustainability was assessed through emergy questionnaires and analysis. Producer-scale subjective well-being assessment was conducted using a modified psychological needs questionnaire. Agroecosystem design was understood through semi-structured interviews and collaborative fieldwork. Results indicated differences in species richness, emergy sustainability, and subjective well-being, and that differences may be due to land management techniques. Emergy and subjective well-being were complementary assessments with differing results in this study. This study focuses on core tenets of ecological engineering, integrating human and natural systems for the benefit of both, highlighting the importance of a multidisciplinary framework for assessing landscape design.

Key words: agroforestry, adapatation, biodiversity, biocultural restoration, ecological design, ecological engineering, emergy, happiness, indigenous.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Diemont, Stewart A. W.
Commitee: Ferguson, Bruce G., Kimmerer, Robin W., Luzadis, Valerie A.
School: State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Department: Environmental & Resources Engineering
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: MAI 50/04M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Ecology, Agricultural engineering, Sustainability
Keywords: Agroforestry, Biocultural restoration, Ecological engineering, Emergy, Subjective well-being, Traditional ecological knowledge
Publication Number: 1506087
ISBN: 978-1-267-16492-6
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