Created as a new Type II Center at the University of Florida in 2000, the Land Use and Environmental Change Institute (LUECI) facilitates interdisciplinary research and teaching on complex interactions among climate, humans, and the environment. Primary participating departments include Geological Sciences, Geography, and Anthropology, with collaboration from the Center for Latin American Studies. LUECI-related research is conducted in two laboratories. The Florida Institute of Paleoenvironmental Research (FLIPER) laboratory is used for study of sediment cores from lakes, oceans, and wetlands. A Geographic Information System (GIS) and Remote Sensing (RS) laboratory is used to study Land Use/Land Cover Change (LUCC) and long-term climate change. Two primary goals of LUECI are to: 1) advance interdisciplinary initiatives that build on the strengths of individual departments, and 2) promote graduate education and ensure that LUECI-affiliated graduate students have access to Center resources.
LUECI supports funded and unfunded basic and applied research on environmental change caused by natural phenomena (e.g. climate, volcanic eruptions, fire) and human activities (e.g. deforestation, soil erosion, eutrophication, pollution, introduction of exotic biota). LUECI also fosters development of courses that address complex interactions among climate, humans, and environment, in Florida, in other sub-tropical areas, and in the tropics. LUECI disseminates information on sustainability, and climate and environmental changes through peer-reviewed publications, presentations, and sponsorship of seminars, workshops, and outreach.