Whose American Landscape?

This is my submission for the “My American Landscape” contest:

The types of landscape changes that interest me in Broward County, Florida, are cities and suburbs, natural disasters, and wildlife habitats.

Tiny lizards, giant beetles, and feral kittens coexist in the bushes of the parking lot outside my Florida home. I know this because I am one of very few pedestrians in Plantation, Florida. The area has a history of hurricanes and housing booms. Indeed, after the destruction caused by Hurricane Andrew in 1992, there was a massive building frenzy in Broward County. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Wilma transformed the area further by causing extensive damage to local properties. The Landsat “space chronicle” will show how the neighborhood has transformed former wildlife habitats into suburban sprawl, particularly in the wake of natural disasters. This will help explain how lizards and kittens have come to coexist in parking lot shrubbery, and how we can plan for more walkable suburbs that can be home for wildlife and people alike in the future.

This is probably part of the reason my dissertation isn’t done yet! But it’s getting there…

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