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“Research into the history of land cover change and its role in the earth system.”

Who is Tom?

Dr. Sever has conducted remote sensing archaeological research in Peru, Guatemala, Bolivia, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Israel, Louisiana, New Mexico, Ohio, and Georgia. His most current research focuses on the ancient Maya of northern Guatemala, the site of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, land modification and deforestation in the prehistoric Amazon Basin, and ancient Moche sites in northern Peru.

Much of human history can be traced through the impacts of human actions upon the environment. The use of remote sensing technology offers the archeologist the opportunity to detect these impacts which are often invisible to the naked eye. This information can be used to address issues in human settlement, environmental interaction, and climate change. Archeologists want to know how ancient people successfully adapted to their environment and what factors may have led to their collapse or disappearance. Did they overextend the capacity of their landscape, causing destructive environmental effects which led to their demise? Can this information be applied to modern day societies so that the mistakes of the past are not repeated?