Landscape Dynamics Modeling

Dr. Britaldo Soares-Filho

August 20-24 from 9am -5pm, UVM

Open enrollment. Students may register for up to 2 credits as NR 285/385.

Contact to sign up for the workshop.

Gillian L. Galford, Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professor

The Gund Institute for Ecological Economics

Rubenstein School of Environment & Natural Resources



Instructor:  Dr. Britaldo Soares-Filho is a pre-eminent Brazilian scholar who is donating his time to build capacity in this area. He is a collaborator of mine and it is an honor for us to host him. As you can see from the publication list below, this modeling framework has been used for a wide range of applications and purposes ranging from academic publications to government reports and policy documents.

 Everyone is invited to an opening lecture on Tuesday, August 20th at 9 am by Dr. Soares-Filho on applications of landscape dynamics modeling, including deforestation simulation, forest fire spreading, carbon cycling and emissions, fluvial regimes, urban growth and much more. This will also set some of the basic theory and overview of Dinimica-EGO, so if you are into spatial analysis this will be good exposure for you.

 The course will run August 20-24 from 9am -5pm and will include:  using the Dinamica EGO modeling framework including the visual interface, library of analytical and simulation algorithms; analyzing landscape metrics; design, calibration, validation, and operation of landscape dynamics models; applying the models to real studies. Advanced users may learn how to develop Genetic Algorithms and Model Wizards. The course is free and open to students, staff, faculty and collaborators. Students taking this course may like to apply their new skills through the Vermont Climate Assessment (NR 385). Note: It is expected that participants in the course have a foundation in GIS.  

This modeling framework was used for independent projects in NR 228 this semester. My students were able to create simulation models to: site community gardens in Burlington, site wind power in Vermont, estimate carbon storage due to land conservation, estimate birch range on Mt. Mansfield under shifting climate, simulate at-risk areas of salamander migration routes, and simulate the impacts of hunting on populations. That is to say, this is a very manageable modeling skill to pick up and could be very useful to you!  Plus, we will work on Brazilian time, which includes a healthy lunch break and coffee.


Dinamica EGO website:

 Dinamica EGO has increasingly drawn the attention of many scholars worldwide, who have applied this freeware to various modeling studies ( The course aims to introduce the potential of Dinamica EGO freeware modeling platform for environmental studies, focusing on landscape dynamics. Dinamica EGO provides a complete set of tools to develop landscape dynamics modeling, from analysis of landscape structure to the simulation of spatial patterns of change and model validation. By simply dragging and connecting data operators in a model diagram, its friendly graphical interface allows for the design from the very simple static spatial model to very complex ones, which can ultimately involve nested iterations, multi-transitions, dynamic feedbacks, and multi-region and scale approaches.


Select publications


Oliveira, L.J.C. ; Costa, M.H.; Soares-Filho B. S.; Coe, M.T. Large-scale expansion of agriculture in Amazonia may be a no-win scenario. Environmental Research Letters Volume 8 Number 2. 2013.

Kamusoko, C.; Wada,Y.; Furuya, T.; Tomimura, S.; Nasu, M.; Homsysavath, K. Simulating Future Forest Cover Changes in Pakxeng District, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR): Implications for Sustainable Forest ManagementLand 2013, 2, 1-19.

Soares-Filho B. S., Rodrigues H. O. , Follador, M. A hybrid analytical-heuristic method for calibrating land-use change models. Environmental Modeling & Software (2013).


Ferreira, B.M.; Pereira, F.M.Q.; Soares-Filho; B.S.; Rodrigues, H.O. Optimizing a Geomodeling Domain Specific Language. Programming Languages. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer Berlin / Heidelberg. 2012.

Leite, C. C.; Costa, M. H.; Soares-Filho, B. S.; Hissa, L. B. V.. Historical land use change and associated carbon emissions in Brazil from 1940 to 1995. Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 26, GB2011. 2012.

Ferreira, M. E.; Ferreira Jr L. G.; Miziarab, F.;Soares-Filho, B. S. Modeling landscape dynamics in the central Brazilian savanna biome: future scenarios and perspectives for conservation. Journal of Land Use Science. Available online: 15 Mar 2012.

Carlson, K. M.; Curran, L. M.; Ratnasari, D.; Pittman, A.M.; S. Soares-Filho, B. S.; Asner, G. P.; Trigg, S. N.; Gaveau, D. A.; Lawrence, D.; Rodrigues, H. O. Committed carbon emissions, deforestation, and community land conversion from oil palm plantation expansion in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2012.

Soares-Filho, B.S.; Lima, L.S.; Bowman, M.; Hissa, L. V. Challenges for Low-Carbon Agriculture and Forest Conservation in Brazil. Inter-American Development Bank Environmental Safeguards Unit (VPS/ESG) TECHNICAL NOTES. 2012. (English - Español


Soares-Filho B. S.; Silvestrini, R.; Nepstad, D.; Brando, P.; Rodrigues, H.O.; Alencar, A.; Coe, M.; Locks, C.; Lima, L.; Hissa, L.B.V. et al. Forest fragmentation, climate change and understory fire regimes on the Amazonian landscapes of the Xingu headwaters. Landscape Ecology. Volume 27, Number 4 (2012), 585-598.

GIUDICE, R.; Soares-Filho B. S.; Merry F. D.; Rodrigues H. O.; Bowman, M. Timber concessions in Madre de Dios: Are they a good deal? Ecological Economics. 2012.

Bowman M. S.; Soares-Filho B. S.; Merry F. D.; Nepstad D. C.; Rodrigues H. O.; Almeida O. T. Persistence of cattle ranching in the Brazilian Amazon: A spatial analysis of the rationale for beef production. Land Use Policy. 29, 558-568. 2012.

Nunes F.; Soares-Filho B. S.; Giudice; R. Rodrigues H. O.; Bowman M. S.; Silvestrini. R; Mendoza, E. Economic benefits of forest conservation: assessing the potential rents from Brazil nut concessions in Madre de Dios, Peru, to channel REDD+ investments. Environmental Conservation, 39 (3): 2012.


H. T. L. Huong and A. Pathirana. Urbanization and climate change impacts on future urban flood risk in Can Tho city, Vietnam. Vietnam Institute of Meteorology, Hydrology and Environment, Hanoi, Vietnam. 2011.

Ramirez-Gomes, S.O. Spatial drivers of deforestation in Suriname. Center for Agriculture Reserarch in Suriname. Tropenbos. Suriname. 2011.

Thapa, R. B.; Murayama, Y. Urban growth modeling of Kathmandu metropolitan region, Nepal. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems Volume 35, Issue 1, January 2011, Pages 25-34 2011

Silvestrini, R.A.; Soares-Filho, B.S.; Nepstad, D.; Coe, M.; Rodrigues, H.O.; Assunção, R. 2011. Simulating fire regimes in the Amazon in response to climate change and deforestation. Ecological Applications, 21(5), 2011, pp. 1573–1590

Kamusoko, C.; Oono, K.; Nakazawa, K.; Wada, Y.; Nakada, R.; Hosokawa, T.; Tomimura, S.; Furuya, T.; Iwata, A.; Moriike, H.; Someya, T.; Yamase, T.; Nasu, M.; Gomi, Y.; Sano, T.; Isobe, T.; Homsysavath K. Spatial Simulation Modelling of Future Forest Cover Change Scenarios in Luangprabang Province, Lao PDR. MDPI AG. Switzerland. 2011.

Kirkby C.; Giudice R.; Brett D.; Kerry T.; Soares-Filho B.S.; Rodrigues H.O. and Douglas W. Y.; Closing the ecotourism-conservation loop in the Peruvian Amazon. Environmental Conservation. Cambridge Journals. 2011.


Maeda, E.E., Clark, B.J.F., Pellikka, P. Siljander, M. Potential impacts of agricultural expansion and climate change on soil erosion in the Eastern Arc Mountains of Kenya. Geomorphology. 2010.

Gouvello, C, Soares-Filho, B.; Nassar, A., Schaeffer R; Jorge, F., Nogueira, W. Brazil Low-carbon Country Case Study, 2010. WorldBank Report. 2010.

Soares-Filho, B.S.; Moutinho, P; Nepstad, D; Anderson, A.; Rodrigues, H.; Garcia R.; Dietschi L.; Merry F.; Bowman, M.; Hissa, L.; Silvestrini, R., Maretti, C. Role of Brazilian Amazon protected areas in climate change mitigation. Proc Natl. Acad. Sci. 2010.

Soares-Filho, B.S.; Dietzch, L; Moutinho, P.; Suarez, A. F., Rodrigues, H. Protected Areas Helping to Reduce Carbon Emissions in Brazil In: Arguments for Protected Areas - Multiple Benefits for Conservation and Use.1 ed. London, Washington DC : EarthScan, 2010, v.1, p. 1-268.


Nepstad, D.; Soares-Filho, B.S.; Merry, F.; Lima, A.; Moutinho, P.; Carter, J.; Bowman, M., Cattaneo, A.; Rodrigues, H., Schwartzman, S.; Mcgrath, D.; Stickler, C.; Lubowski, P. P.; Rivero, S.; Alencar, A.; Almeida, O.; Stella, O. The End of Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. Science326 (5958) 1350-1351. 2009

Stickler, C.; Nepstad, D.; Coe, M.; Macgrrath, D.; Rodrigues, H.; Dabidson, E.; Soares-Filho, B. The potential ecological costs and co-benefits of REDD: a critical review and case study. Global Change Biology, 15 (12): 2803-2824.2009.

Merry, F.; Soares-Filho, B. S.; Nepstad, D.; Aamacher, G.; Rodrigues, H. Balancing Conservation and Economic Sustainability: The Future of the Amazon Timber Industry. Environmental Management, EUA, 44 (3): 395-407.2009.

Coe. M., Costa, M., Soares-Filho, B.S. The Influence of Historical and Potential Future Deforestation on the Stream Flow of the Amazon River - Land Surface Processes and Atmospheric Feedbacks. Journal of Hidrology, 369, 165–174 2009.


Almeida, C.; Gleriani; Castejon; Soares-Filho, B. S. Using neural networks and cellular automata for modeling intra-urban land-use dynamics. International Journal of Geographical Information Science, EUA, v. 22, n. 9, p. 943-963, 2008.

Godoy, M. M. G. & Soares-Filho, B. S. Modelling intra-urban dynamics in the Savassi neighbourhood, Belo Horizonte city, Brazil. In: Paegelow M. & Camacho Olmedo M.T., Ed. Modelling Environmental Dynamics, Springer-Verlag.


Soares-Filho B. S.; Nepstad, D.; Curran, L.; Voll, E.; Cerqueira, G.; Garcia, R. A.; Ramos, C. A.; Mcdonald, A.; Lefebvre, P.; Schlesdinger, P. Modeling conservation in the Amazon basin. Nature, London, v. 440, p. 520-523, 2006.

Online supplemental