The Maps and Local (MALS) project is a collaborative effort to develop common methods for research on social-ecological systems at the LTER network scale. (

Eleven sites have been funded to participate in MALS under the social science supplement for 2009-2010 and 2010-2011; another four sites are participating using other resources.

Ten sites have completed map analyses of land cover/land use change over time using a common GIS program developed specifically for this project, and 9 are collecting local ecological knowledge (LEK) using methods tailored to their respective research questions and opportunities.

Previous MALS activities include:

  • A 4-hour workshop at the ASM in September 2009
  • One paper and one poster session at the annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers in April 2010
  • A 2.5-day workshop at in the University of Alaska Fairbanks hosted by the BNZ LTER in October 2010

Two scientific papers have been produced from the mapping work, and another paper on comparative LEK research is in preparation.