Date of Award

Fall 12-7-2023

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

School

Biological, Environmental, and Earth Sciences

Committee Chair

Dr. David M. Cochran Jr.

Committee Chair School

Biological, Environmental, and Earth Sciences

Committee Member 2

Dr. Carl A. Reese

Committee Member 2 School

Biological, Environmental, and Earth Sciences

Committee Member 3

Dr. J.O. Joby Bass

Committee Member 3 School

Biological, Environmental, and Earth Sciences

Abstract

Between 1870 and 1920, the longleaf pine belt of the southeastern United States experienced an extensive and unsustainable period of logging. In the years after the logging boom the landscape of the Southeast was reforested, but fire suppression and a preference among landowners for loblolly pine resulted in a dense and less resilient forest with reduced biodiversity. This research looks at the human geography of remnants of the longleaf pine ecosystem in South Mississippi and the nature of contemporary relationships between South Mississippi residents and this ecosystem.

In an effort to make sense of the complex relationships between people and the longleaf pine ecosystem, I conducted secondary source research and ethnographic interviews with individuals involved in forestry, forest-related economic activities, forest conservation and restoration, and similar fields. For many people the longleaf pine ecosystem is more than the landscape outside of their window; it is also a place full of memory, connection, and meaning. In this thesis, I have identified a collection of human-environment relationships in South Mississippi and illustrated how people have altered, and in turn been altered by, the contemporary landscapes of the longleaf pine ecosystem.

Share

COinS