Integrated analysis and optimization of a dryland wheat agroecosystem

Agricultural systems have evolved over time to match the current structure of socioeconomic constraints and incentives. These incentives promote efficiency on large scales through the suppression of ecological variability, the use of uniform management strategies and a reduction in per-unit labor costs. While these trends have been responsible for increased production in the US, their attendant long-term ecological and sociological costs have been substantial and increasing.

My research is focused on the bioeconomic modeling of a dryland wheat agroecosystem, which will attempt to overcome the narrow focus of traditional agronomic and economic studies. Through both statistical analysis and simulation modeling, I will address the spatial and temporal effects of various management strategies on economic and ecological sustainability. As a necessary complement, I am simultaneously considering farmer decision-making in the face of uncertainty and the effects of management strategies on social stability.

Recent publications 

Lawrence P, Brummer T, Maxwell BD, Rew LJ (2011) Prioritizing weed control: why and how to
create predictive maps. Montana Weed Control Association Annual Meeting. January
11th 2011, Great Falls, MT.

Lawrence P, Maxwell BD, and Rew LJ (2010) A Web-based Application for Non-Indigenous
Species Prediction and Management. 2nd Conference on Invasive Species in Natural
Areas, October 25-29, 2010, Coeur D'Alene, ID.

Lawrence P, Maxwell BD, Rew LJ (2010) A Web-based Application for Predicting Weed
Occurrence. Intermountain GIS Conference. April 19-23 2010, Bozeman, MT.

Lawrence P, Barroso JB, Maxwell BD, Rew LJ (2011) Empowering Farmers by Understanding
Uncertainty. Food and Agriculture Under the Big Sky Conference, June 9-12, Missoula,

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Click on an image to view as a slideshow.