LandCover6k 4th General Workshop: New Land-Cover and Land-Use Datasets for evaluation and improvement of Anthropogenic Land-Cover Change Scenarios

09.10 - 10.10.2020  
Philadelphia, PA, USA
Contact person:
Kathy Morrison, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The PAGES working group LandCover6k will hold its 4th General Workshop, titled "New Land-Cover and Land-Use Datasets for evaluation and improvement of Anthropogenic Land-Cover Change Scenarios", from 9-10 October 2020 in Philadelphia, PA, USA.


University of Pennsylvania
University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


Numbers are limited to 35, however there will be space for ca. five additional interested scientists who may apply for an invitation. We will also hold a public keynote lecture one evening.

This is the 4th General Workshop of LandCover6k, and the first one of the working group's second phase (2018-2020).


Following several years of preparation and capacity-building, LandCover6k is now moving into a next phase of data collection, analysis and application. Following extensive and iterative consultation at a number of international meetings, the Land Use group has finalised the classification system and the geodatabase platform within which data will be collated, and we are now in the process of training members of our regional sub-groups in their use.

During Phase 1 of LandCover6k (2015-2018), pollen-based reconstructions of past land cover were achieved for most of the northern hemisphere North of 40 degrees. Since 2018 progress was made for the Mediterranean area, parts of Africa, southern China and India, and new reconstructions will be available for these regions by the time of the workshop. Until now, the two strands of data gathering (land use and land cover) have operated independently - this next phase of work generates products that synthesise these data to explicit assess past anthropogenic land cover change (ALCC), the stated goal of LandCover6k.

To this end, a PAGES-sponsored workshop held in Sitges, Spain, in September 2018, brought together members of the climate modeling community with paleoecologists and archaeologists working on land use and land cover (LULC) to design experiments that test how our products affect simulations of the climate-carbon cycle, in order to identify which data are most pertinent and refine our reconstructions accordingly.

Preliminary products of LandCover6k will be included in the next round of PMIP testing, scheduled for Spring 2019. This workshop, which will coincide with the results of these experiments, will provide a forum for the wider LandCover6k network - archaeologists, paleoecologists, climate modelers - to evaluate and refine our data collection protocols, plan publications and other modes of dissemination and communication, and develop strategies for future products and experiments. These discussions will be essential for the continued success of LandCover6k and, if our predictions as to the importance of ALCC within the climate cycle are borne out by the PMIP tests, for that of the next generation of paleoclimate reconstructions.

Key speakers

- Qinghai Xu, Institute of Nihewan Archaeology, Hebei Normal University, Shijiazhuang, Hebei China; coordinator land-cover
- Xiuqi Fang, School of Geography, Beijing Normal University; coordinator land-use
- Anupama Krishnamurthy, French Institute of Pondicherry, India; coordinator land-cover
- Parminder S. Ranhotra, Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany, Lucknow, India
- Marie-José Gaillard (WG coordinator, core group, land cover in Europe, Africa, China, India); Linnaeus University, Kalmar, Sweden
- Kees Klein-Goldewijk (core group, coordinator subgroup 8; globe), Utrecht University, Netherlands
- Marco Madella (WG sub coordinator land use; land use in Latin America and India), Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain
- Paul Lane, University of Cambridge, UK, land use Africa
- M. Jane Bunting (core group; coordinator subgroup 9), University of Hull, UK
- William Gosling (coordinator land cover: Latin America), University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Sandy Harrison (core group, work in Australia, Europe, Latin America; link to climate modelling), Centre for Past Climate Change, University of Reading, UK
- Sonia Fontana (coordinator land cover: Latin America), Dept. of Palynology and Climate Dynamics, University of Goettingen, Germany
- Thomas Giesecke (coordinator land cover: Latin America), Dept. of Palynology and Climate Dynamics, University of Goettingen, Germany
- Ulrike Herzschuh (coordinator land cover: Asia; work in Siberia and China), Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Potsdam, Germany
- Pablo Cruz, CONICET, Argentina, land use, South America
- Andrew Sluyter, Louisiana State University, USA
- Thomas Foster, The University of Tulsa, USA
- Kathleen Morrison, University of Pennsylvania, USA
- Emily Hammer, University of Pennsylvania, USA


Since 2018, LandCover6k has organized focused workshops aiming at achieving first priority products for the purpose of climate modeling. These products include pollen-based quantitative reconstructions of land-cover (LC) change over the Holocene, and archaeology-based land-use (LU) maps and per-capita estimates for key time windows of the Holocene. These LULC products are either global or hemispheric/continental/subcontinental.

This General Workshop has the aim to present and discuss all LandCover6k LULC products to date, the first evaluations of HYDE and revised ALCCs, and the results of the modeling experiments performed during 2019. The goal will be to make a first overall evaluation of the work so far, and plan the last year of LandCover6k’s Phase 2 and its synthesis.

Logistical information

The museum is currently undergoing a major renovation, and this meeting with be shortly after the 'grand re-opening' of the building following the opening of the new Africa and Americas galleries.

Philadelphia can be reached directly (PHL is the airport code), but please also note that there is bus and rail (Amtrak) connection to Newark International Airport (EWR) that takes about an hour and Amtrak connectivity to Baltimore-Washington International (BWI) that takes just under two hours.

The Penn campus is located just west of 'Center City' Philadelphia and is well-connected by public transportation.

Further information

All details on the program and schedule, how to apply, and deadline dates will be provided as soon as possible.

In the meantime, contact workshop organizer Kathy Morrison: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.