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Turner, Billie Lee, II (1945–)

  • By: Robert Gilmore Pontius Jr.
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Billie Lee Turner II helped reinvigorate a science orientation to human-environment relationships, initially by steering cultural and historical geographical topics shared with anthropology into the subfield of cultural ecology and subsequently by leading the development of land change and sustainability science. Of his scholarly contributions, including the role of geography as a human-environment research endeavor, three deserve special consideration. First, his field research in Mexico and Middle America paved the way for a new understanding of ancient Mayan human-environment relationships by demonstrating the various cultivation and landscape practices employed by this civilization. His work provides the basis by which questions on the rise and fall of the Mayan civilization must be set. Second, he and his students helped develop the induced intensification thesis of ...

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