TerraNova: The New Learning Initiative between Humanities and Science: Mapping Past Environments and Energy Regimes, Rethinking Human Environment Interaction and Designing Land Management Tools for Policy.

Sjoerd Kluiving (VU/ CLUE+) receives a 4 MY grant from the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks (ITN), Horizon2020 of the European Commission. TerraNova trains 15 Early Stage Researchers in an international consortium of in total 25 universities, companies and NGO’s divided over 13 European countries.

Terra Nova: The New Learning Initiative between Humanities and Science: Mapping Past Environments and Energy Regimes, Rethinking Human Environment Interaction and Designing Land Management Tools for Policy. This project aims at improving our diachronic long term understanding of landscape histories and land use strategies in Europe in the Holocene and Anthropocene. Previously identified socio-cultural transitions and the effects of natural forcings will be critically assessed in a new intellectual interdisciplinary arena created by the Terra Nova project. Regional and continental syntheses will be used to anchor a new generation of landscape and climate change models which include the effects of past human actions and generate scenarios for landscape management and rewilding. Ultimately this project will contribute to identifying major previous shifts in resource use and energy regimes and provide options for the future transition to a low carbon society. Can we identify a balance between natural and cultural landscapes changing over space and time? Can we establish a natural reference for ‘European landscapes’ to evaluate current and future measures of landscape planning, ecosystem restoration and rewilding? Or are both systems so intertwined that the separation of the human from the natural is complex and scale and time dependant? Some researchers mark the industrial revolution as the start of the Anthropocene, others argue that long ago humans in Europe had a larger influence than natural processes upon the landscape. Notwithstanding these differences, there is consensus that the intensity of management and impacts of land management on natural systems today is unprecedented. This leads on to consideration of themes of sustainability and societal impact upon landscapes in the 21st century. From this perspective knowledge of past energy regimes and landscape interactions are essential components in understanding the present transition to a low carbon society.