Prof Steve Carver

Prof Steve Carver


Dr Carver is a Geographer and Professor at the University of Leeds. He has over 30 years' experience in the field of GIS and multi-criteria evaluation with special interests in wilderness, wild land, rewilding, landscape evaluation and public participation. He has worked extensively on the development of wild land mapping and evaluation methodologies and has tested and applied these across a variety of locations and spatial scales including Scotland, England, Britain, Europe, North America and Asia.

He has worked with a range of agencies on wild land topics including Scottish Natural Heritage, the Scottish Government, The John Muir Trust, the Countryside Agency, EU, the USDA Forest Service and US National Park Service. He has published this work widely in over 100 papers, books, book chapters, conference proceedings and generalist articles. He is Director of the Wildland Research Institute and is Joint Chair of the IUCN CEM Task Force on Rewilding. He also sits on advisory panel for the Wild Ennerdale and Rewilding Britain projects and is co-chair of the World Wilderness Congress' Science and Stewardship Symposium. He is the co-author (with Ian Heywood and Sarah Cornelius) of the best selling text book "An Introduction to Geographical Information Systems" and sits of the editorial board of the International Journal of Wilderness.

Technical research interests focus mainly on GIS related issues, especially on environmental management/modelling applications, visibility analysis and methodologies for spatial decision making and support including public participation. Topical areas of research include landscape assessment, especially in relation to wild land, rewilding and wilderness environments. He has been involved in a number of large multidisciplinary research programmes which have drawn on his expertise in the wilderness and GIS fields.

Previous academic posts include:

  • Oct 1991 to Dec 1992 : Position: Demonstrator, Department of Geography, University of Newcastle upon Tyne.
  • Oct 1989 to Sept 1991 : Position: University Research Fellow in Geographic Information Handling, Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies, University of Newcastle upon Tyne.


  • Director of Wildland Research Institute
  • Taught Postgraduate Assessment Lead

Research interests

My research interests include wilderness, wildland and rewilding with a particular emphasis on the application of landscape evaluation, environmental modelling, GIS and participatory GIS approaches. I am Director of the Wildland Research Institute

Current projects

Previous projects

  • EU/EEA - EU Wilderness Register and Inventory
  • Scottish Natural Heritage - Mapping ecosystem service values of wild land areas
  • Scottish Natural Heritage - Public perceptions of wildness
  • John Muir Trust - Developing a UK wildness map in support of policy development
  • Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Authority - Wildness in the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park
  • Cairngorm National Park Authority - Wildness in the Cairngorm National Park
  • NERC - Land-based Renewables Project
  • USDA Forest Service - SE Alaska Forest Inventory mapping using ANNs Phases 1-3
  • ESRC Wilderness Britain? Social and environmental perspectives on recreation and conservation seminar series
  • UK Nirtex Ltd - Public Participation in Local Decision Making: evaluating the potential of Virtual Decision Making Environments
  • MAFF - Artificial Neural Networks for Flood Forecasting
  • ACOGC - Review of graphical environments on the WWW as a means of widening public participation in social science research
  • ESRC - Virtual Society? Programme: Public Participation in Local Decision Making: evaluating the potential of Virtual Decision Making Environments
  • Royal Geographical Society - GeoAltai 93: Anglo-Russian expedition to Altai Mountains, south central Siberia

Research students

  • Steffen Fritz - Modelling wilderness in UK and Europe
  • Crewenna Dymond - Modelling spatial relationships between biodiversity and wilderness quality (with Oliver Phillips)
  • Naomi van der Velden - Modelling human impact on biodiversity (with Bill Kunin)
  • Narimah Samat - Developing cellular automata urban growth models in Malaysia (with Stuart Barr)
  • Isaac Karikari - Land Information Systems in Ghana (with John Stillwell)
  • Hazel Parry - Harmonizing ecology and biology and landscape scales (with Andy Evans)
  • Jerry Laker - Sustainable management of vicna (with David Preston)
  • Isaac Agyemang - Monitoring project impacts of irrigated peri urban agricultural
  • Dave Abson - Resilence in agri-landscapes (with Bill Kunin)
  • Chris Williams - Topographic controls on glacial melt and accumulation (with Jonathan Carrivick)
  • Nadine Heck - Marine Protected Areas in British Columbia, Canada (with Adrian Macdonald)
  • Lawrence Akanyang - Habitat use by free ranging cattle on communal, semi-arid rangeland, Kalahari, Botswana (with Tim Benton)
  • Jumadi - Measuring the effectiveness of volcanic disaster risk management at Merapi using GIS and agent-based model simulation (with Duncan Quincey)
  • Philippa Rhoddis - Public acceptance of renewable energy (with Guy Ziv and Martin Dallimer)
  • Denise Blake - Assessing the impact of invasive species of cultural ecosystem services (with Guy Ziv)
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • BSc (Hons) Geography, Huddersfield Polytechnic, 1986
  • PhD, Geography, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, 1991
  • PGDip, Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, University of Leeds, 2004

Professional memberships

  • FRGS

Student education

Teaching interests include GIS (Geographical Information Systems) and environmental modelling together with specialist modules on wilderness management.

Research groups and institutes

  • Institute for Spatial Data Science

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>