A Hierarchial Method for Soil Erosion Assessment and Spatial Risk Modelling

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Okoth, P. F.
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Peter F. Okoth
It is with great pleasure that I take this opportunity to thank all the people who in several ways contributed to the production of this thesis. First and foremost are my family members and especially my wife Elizabeth and children Newton and Mercy who sacrificed their emotions, material survival and my company during the long periods I worked on this research and thesis. For the final production of the thesis, lowe the following people my sincere gratitude. First are my two promoters, Professor Arnold Bregt and Professor Eric Sma ling who through their technical guidance and dedication made me complete this work. Professor Bregt drew the trail-line and philosophy, which I followed both in Kenya and in Wageningen after he took over as the main promoter with so much precision that I hardly needed a supervisor when in Kenya. I sincerely appreciate his technical guidance, vision, and focus. Professor Smaling gave me encouragement, technical guidance and referred me to recent literature that has enormously moulded what has been produced in this thesis. Thanks Eric. My two initial promoters, professor Louise Fresco and Professor Martin Molenaar, are thanked for having ignited the philosophy of multi-level analysis of soil erosion in the landscape that has greatly contributed to what has been finally produced in this thesis. I cannot also forget the inputs of my co-promoter Dr. Gerrit Epema who was in charge of my regular needs and general coordination. His visit to my fieldwork area and technical insistence pushed me to disentangle my hierarchical view of the landscape system and soil erosion. After I had collected data which I thought was adequate to analyse the landscape at three different scales using generalisation theories, he insisted that there was still missing the data which links to the other two levels. Though it was not clear to both of us what the missing link was, I finally conjured the link, with a new conceptual model using hierarchy theory after my initial contacts with Professor Bregt.