Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name


Department or School/College

Department of Geography

Committee Chair

Sarah J. Halvorson

Commitee Members

Daniel T. Spencer, Ulrich Kamp


Almería, Campo de Dalias, Campo de Nijar, Environmental History, Greenhouse Agriculture, Landscape Change, Political Ecology


University of Montana


The purpose of this thesis is to investigate changes in the landscape of Almería in southeastern Spain, particularly in relation to the emergence of the 80,000-acre greenhouse sector. This thesis questions why the province of Almería has the highest concentration of greenhouses in the world and determines what processes led to this industry. The research focuses on local-global scale interactions and environmental history analysis within a political ecology framework. The methods for data collection included literature review of secondary sources and four months living in Almería conducting interviews and field observations. Located in Europe’s driest desert, the greenhouses of Almería produce millions of tons of produce for European markets. Initially fueled by abundant aquifer water, years of heavy water usage have depleted the quality of the water and led to innovative methods for reducing water use and the introduction of desalination. The Almería hydropolitics associated with water usage and distribution highlight the importance of the greenhouse sector to various levels of government. Almería’s environmental history demonstrates profound climate and landscape modifications by human actions fueled by local-global exchanges for resources. Expanding on the geographer David Tout’s 1980s research on Almería greenhouses, this thesis compares current and past issues, economic and land development, and technologies within the greenhouse sector. This case study presents an opportunity for examining the processes that shaped the environmental history through local-global exchanges that are unique to Almería.



© Copyright 2008 Robert Tyrell Wolosin