A challenge in land change science is to assess the causes and consequences of LULC change and associated pattern-process relations. Increasingly, land change organizations are examining land use at local to global scales for historical, contemporary and future periods through scenarios that assess population-environment interactions. Spatial analytical tools in GIScience are being used to link people and environment and to search for the distal and proximate factors that affect local to global land use patterns. Spatial simulation models that rely upon complexity theory as the framework and agent-based models as the analytical approach offer the capability to inform through experimentation about land issues important to science and society. Using a stylized landscape where a selected set of key social, geographical and ecological elements are spatially organized, we describe how land dynamics can be examined through agent-based models as educational tools that are useful in the classroom, boardroom and public forums.