ALPINE Fall Webinar Series

ALPINE has been hosting a series of webinars this fall in lieu, during the COVID pandemic, of an in-person annual meeting. These webinars feature faculty collaborations with land conservation organizations and current research pertinent to land conservation.

Upcoming Webinar

Wednesday, December 3, 12:30-1:30 ET

Katharine SimsKatharine SimsAssessing Local Economic Impacts and Opportunities for Land Protection in New England presented by Katharine Sims, Associate Professor of Economics, Amherst College.

Katharine Sims will present research about the economic impacts of land protection in New England, conducted in collaboration with partners at the Harvard Forest and the Highstead Foundation. The project uses data from towns and cities across New England between 1990 and 2015 to understand how new land protection has affected local area employment and housing permits. She will also discuss work in progress seeking to measure disparities in access to nearby open space in New England according to dimensions of social marginalization.

Katharine Sims is an Associate Professor in the Economics and Environmental Studies Departments at Amherst College. She studies how policies simultaneously affect environmental protection and economic development and how changes in policy design can improve the balance between multiple social goals. She has contributed to long-term evaluations of land conservation policies including protected areas, payments for environmental services and community forestry in countries including Mexico, Thailand, Nepal and the U.S.

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Previous Webinars

Friday, October 2, 12:30-1:30 ET 

Dr. Mele WheatonDr. Mele WheatonStanford University efforts in research and practice in land conservation: students, faculty, and land managers collaborating for solutions in conservation presented by Mele Wheaton, Academic Research Scholar, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, and Caroline Beckman, Stanford student, and intern.

Partnerships between university researchers and land managers are important to create and support critical pathways for identifying and addressing today’s conservation challenges. This webinar focuses on efforts at Stanford University to better understand effective partnerships between universities and land trusts. We discuss three aspects of the work: 1) an Open Space Management Practicum designed to engage students and land managers in research to produce conservation solutions 2) the development of tools to support researchers and land managers in partnerships, and (3) an examination of the successes and challenges of land-trust research/practice partnerships. Through such collaborations, land managers and researchers have the opportunity to contribute to decision-making around open-space reserve management, long-term conservation planning, and policy measures in the long term, thus contributing to on-the-ground conservation impact.

June Hammond RowanJune Hammond RowanWednesday, October 14, 12:30-1:30 ET

Faculty collaboration in land conservation initiatives presented by June Hammond Rowan, Associate Director, and Research Assistant Professor, Plymouth State University, and Elizabeth Hamin Infield, Professor of Regional Planning, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

This webinar focuses on the role that academia can play in advancing land conservation by highlighting two examples of how faculty collaborate with land conservation partners and how they engage their students in field work of importance to land conservation. June Hammond Rowan, research associate professor at Plymouth State University, presents on how local land use planning incorporates land conservation, based on her assessments of communities in Elizabeth Hamin InfieldElizabeth Hamin InfieldNew Hampshire. In the United States, most development decisions are made at the local level by Planning Boards (or Planning Commissions) so it is at this scale where conservation principles need to be adopted. This webinar summarizes a recent project that investigated if, and how, New Hampshire municipalities in two regions are using the local land use planning process to conserve land, to preserve biodiversity, and to protect natural resources. Dr. Hamin Infield discusses her current project: developing a stakeholder engagement and strategic planning process for the Northern Appalachian Trail Landscape Partnership (NATLP), a group of Regional Conservation Partnerships (RCPs) operating along the Appalachian Trail from eastern New York to northern Maine. The NATLP was formed to advance the protection of viewsheds, forests and farms surrounding the trail and to engage more communities. An important outcome of the planning process has been better knowledge of the preferences of and opportunities for working with under-represented groups, as well as more general perspectives on the opportunities for conserving land, and also improving the health and utility of that land.