On March 1, 2015, the Center for Collaborative Conservation awarded nine fellowships to form the seventh cohort of CCC Fellows. These fellows include three graduate students, two teams, three faculty members, and one conservation practitioner.
Our fellows are focusing on problems as diverse as:
- Community-based science education
- Resilient food systems
- Community-based agroforestry
- Citizen-science monitoring
- Land-use planning
- Community energy use
- Use of local indigenous knowledge
- Human-wildlife conflict
- Reclaimed water
The seventh cohort of CCC fellows are working across four countries:
- Puerto Rico
- United States
- New York
Learn more about each fellow by clicking on their tab
A citizen-science monitoring program to encourage community involvement in urban conservation
Cooper is a Master’s student in the Graduate Degree Program in Ecology. She is co-advised by Dr. Liba Pejchar, an Assistant Professor in the department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, and Dr. Sarah Reed, an Associate Conservation Scientist with the Wildlife Conservation Society.
For her fellowship project, Cooper will collaborate with the Nature in the City initiative to develop and implement a citizen science program for ecological monitoring of birds and butterflies in natural areas throughout the City of Fort Collins, Colorado. Cooper will work with Dr. Pejchar, Dr. Reed, and Lindsay Ex, a Senior Environmental Planner with the City of Fort Collins and Project Manager for Nature in the City. She will recruit a representative cross-section of citizen volunteers, conduct training sessions, lead participatory monitoring surveys, and develop training materials and monitoring protocols that will be expanded upon and used for future monitoring in the city. The goal of this project is to provide the opportunity for citizens to become involved in the City’s long-term conservation planning effort while generating valuable ecological data that can inform effective management and restoration of urban natural spaces in Fort Collins.
Fort Collins, Colorado
Building formal partnerships for community-based science education and conservation in Indigenous Caribbean communities
Dominique is a PhD student at Colorado State University in the Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and a member of the Taíno tribal community. She has been a George F. & Herma A. Baggley Graduate Fellow and a NSF Native Science Fellow and received nine awards in her academic career.
Dominique will provide her Taíno tribal community with a much needed resource by establishing a formal network to support Indigenous scholars, conservation practitioners, and educators currently engaged in projects involving Indigenous science knowledge. In addition to community-based project profiles and contact information, this web-based forum/network will provide a venue for highlighting effective practices and research coming out of this region, connect Indigenous scholars working in the Caribbean for collaborative efforts, and provide a high quality resource database designed specifically for educators and mentors working on community-based Indigenous science projects. Broader influences of this initiative include setting up infrastructure for a sustainable network that bridges emerging professional research and the communities that will be most impacted as well as assessing tools for increasing engagement of underrepresented populations in community-based science education and conservation.
The Impacts of Community-based Agroforestry on the Ecosystems and People of the Maya Golden Landscape
About the Team
Kenny Cal, Team Lead
Kenny Cal, Ya’axché Conservation Trust’s Community Outreach and Livelihoods Program Director, will work alongside community farmers engaged in agroforestry and aid in assessing the human impacts of agroforestry. He will collaborate with Lee McLoughlin, Ya’axché’s Protected Areas Program Director on researching the ecological impacts of agroforestry. Sarah McCarthy and Angelia Lane, both graduate students in the Conservation Leadership Through Learning program at CSU, advised by team member Jennifer Solomon, Assistant Professor of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, will collaborate with Ya’axché, carrying out research to understand the impacts of agroforestry in the Qe’qchi community of Indian Creek in the Maya Golden Landscape.
The Maya Golden Landscape, an ecologically important corridor in Southern Belize, is home to over 20 indigenous Qe’qchi Maya farming communities who rely on services provided by these functioning ecosystems. This project will critically analyze two sustainable farming techniques, agroforestry and inga alley cropping, to assess the extent to which they maintain biodiversity and the perceived benefits of agroforestry in the community of Indian Creek.
Rural Community Energy Assessments
Cary Weiner is the Energy Specialist with CSU Extension and Director of CSU’s Rural Energy Center.
Cary will identify specific funding, financing, and workforce development opportunities for energy efficiency and renewable energy in rural Colorado communities. Due to lack of awareness and technical capacity, many communities do not take advantage of these opportunities. Rural Colorado communities that have taken advantage of these opportunities, however, have documented financial savings, economic stimulation, and environmental benefits. The Rural Community Energy Assessments project will screen three rural Colorado communities for these opportunities and provide outreach and technical assistance to facilitate implementation of energy efficiency and renewable energy measures. Partnerships with local governments, utilities, chambers of commerce, realtor associations, and others will be formed to accomplish project goals.
Idaho Springs, Fort Morgan, and Pagosa Springs Colorado
Facilitating adoption of land-use planning tools for conserving biodiversity and sustaining human livelihoods
Heidi is the Livelihoods & Conservation Coordinator, North America Program for the Wildlife Conservation Society.
Heidi will collaborate with Colorado State University (CSU) faculty, Drs. Sarah Reed and Liba Pejchar on her project. The purpose of the project is to facilitate a workshop that will generate land-use planning tools and deliver these tools to targeted communities in the Northern New York that are poised to protect critical natural resources and support local livelihoods dependent on forestry, agriculture, tourism and recreation. The resulting tools will incorporate design standards for enhancing private lands conservation and sustaining communities for people and wildlife. Project outcomes will be jointly presented to five demonstration communities in New York State and disseminated via the Global Challenges Research Team (GCRT) on Conservation Development. CSU collaborators will contribute to the workshop design and work closely with Heidi on communicating project results more broadly through regional conferences, social media outlets, and local networks the collaborators have collectively established with town and county governments, planners, state agencies, and citizens’ groups across the U.S.
Northern New York
Opportunities and Challenges for Reclaimed Water in Colorado Agriculture
Shannon is the Director of Public Affairs and Policy at Denver Urban Gardens in Denver, CO.
This project seeks to understand the strengths, weaknesses, and possibilities afforded when reclaimed water is used for edible crops for human consumption in Colorado. Reclaimed water is a largely untapped and valuable water resource with the potential to increase access to healthy food, promote water conservation and stewardship, and drive economic development for farmers, urban gardeners and greenhouse growers. Extensive partnerships and community-based participatory research will inform the case studies and the final report resulting from this fellowship.
Indigenous Life-ways in a Changing World: Identifying Threats to Subsistence Livelihoods through Local Indigenous Knowledge and Native Youth Experiential Learning in Interior Alaska
About the Team
Darcie Warden, State Director for the 501(c)(3) non-profit Alaska Wilderness League
Dr. Paul Evangelista, Faculty, Natural Resource Ecology Lab and Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability, CSU
Matt Luizza, PhD candidate, Graduate Degree Program in Ecology, CSU
Their project will work closely with two Native Alaskan youth in Alaska’s Yukon Flats, cataloguing local knowledge and perceptions about environmental changes occurring across the region, important ecosystem services provided by the landscape and threats posed to indigenous life-ways. Through collaboration and shared learning between local communities, wilderness advocates, scientific researchers and land managers, this project ultimately seeks to understand the environmental changes witnessed by Native Alaskans, the challenges they face, and the opportunities that exist to protect the ecological integrity of the Yukon Flats and local subsistence livelihoods. This project also provides a platform for native communities to have their voices heard by land managers and policymakers. Finally, this project will offer technical training and capacity building for participating local youth and provide important findings to be incorporated into a long-term, statewide project proposal.
Yukon Flats, Alaska
Devising sustainable human-wildlife conflict mitigation strategies in the Central Terai Landscape, India
Rekha is a PhD student with the Graduate Degree Program in Ecology and her home department is Fish Wildlife and Conservation Biology (FWCB). Her advisor is Dr. Barry Noon, who is a Professor in the FWCB department.
The goal of Rekha’s research is to help design sustainable strategies for the prevention and mitigation of human wildlife conflict (HWC) in a human dominated conservation landscape. The study site is a globally significant tiger conservation area in northern India known as the Central Terai Landscape (CTL). In this landscape, HWC in the vicinity of protected areas is currently undermining tiger recovery efforts. To achieve the project goal, Rekha will collect and integrate data on the ecological and social dimensions of human wildlife interactions that result in real and perceived conflict in the CTL. The study will be carried out in collaboration with the State Forest Department and WWF, India, both of whom are engaged with long term conservation and conflict mitigation in the landscape. In conjunction with WWF, Rekha will produce a conflict mitigation plan and a conflict risk map for the CTL and also awareness posters for local communities. Besides generating these products, Rekha’s research will also help extend our current understanding of the conservation value of areas that lie beyond protected area boundaries in the CTL.
Central Terai Landscape, India
Building a resilient food system by combining a farm CSA and a working cattle ranch on the Front Range
Michael co-owns and operates Spring Kite Farm, a Biodynamic market farm and CSA (Community Supporting Agriculture) program serving Northern Colorado. Based in Fort Collins, CO, Michael and his partner, Meghan Williams, are the classic case of America’s next generation of farmers and ranchers- early thirty-some things, not from direct farming families, facing increasingly steep barriers as they strive to gain tenure on good agricultural land with water, access to capital, and a share of the rapidly expanding market for locally and sustainably grown foods along the Front Range of Colorado.
Michael is collaborating with former Collaborative Conservation Fellow David Jessup of the Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch regarding a 40-year lease situation in which Spring Kite Farm’s vegetable CSA and pasture-based livestock enterprises would be integrated into Sylvan Dale’s intensively-planned grazing system for beef cattle, building fertility through multi-species grazing. The fellowship will assist Michael and the team at Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch as they enter a 1-year “pilot” lease term in 2015 to prepare the vegetable fields and begin a planned renovation of a 10-acre pasture using Michael’s pastured heritage-breed hogs and chickens to disturb the current fescue grass and replace with more productive pasture species.