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Conservation of habitat, forest, green space in the state of Maine, USA

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Seminar
13 August 2013, 11am: Free
at the James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen AB15 8QH
for scientists, researchers and other interested parties
Owen Grumbling

Vernon Owen Grumbling, Professor of Environmental Studies and Literature at the University of New England, USA, will deliver this seminar entitled "Conservation of habitat, forest, green space in the state of Maine, USA: structures, policies, and foundational values" at the James Hutton Institute in Aberdeen on 13 August 2013. It will be broadcast live to the Dundee site.

Abstract

The presentation will focus largely upon general descriptions of land conservation accessible to educated public, with some technical detail describing institutional structures and mechanisms.

In the USA the state of Maine lies far to the northeast and remains relatively undeveloped especially in its massive forested “North Woods” and economically overall. Historically Maine had been the last frontier in the east, economically dependent for most of its history upon farming, fishing and forest resources.

During the last quarter of the twentieth century changing economics and demographics created needs for conservation of environmental resources, especially regarding water, wildlife habitat, and land for traditional recreation. Structures and policies for conservation, initially inadequate, have evolved toward a diverse array of institutions and tools occurring statewide, regionally, and locally.

The evolution of these institutions and tools has been affected partly by discovery of foundational values and their articulation in narratives that can define stakeholder groups and that can unite diverse stakeholders in pursuing conservation activity. This dynamic suggests the need for interdisciplinary study combining science with social science and the humanities in order to define and accomplish conservation goals.

Biography

Owen Grumbling is Professor of Environmental Studies and Literature and until recently chair of the department of Environmental Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of New England. He holds a doctorate in British Romantic Literature from the University of New Hampshire.

His teaching and scholarly activities have been focused on three areas: policy for the preservation of land, water, and wildlife habitat; nature literature; and pedagogy that integrates science and the humanities. Samples of his publications in these areas include a critical anthology titled The Literature of Nature: The British and American Traditions (Plexus, 1990) that remains in print; and “Nature Writing” in The Encyclopedia of New England (Yale University Press, 2005).

Related creative publications include “Down the River with Edward Abbey” in North Dakota Quarterly (2004). Pedagogical publications include “Literature” in Greening the College Curriculum: A Guide to Environmental Teaching in the Liberal Arts, Jonathan Collett and Stephen Karakashian, eds. Island Press. 1996; and “A Biology Learning Community: An Integrated Approach to Introductory Biology” in: Journal of College Science Teaching, Dec/Jan. 1992-1993.

Scholarly activity in the area of preservation includes the Management Plan for the Fenderson Wildlife Commons and a recent successful grant proposal, The Merriland River Crossing Project 2012 for land/water/habitat preservation that garnered a foundation commitment of $271,000.

During the mid 1980s he was part of the team that established the Wells Estuarine Research Reserve at Laudholm Farm, chairing the Committee that established both Facilities and Trails. As chair of the Wells Conservation Commission he helped establish the Town’s Land Bank and its system of Wildlife Commons. For 10 years he served on the Board of the Natural Resources Council of Maine, the premier environmental advocacy group in the state. For both teaching and land conservation he received in 2009 the Award for Lifetime Service to the Environment and Human Health from the New England Environmental Protection Agency.

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The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.