Center for Collaborative Conservation awards 9 fellowships

The Center for Collaborative Conservation, one of the Warner College of Natural Resources’ centers of excellence at Colorado State University, has announced its 2015 Fellowship Awards.

The CCC Fellowship program aims to strengthen the engagement among students, faculty, conservation practitioners and stakeholders by promoting collaborative research, education, and action on critical issues in conservation and livelihoods tied to the land around the world.

Awards in this round included two team fellowships, one faculty fellowship, three practitioner fellowships, and three graduate student fellowships. These fellowships represent the seventh cohort of CCC fellows since the program’s inception. Fellows in this cohort will work in Belize and India as well as Alaska, New York, Puerto Rico and a number of communities throughout Colorado.

Their projects will address human dimensions of agroforestry, how indigenous knowledge can be used to address threats to subsistence livelihoods and environmental changes as well as connecting indigenous scientists through formal networks, funding opportunities for energy efficiency and renewable energy in rural communities, facilitating workshops to develop land-use planning tools, a partnership between a community supported agriculture farm and a cattle ranch, identifying the potential for reclaimed water to be used for crops destined for our plates, conservation engagement through citizen science, and addressing human wildlife conflicts.

The seventh cohort of CCC fellows includes:

Team fellowships

Kenny Cal, Ya’axché Conservation Trust’s Community Outreach and Livelihoods Program Director, along with Lee McLoughlin, Ya’axché’s Protected Areas Program Director and 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

Darcie Warden, the State Director for the 501(c)(3) non-profit Alaska Wilderness League with Professor Paul Evangelista of the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory and Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability and Matt Luizza, doctoral candidate in the Graduate Degree Program in Ecology at CSU.

Faculty fellowship

Cary Weiner, Energy Specialist with CSU Extension and Director of CSU’s Rural Energy Center.

Practitioner fellowships

Heidi Krester, Livelihoods & Conservation Coordinator, North America Program for the Wildlife Conservation Society. Krester will collaborate with CSU faculty affiliate Sarah Reed and Assistant Professor Liba Pejchar.

Michael Baute, co-owner of Spring Kite Farms who is collaborating with former Collaborative Conservation Fellow David Jessup of the Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch.

Shannon Spurlock, Director of Public Affairs and Policy at Denver Urban Gardens in Denver.

Graduate student fellowships

Cooper Marie Farr, graduate student in the Graduate Degree Program in Ecology. She is co-advised by Assistant Professor Pejchar, of the Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology Department, and Reed, an Associate Conservation Scientist with the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Dominique David-Chavez, a graduate student in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, advised by Associate Professor Michael Gavin.

Rekha Warrier, doctoral student with the Graduate Degree Program in Ecology, from the Fish Wildlife and Conservation Biology Department, advised by Professor Barry Noon.

Project highlights

Kenny Cal’s team is focused on aiding community farmers engaged in agroforestry in assessing the human impacts of their industry in the Maya Golden Landscape, an ecologically important corridor in Southern Belize.

Darcie Warden’s team will work to identify threats to subsistence livelihoods in interior Alaska through the engagement of indigenous communities and utilizing their knowledge and perceptions about environmental changes occurring across the region, important ecosystem services provided by the landscape and threats posed to indigenous ways of life. Another project aimed at indigenous knowledge is David-Chavez’s project to 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.

Weiner plans to use his fellowship to identify specific funding, financing, and workforce development opportunities for energy efficiency and renewable energy in rural Colorado communities.

Kretser is planning and facilitating a workshop that will generate land-use planning tools to deliver to targeted communities in northern New York state that are poised to protect critical natural resources on private lands and support livelihoods dependent on forestry, agriculture, tourism and recreation.

Baute intends to collaborate with Jessup of the Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch to run a one year pilot program (eventually aimed at the establishment of a 40-year lease agreement) in which Spring Kite Farm’s vegetable CSA and pasture grazing system would be integrated into Sylvan Dale’s intensely-planned grazing system for beef cattle, building fertility through multi-species grazing. Also within the agricultural realm is Spurlock’s project to understand the strengths, weaknesses, and possibilities afforded when reclaimed water is used for edible crops for human consumption in Colorado.

Farr is collaborating with the City of Fort Collins’ Nature in the City initiative to develop and implement a citizen science program for the ecological monitoring of birds and butterflies in natural areas throughout the city.

Warrier is helping State Forest Department managers and the World Wildlife Fund develop a conflict mitigation plan and conflict risk map for the Central Terai Landscape, a globally significant tiger conservation area in India, aimed at addressing issues between local people and tigers in the area.

Find more information about the Center for Collaborative Conservation and the Fellowship program here.

Kenny Cal portrait

Kenny Cal

Sarah McCarthy portrait

Sarah McCarthy

Angelina Lane portrait

Angelina Lane

Darcie Warden portrait

Darcie Warden

Paul Evangelista portrait

Paul Evangelista

Matt Luizza portrait

Matt Luiza

Cary Weiner portrait

Cary Weiner

Heidi Krester portrait

Heidi Krester

Michael Baute portrait

Michael Baute

Shannon Spurlock portrait

Shannon Spurlock

Cooper Farr portrait

Cooper Farr

Dominique David-Chavez portrait

Dominique David-Chavez

Rekha Warrier portrait

Rekha Warrier