Expanding urban communities
bring people together with diverse viewpoints about land conservation.
Our work helps citizens reflect on where they are on the same
page and where they may differ. We network with with local,
regional and national organizations that hold lands in public
- Land Trusts
Land Trusts: science
and society more....
We are interested
in how diverse organizations use or exclude science
in decisions that influence land conservation.
Our simple hypothesis is that national organizations
are more likely to use science and local organizations
are more likely to appeal to the cultural heritage of rural
stakeholders. An ongoing case study in the Big Thicket
region of southeast Texas indicates reality is more
complex. Over the next year, we will be conducting more interviews
to examine the evidence and develop a more realistic model.
Our objectives are
to examine the interactions among: (1) organizational structure,
(2) hybrid products that may serve as bridges
between social and scientific perspectives, and (3) procedures
that facilitate or inhibit reflective exchanges between scientists
Practical uses of
this information will be guided by the needs of our partners
in local, regional and national networks. Collaboratively, we
are preparing workshops and associated outreach
This research is
funded by the National Science Foundation, titled
"Land Trusts: Mediating Science and Policy on Conservation
getting to the same page
Let's consider an
analogy. Have you heard the saying "birds
of a feather flock together"? Individuals with
each group learn to speak a language that may not be shared
with other groups. Confusion may arise when you throw out a
handful of grain, bringing diverse flocks to feed together.
However, when a fox shows up, all understand the shared signals
expansion into rural areas where timber lands
have been sold off by corporations, more and diverse people
will be sharing scarce resources in the future.
Some rural counties and towns want to prepare staff members
to work more efficiently with citizens from diverse walks of
life. Those communities that discover ways to work together,
creatively, will be better able to benefit from available resources.
A big hurdle may be "getting to the same page",
so this project was funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture
to better serve changing rural communities.
We are collaborating
with colleagues at the University of Maryland and the Houston
Advanced Research Center to better understand the diverse ways
that rural stakeholders talk about "conservation
lands". The views that are shared by a network
of citizens are what we are calling a cultural
model. We have interviewed citizens within networks
of developers, conservationists, regulators and land owners.
People know when
they are on the same page, because they don't
have to explain their thinking. They share a tacit
or intuitive understanding, which may not be obvious to someone
with a different life experience. When people are not
aware they are on different pages, discord
may easily escalate. Ever try to sing along with the choir when
you had turned to the wrong page?
is to provide information that will help diverse citizens find
ways to make explicit their tacit assumptions,
in ways that help them discover where they are on the same page
and where they are not. Concensus building starts
where people are on the same page. To begin with, this may be
a small page in diverse groups. However, people who care
will voluntarily find ways to expand their cultural competency
by better understanding each others perspectives.
To reach this goal,
our objectives are to better understand: (1) sources,
content and application of cultural knowledge
about land conservation, (2) similarities and differences between
two case studies on the eastern and western edges
of the southern forests (Maryland's Eastrn Shore of the Chesapake
Bay and the Big Thicket area of southeast Texas), and (3) what
is the quantitative evidence that cultural models
actually resonate with a larger group of survey respondents
beyond our selected group of interviewees.
Breadth: Conservation Biology
Big Thicket Association.
1/15/05-5/15/05. "Community Based Conservation and Science in
Big Thicket National Preserve".
Foundation, 10/01-10/02. "Biology Team: Macro & Micro Living
Worlds". With L. Griffing and R. James. Administered through
the Center for Information, Technology and Science in Teaching
University of North
Texas. 6/1/03-6/1/04. Wildlife Distribution in Relation to Landscape
Connectivity within Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area.
Society. 6/1/ 96-7/1/97. "Binational Collaboration in Recovery
of Endangered Species: the Mexican Wolf as a Case Study". With
Jose F. Bernal-Stoopen.
World Wildlife Fund,
9/1/91 - 8/31/93. "Reproduction, ecology and human impacts:
a threatened endemic Mexican parrot (Amazona viridigenalis)
and congeneric sympatrics". With E. Enkerlin.
Award, Texas A&M University, 7/1/89 - 6/30/91. "Ecotourism Development
Strategies: A Conceptual Framework". With W. Stewart, R. Maggio
Fund, Texas A&M University, 12/15/88-08/31/89. "Development
of a Geographic Information System". With D. Slack, K. Risenhoover,
Texas A&M University, 10/22/85 - 08/31/86. "Workshop on Expert
Systems in Wildlife Management". With J. Folse, W. Grant.
Pew Charitable Trusts,
10/01/88 - 10/10/89. "Integrated Approaches to Training in Conservation
and Sustainable Development". With D.J. Schmidly, F. Smeins,
K. Kimber, M. Murphy, D. Slack.
Grant, Texas A&M University, 11/1/90 - 9/1/91."Landscape Analysis
of Wildlands in the Borderlands of Northeastern Mexico".
Texas A&M University, 4/27/87 - 12/31/87. "Biodiversity in Reserves
of the Cameroon".
U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service, 09/01/82 - 08/31/83. "Proposed Research/Management
Plan for Crystal River Manatees". With R. Gregory.
The Yellowstone Park
Foundation, 10/1/97-10/1/99. "Denning Behavior of Wolves on
Yellowstone's Northern Range: Male and Female Strategies". With
Austin Safari Club, Zachary Ranch, 7/1/90 - 7/1/91. "Successful
Reintroduction of Game Species: Social Cohesion".
National Park Service,
04/01/89 - 04/ 01/91. "Behavior of High Risk Mountain Lions
in Big Bend National Park".
Welder Wildlife Foundation,
11/01/88-12/31/89. "Female Behavior of Attwater's Prairie Chicken".
With M. DiMare, N. Silvy.
Program. 4/1/98-10/1/98 "Enhanced Grantsmanship in Animal Behavior".
NIH Biomedical Research
Support Grant, 04/01/87 - 03/31/88. "Post-partum Ovulation in
Award, Texas A&M University, 09/01/87 - 03/31/89. "Deer Movement
Relative to Habitat Patches". With W. Holloway, K. Risenhoover.
National Rifle Association
of America, 01/01/87 - 12/31/87. "Lactation and Reproduction
in Collared Peccaries". With K. Babbitt.
of Florida, 01/01/85 - 01/08/85. "Manatee Population Index and
U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service, 09/01/82 - 08/31/85. "Manatee Population Index and
Mark/Recovery Methodology". With R. Gregory, Florida Cooperative
Wildlife Research Unit.
U. S. Fish and Wildlife
Service, 09/01/80 - 09/01/81. "Distribution and Habitat of Manatees
in Hobe Sound, Forida".
The Summerlee Foundation.
1/1/97-12/31/99 "Evaluating and Using the Captive Wildlife Facilities
A&M University, 7/1/89 - 9/1/89. "Validating Isotope Dilution
Estimates of Body Condition".
A&M University, 09/02/85. "Participation in 4th International