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SSI Grad Plans for Sustainable Future

Karen Hutchins Bieluch’s doctoral research focused on building smarter, stronger community partnerships to promote sustainability. It went to the heart of the mission at UMaine’s Sustainability Solutions Initiative at the Sen. George J. Mitchell Center.
Take her survey of municipal officials in the state of Maine.
Her work with these critical stakeholders resulted in an important finding: the factor that made these officials most likely to consider a problem-solving partnership with a university was personal belief.  In other words, a municipal official’s own belief that a venture held value or that researchers could offer important perspectives led to greater openness. Working with a team from SSI’s Knowledge-to-Action Collaborative, Bieluch sent surveys to more than 2,400 municipal officials in Maine and had a rousing response, with over 1,000 surveys returned. About 86 percent of Maine municipalities are represented in the results. See more about Karen…

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