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Scholarly Article: Vernal Pools Conservation Calls for Diverse Perspectives

AramPoolA new article in the Proceedings of the Academy of Sciences (PNAS) documents nearly 15 years of crucial, dynamic vernal pools research and management by UMaine’s Aram Calhoun who is leading an interdisciplinary team at the Sustainability Solutions Initiative (SSI), a program of the Mitchell Center.

In the article, published this week online at, Calhoun and three coauthors analyze a timeline of action and scholarship that spans from 1999 to the present. In that time, the Professor of Wetland Ecology and Director of UMaine’s Ecology and Environmental Sciences Program has collaborated closely with academic colleagues, government at all levels, non-governmental organizations, landowners, developers and concerned citizens in an effort to create an environment in which these small, but significant, wetlands can flourish in all their biological diversity.

The article’s co-authors and SSI collaborators are Jessica S. Jansujwicz, a SSI post-doctoral fellow, Kathleen P. Bell, Associate Professor of Economics, and Malcolm L. Hunter, Jr., Libra Professor of Conservation Biology and Professor of Wildlife Ecology. The authors acknowledge and thank the many additional faculty and students who contributed to the research and outreach reported in the article.

“It is our hope that the work presented in this paper will inspire other researchers, practitioners, and citizens dedicated to planned development and conservation of natural resources to forge new working relationships,” Calhoun said. “ Our work shows that time, patience, open-mindedness, and the willingness to assume a bit of risk are key to successful collaborations on difficult conservation issues. We have found that the time invested is well worth the effort. The exchange and synthesis of diverse ideas lead to outcomes that are more widely embraced and enduring.” See more on this story

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