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Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions

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Talk – We have the plan, now what? Supporting implementation of community-based vernal pool conservation on private lands

September 23, 2019 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

| Free

We have the plan, now what?Speakers: Aram Calhoun and Jessica Jansujwicz, Dept. of Wildlife, Fisheries & Conservation Biology and Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions, University of Maine

Private lands provide many public goods (e.g., habitat for wildlife, water conservation, educational, aesthetic, or recreational value), but perceived value to private landowners may be less clear. Achieving conservation goals on private lands thus requires a broader choice of conservation tools and approaches that address the needs and priorities of all landowners. The Maine Vernal Pool Special Area Management Plan (SAMP) was devised to meet this need. Co-produced by stakeholders, the SAMP offers a promising solution to balance natural resources conservation with opportunities for economic development. However, a plan only works if implemented successfully. To fully understand the impact of the SAMP, it is critical to look beyond the plan to determine how the newly approved tool can be effectively implemented in diverse community contexts. Two Maine towns (Topsham and Orono) are beginning implementation of the SAMP and several additional Maine municipalities have expressed interest. This provides a unique opportunity to study the process as it unfolds, improve communication with stakeholders, and ensure that use of this tool by other entities will be successful. Our work tracking SAMP implementation may have ripple effects both in scope of implementation and in scaling up of types of resources managed through this tool.

Aram Calhoun, Professor, Wetland Ecology; Faculty Fellow, Mitchell Center

Calhoun is a wetland ecologist and faculty member in the Dept. of Wildlife, Fisheries & Conservation Biology at the University of Maine. Her research focuses on wetland ecology and policy and vernal pool conservation. Her work stresses the importance of conserving natural resources (wetlands and vernal pools) and/or target species (wood frogs, spotted salamanders, and blue-spotted salamanders) on private lands by addressing both human and ecological dimensions.

Calhoun’s research with the Mitchell Center uses local vernal pool conservation as a model to help communities find ways to balance economic development with natural resource conservation on private land. Her work also involves working with the Environment and Natural Resources Committee of the State Legislature on the importance of wetland and vernal pool protection.

Jessica Jansujwicz, Research Assistant Professor, Wildlife, Fisheries & Conservation Biology; Faculty Fellow, Mitchell Center

As an applied social scientist with a focus on the human dimensions of natural resources, Jansujwicz works at the interface between science and policy. Her scholarship and research is driven by concern for the gap between scientific knowledge production and effective conservation action. Broadly, Jansujwicz’s research focuses on the connection between humans and natural resources and aims to integrate stakeholder values, concerns, and information needs into policy development, conservation planning, scientific research, and program design and implementation. More specifically, she is interested in participatory approaches to policy-making and science with an emphasis on collaboration, citizen science, and interdisciplinary, stakeholder-driven research. Past and current research topics include regulatory and community-based approaches to vernal pool conservation, sustainable development of tidal power, and trade-offs in decision-making regarding the future of dams in New England.



September 23, 2019
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


107 Norman Smith Hall
Mitchell Center - UMaine
Orono, ME 04469 United States
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Mitchell Center
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