CSU’s Center for Collaborative Conservation announces 2014-2015 Fellowship Cohort

Note to Reporters: Photos of the CCC Fellows are available upon request. Please contact Jennifer Dimas at Jennifer.Dimas@colostate.edu.

The Center for Collaborative Conservation (CCC) has awarded its 2014-2015 Fellowships to a diverse cohort of 12 students, faculty, researchers and conservation practitioners representing four departments across four colleges at Colorado State University and four non-governmental organizations.

Each CCC Fellow will receive support and mentoring to pursue a unique, collaborative project designed to further conservation of both ecosystems and communities around the world.

The CCC Fellows Program is designed to strengthen engagement and amplify contributions to critical and complex conservation issues by forging dynamic partnerships that foster pragmatic and innovative solutions. Fellows working internationally will be located in Ecuador, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Vietnam. Fellows working in the U.S. will be located in South Dakota at the Cheyenne River Sioux tribal nation, Hawaii and Colorado.

Each Fellow will also contribute to the CCC’s Collaborative Conservation Learning Network – a free, online network and resource portal where collaborative conservation tools and principles are developed, shared, tested and adapted for real-world applications.

The CCC is an initiative of CSU’s Warner College of Natural Resources, and is directed by renowned environmental scientist and Warner College professor Robin Reid.

CCC 2014-2015 Fellowship Cohort Projects

Collaborative Adaptive Management Strategies for Sage Grouse Conservation

Retta Bruegger: Outreach and Research Coordinator for Learning from the Land Project, Warner College, CSU

Bruegger’s project is to collaboratively design and implement an adaptive management experiment using innovative, rancher-identified techniques for improving sage-grouse habitat in Moffat County, Colo.

Bruegger will help determine what the average landowner can do to manage sage-grouse in the local area as well as experiment with a collaborative and participatory approach to applied research. She will collaborate with a social strategist to design web-based outreach materials on the collaborative adaptive management process and results.

Elephant Crop Raiding Mitigation with Beehive Fencing

Julius Mbuta: Assistant Director of The Wildlife Connection, located in the Iringa District of Southern Tanzania

Mbuta’s project focuses on human elephant conflict mitigation through the use of beehive barrier fences in the village of Kitisi, Idodi District, Tanzania.

The project hopes to bring about a reduction in elephant crop-raiding behavior, and therefore reduce human elephant conflict and improve local farmer livelihoods. Local farmers and community members can participate by attending beehive-building workshops, public meetings and opportunities to implement the project in Tanzania.

Collaborative Water Restoration and Networking

Candace Ducheneaux: Tribal liaison and program coordinator for the Mni Water Restoration Collaborative in Cheyenne River Sioux tribal territory, central South Dakota

Ducheneaux will be working through Mni, a grassroots, nonprofit, indigenous-led collaboration to restore the worldwide water cycle through rainwater harvesting techniques and ecosystem restoration.

Mni will be hosting a water sustainability and restoration learning camp in collaboration with Tatanka Wakpala (Swiftbird sustainable community) and Engineers Without Borders-CSU. The program aims to teach indigenous grassroots volunteers from local and inter-tribal communities about harvesting techniques and sustainable permaculture.

A Citizen Science Web-Based Portal for the Colorado Collaborative Conservation Atlas Project

Greg Newman: Research Scientist in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability at CSU, Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory at CSU, Director of CitSci.org

Newman’s project will develop a web-based portal for the Colorado Collaborative Atlas project and integrate CitScil.org capabilities to increase citizen science data collection and monitoring activities across Colorado’s collaborative initiatives.

The project will network synergistic efforts resulting in broader-scale regional efforts that are locally relevant and broadly applicable to maintaining and monitoring the health and integrity of Colorado’s socio-ecological systems. He will collaborate with CCC as a partner on his project.

Citizen Science Monitoring Program for Forest Health

Howard Hallman, President of the Forest Health Task Force (FHTF), Summit County, Colorado

Hallman’s project will expand FHTF’s volunteer monitoring program to include all of Summit County. Utilizing citizen scientists, the project will document forest health indicators close to home and research historical forest conditions while increasing collaboration between stakeholders and forest managers.

Hallman will work with Tony Cheng, Professor in the Department of Forest & Rangeland Stewardship in the Warner College of Natural Resources and Director of the Colorado Forest Restoration Institute. He will also collaborate with Brad Piehl, forestry consultant and FHTF member, as well as forest managers and other stakeholders.

Community-Based Business Project for Zero Waste Rice Farming

Tanmay Telang: Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Fargreen; CSU College of Business alumnus

Telang’s project will work with rural communities in Vietnam to reduce the air pollution caused by burning of waste rice straw, a byproduct of rice farming, and instead use it as a substrate for producing high quality mushrooms.

The project will test Fargreen’s community-based Zero Waste Farming production process by developing a standard production procedure and implementing guidelines in the local language to train farmers to produce two types of mushrooms and generate bio-fertilizer from rice straw waste. He will collaborate with rural farming communities in Northern Vietnam.

Assessing Bird-Mediated Ecosystem Services and Disservices in Colorado Orchards

Anna Mangan, Master’s student, Graduate Degree Program in Ecology, Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology, Warner College of Natural Resources

Mangan’s project will investigate the ecological and economic tradeoffs associated with avian species in agricultural fruit systems and the visual cues related to ecosystem services and disservices (i.e. insect removal and crop depredation respectively).

Her goal is to assess the ecological and economic tradeoffs related to birds for the benefit of land users and conservation decision makers and develop effective means for distributing this information. She will collaborate with producers along the Western Slope and the USDA’s National Wildlife Research Center.

Private Land Stewardship Incentives for Conserving Great Green Macaw Habitat

Justin Lee: Ph.D. student, Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology Department, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

Lee’s project will investigate the feasibility of private land stewardship aimed at conserving and restoring macaw habitat surrounding the release site in the Chongon-Colonche region of Ecuador.

This project seeks to better understand landowner attitudes toward conservation and identify incentives that could be offered by the provincial government to establish the first private-land conservation easement program in Ecuador. He will be collaborating with local landowners and conservation practitioners in Ecuador.

Traditional Ecological Knowledge and the Conservation of the Hawaiian Crow

Rebecca Thomas: Ph.D. student, Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, Warner College of Natural Resources

Thomas’ project will investigate actual and perceived traditional ecological knowledge regarding the endangered Hawaiian crow (?Alala¯) on the Island of Hawaii through a comparison of the beliefs from community elders and conservation leaders.

The information gathered will be used to facilitate improved communication between conservation practitioners and local communities to mitigate social conflict surrounding the reintroduction of this species. She will collaborate with local communities and conservation practitioners in Hawaii

Desertification Management Actions Blending TEK and Scientific Knowledge

Jon Trimarco: Master’s student, Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, Warner College of Natural Resources, CSU

Trimarco’s project seeks to find tradition-based solutions to land degradation problems in Samburu, Kenya. It entails a joint-learning process where local Samburu traditional knowledge on land-use strategies is combined with science-based management practices to design culturally appropriate means for addressing deforestation and desertification.

The project includes an educational component to ensure the sustainability of the practices in the community. He will collaborate with Samburu elders, educators, community leaders and members, and local conservation practitioners.

Local/Gendered Collaboration in Hydraulic Fracturing Land Use Policy and Procedure

Stacia Sydoriak: Ph.D. student, Sociology Department, College of Liberal Arts, CSU

Sydoriak’s project will identify and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the way in which oil and gas industry operators, local governments, property owners and activist organizations are helping to shape each city’s respective land use policies for new oil and gas activities in Colorado.

The project will explore the ways land-use policies related to oil and gas production are being created, reformed and challenged by men and women engaged in the policy development process. She will work with a variety of stakeholders in Loveland and Fort Collins.

Using Economics in Collaboration to Restore Degraded Landscapes

Michael Verdone: Ph.D. student, CSU Agricultural and Resource Economics Department and program officer at International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Global Economic Program

Verdone’s project will use economic analysis in a multi-disciplinary, collaborative approach to the process of restoring degraded and deforested landscapes in Uganda and Ethiopia. He will provide small grants to local community “restoration champions” to support restoration activities in their communities.

He will also use geospatial-bioeconomic analysis to help determine where livelihoods and ecosystems will benefit the most.