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Rural Forest Communities at a Tipping Point? Trends & Actionable Research Opportunities

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Award Year: 
2012
Principal Investigator: 
Brian McGill, School of Biology and Ecology, University of Maine
Kathleen Bell, School of Economics, University of Maine

Our proposed Pursuit project focuses on ecological wealth and changing human populations in rural forest communities in developed countries. This Pursuit project begins with an over-arching research theme of addressing the extent to which these lands and their associated services stand poised at tipping points. In turn, as we collectively pursue research questions related to this over-arching theme, we will pose and respond to these questions with actionable research goals in mind. Overall, we believe diverse ecological and social changes are coming to many rural, forested regions. Lastly, we are encouraged by opportunities for learning across regions and transferring insights more broadly to help communities manage such change. We will assemble a diverse group of researchers with forest-change expertise to perform quantitative, data-driven comparative and case-based studies of land-use/land-cover and demographic change, explore the implications for ecological wealth, and build scenario-based predictions for assessing the implications of various forms of change on ecosystem services and access to these services. Our proposed team includes participants from environmental and social sciences and diverse home institutions. Collectively, team members have extensive experience studying land-use/land-cover change at multiple scales and in numerous regions.

Participants: 
Chris Colocousis, James Madison University
Andrew Gonzalez, McGill University
Kent Kovacs, University of Minnesota
Martin Lechowicz, McGill University
Laura Lindenfeld, University of Maine
Sebastian Martinuzzi, University of Wisconsin
Anita Morzillo, Oregon State University
Darla Munroe, Ohio State University
Benoit Parmentier, University of Maine
Theresa Selfa, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Tom Spies, Oregon State University (US Forest Service)
Derek van Berkel, Ohio State University
Eric White, Oregon State University (US Forest Service)
Aaron Weiskittel, University of Maine