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Research / Discovery

Global Challenge Research teams, resident fellows

August 25, 2010

The School of Global Environmental Sustainability at Colorado State University recently announced two new Global Challenge Research Teams and two new resident fellowships for 2010-2011. The School of Global Environmental Sustainability, or SoGES, has also renamed their Research Working Group program to Global Challenge Research Teams to better illustrate the mission of these collaborative projects.

Conservation Development Global Challenge Research Team

The Conservation Development Global Challenge Research Team will focus on a way to blend land conservation with sustainable development or commercial/residential development.

“Although land conservation and sustainable development projects have been going on for decades, it still isn’t clear what the real ecological or economic outcomes of these projects are, so that’s something we’re going to explore,” said Liba Pejchar, assistant professor in the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology and co-principal investigator on the project. “SoGES is going to be critical in helping us bring all these people together, to have the face time to talk about the criteria that we will be looking for – the ecological and economic indicators of success.”

Sarah Reed, post-doctoral fellow from the Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, is also a co-principal investigator on this team.

Women Population and the Environmental Global Challenge Research Team

The Women Population and the Environment Global Challenge Research Team will focus on emphasizing the role of women in sustainability and the environment, spanning the challenges faced when looking at a sustainable environment: climate change, health, migration and environmental justice.

“Because of our multi-issue interest in women, sustainability and climate change, SoGES seemed to be the logical and only place where we could have this interdisciplinary focus because it is not divided by a discipline or college,” said Paola Malpezzi Price, chair of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures and co-principal investigator on the project.

“SoGES has already helped, being that we have been a pretty atypical group, in the sense that just by giving us a place to meet, it was enough to already have quite a lot of interest coalescing from all over campus,” said Francesa Cotrufo, professor in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, and co-principal investigator on this team. “The school gives us visibility both outside and within CSU and is the only way this thing could happen, so I am very pleased that there is such a thing as SoGES.”

Ann Magennis, associate professor in the Department of Anthropology, is also a co-principal investigator on the Women Population and the Environment Global Challenge Research Team.

The Environmental Governance Working Group

The Environmental Governance Working Group will also continue as a funded research team with SoGES. This will be the third year of funding for EGWG, which focuses on developing a multi-disciplinary community seeking to advance research on environmental governance at Colorado State University. This team will co-host an international conference on Earth System Governance at CSU in May 2011. To learn more, visit cc2011.earthsystemgovernance.org. Michele Betsill, associate professor in the Department of Political Science; Tony Cheng, associate professor in the Department of Forest, Rangeland and Watershed Stewardship; and Peter Tayor, associate professor in the Department of Sociology, are the co-principal investigators of this team.

SoGES Resident Fellows

Two new resident fellows will also receive support from SoGES to further their studies in global environmental sustainability.

Stuart Cottrell, associate professor in the Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, will use his fellowship to investigate the mountain pine beetle impacts on recreation and tourism. Cottrell will focus on developing an interdisciplinary approach to his research that will include creating partnerships with Colorado Forest Restoration Institute, CSU’s Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, CSU’s Department of Political Science, the SoGES Environmental Governance Working Group, Colorado State Forest Service, Region 2, the U.S. Forest Service and more.

“The school is affiliated with a multitude of disciplines that are interconnected – yet many of us have yet to take advantage of that network – and this opportunity is essential to my study,” Cottrell said. “I appreciate the goals and ideals of SoGES as an innovation in collaboration for sustainability.”

Yu Wei, associate professor in the Department of Forest, Rangeland and Watershed Stewardship, will also be joining the School of Global Environmental Sustainability with a resident fellowship. Wei’s resident fellowship time will focus on developing a system that can help analyze the complex system involving both human and natural processes.

“Most people, including myself, work on a specific area like forest management or farm management, but the natural system is a complex system interacting with human decisions,” Wei said.

“Heading into our third year of providing seed funding and support for sustainability research, we are very excited to help these new projects grow,” said Diana H. Wall, director of the School of Global Environmental Sustainability. “Our two new Resident Fellows and two new Global Challenge Research teams will help us continue our mission of developing new strategies for global sustainability that will address solutions to environmental and human- environmental challenges.”

About the School of Global Environmental Sustainability

A first for the state, the School of Global Environmental Sustainability is an umbrella organization that encompasses all environmental education and research at Colorado State University. The school positions CSU to address the multiple challenges to global sustainability through broad-based research, curricular programs and outreach initiatives. The school’s emphases include food security, environmental institutions and governance, sustainable communities, land and water resources, biodiversity, conservation and management, climate change and energy. This approach will capitalize on the university's historic strength in environmental research and education and will build upon the education and research that already exists within all eight colleges on campus from the Warner College of Natural Resources to the College of Business.


Contact: Kimberly Sorensen
E-mail: Kimberly.Sorensen@colostate.edu
Phone: (970) 491-0757