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Center for Collaborative Conservation announces 2013-2014 Fellowship Cohort

April 11, 2013

The Center for Collaborative Conservation (CCC) has awarded its 2013-2014 Fellowships to a diverse cohort of 13 students, faculty, researchers and conservation practitioners representing seven departments and three colleges at Colorado State University and three 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.  

Strengthen engagement and amplify contributions

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. The Fellows will be working around the world, including Belize, Mexico, Mongolia, Ghana, Costa Rica, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Colorado, and one fellow will be working with the Lakota tribal nation. 

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

The CCC is an initiative of Colorado State University’s Warner College of Natural Resources, and is led by renowned environmental scientist and Warner College alumna Robin Reid.

CCC 2013-2014 Fellowship Cohort Projects

Eduardo Bone MoronLinking People and Landscapes through Ecotourism
Eduardo Boné Morón: program coordinator, Conservation Leadership Through Learning master´s program, CSU

Eduardo Boné Morón will work to further consolidate ongoing conservation and rural development efforts in and around protected areas in the Sierra Madre range of Chiapas, Mexico. His project will link people, communities and landscapes through development of a regional trail network and associated community-managed ecotourism enterprises. Boné Morón will collaborate with representatives from five biosphere reserves - Volcán Tacaná, El Triunfo, La Encrucijada, La Sepultura and El Ocote ; local communities, universities and organizations; and CSU’s Center for Protected Area Management and Training and Warner College of Natural Resources.


Marianna Castiaux is leading a collaborative Fellowship team.Watershed Approach to Composting Coffee Harvest Waste
Marianna Castiaux: Master’s student, Conservation Leadership Through Learning master’s program, CSU

Marianna is part of a thesis team.  Her fellow collaborators are: Katie Crossman, Matt Jurjonas, and Lorena Mondragon, all Master's students in the Conservation Leadership Program through the Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources at CSU. The team is advised by Jennifer Solomon. This team will be working in the La Suiza Pilot Project Watershed of Chiapas, Mexico to develop a watershed-approach for a sustainable composting management scheme of coffee harvest waste. The project aims to mitigate acute toxicity events, sedimentation of rivers, and water quality degradation in the area. The team will identify, develop, and disseminate the best management practices for harvest waste through stakeholder engagement. Collaborators areCSU’s Warner College of Natural Resources and Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources; the National Institute for Forestry, Agriculture and Livestock; and El Colegio de La Frontera Sur (ECOSUR) in Mexico.


Melinda ClarkeImproving Human Health in Indonesia
Melinda Clarke: Ph.D. student, Graduate Degree Program in Ecology, CSU

Melinda Clarke will provide assistance to Health in Harmony(HIH), an organization working to improve human health and conservation near Gunung Palung National Park in Indonesia. Her project will conduct a participatory evaluation of the organization’s conceptual models, develop a social network analysis, and cultivate relationships with new partners in Indonesia and the United States. Clarke’s goal is to use this information to test, refine and possibly replicate their models in other areas. She is collaborating with the National Park Service and Health in Harmony.


Jamie FullerAdapting to Environmental and Social Changes in Papua New Guinea
Jamie Fuller: Ph.D. student, Graduate Degree Program in Ecology, CSU

Jamie Fuller will collaborate with a coastal community in Papua New Guinea to explore the utility of agent-based models as a communication and collaboration tool. Fuller will research the ways in which local land managers adapt their livelihood strategies to cope with environmental and social changes, with a goal of addressing the complex dynamics of socio-ecological relationships and improving sustainable development. Fuller is collaborating with the Kamiali Community Advisory Board.


Lacey GaechterCreating “Green” Livelihoods on Reservations
Lacey Gaechter, national director, Trees, Water & People

Lacey Gaechter will work to help create “green” livelihoods on Native American reservations in the United States. She will be working with a selected tribal renewable energy start-up business candidate, helping establish a viable Native American-owned and operated business in the energy conservation field. Gaechter will also expand the idea of developing tribal businesses to include creating a format and foundation for Trees, Water & People to act as an incubator for livelihoods in energy conservation. Gaechter is collaborating with CSU’s Center for the Advancement of Sustainable Enterprise, NEON Global Research and Analysis consulting service, and Lakota tribe members.


James HaleThe Roadblocks of Expanding Urban Agriculture
James Hale: Ph.D. student, Department of Sociology, CSU

James Hale’s research will seek to shed light on the challenges of expanding urban agriculture. Hale will be exploring stakeholders’ knowledge and motivations for participating in urban agriculture initiatives in Colorado, as well as identifying potential partnerships to leverage resources toward creating more sustainable urban communities. Hale is collaborating with Denver Public Schools, Produce Denver, Sprout City Farms, and Five Points Fermentation Company.


Katherine HamiltonPayments for Ecosystem Services in Costa Rica
Katherine Hamilton, director, Ecosystem Marketplace, Forest Trends

Katherine Hamilton will work to create a curriculum for a field-based course on Payments for Ecosystem Services in the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica. Her goal is to teach students and practitioners how ecosystem services relate to the economy and livelihoods in the region, and to connect potential decision makers to on-the-ground social, economic and ecological dynamics. Hamilton will be collaborating with CSU’s Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources.


Jennifer HigginsImpact of Disease on Sustainable Nomadic Herding in Mongolia
Jennifer Higgins: Ph.D. candidate, Department of Veterinary Medicine, CSU

Jennifer Higgins will be working on a collaborative effort to characterize the prevalence and causative agent of the zoonotic disease, brucellosis, in the livestock and human populations in northern Mongolia. Her project aims to enhance the sustainability of the nomadic herding culture in this region. Higgins is collaborating with Montana State University’s Department of Land Resources and Environmental Science, BioRegions International, the Mongolian University of Agriculture, and other Mongolian collaborators.


Noah JacksonStorytelling and Cocoa Farming in Ghana
Noah Jackson: director and founder, Forest Voices

Noah Jackson will partner with a group of cocoa farmers in Ghana to develop a course for U.S. undergraduates that involves documenting ecological knowledge of Ghana farmers, participating in the local cocoa harvests, and storytelling. The course will use the power of storytelling to help address how people communicate about farming and cocoa as a global commodity. Jackson is collaborating with Forest Voices, the University of Montana’s College of Forestry and Conservation; Asuntua, Bia-Juabeso in Western Ghana; and the Rainforest Alliance in Accra Ghana.


Megan MatonisThe Power of Group Learning – The Uncompahgre Partnership

Megan Matonis: Ph.D. student, Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability, CSU

Megan Matonis’s project will tell the unique history of the Uncompahgre Partnership, a large forestry collaborative in western Colorado. By unlocking the power of group learning and creative thinking, the Partnership has built social capital, accomplished on-the-ground conservation, and sustained momentum over time. Matonis is collaborating with CSU’s Warner College of Natural Resources and Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship, the Colorado Forest Restoration Institute, and the Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forest of the USDA Forest Service.


John RizzaTeaching Private Land Stewardship
John Rizza: small acreage management specialist, Colorado State University Extension

John Rizza’s fellowship project will teach small acreage landowners the basics of land stewardship through a series of practical classes to increase local knowledge of sustainable land stewardship. His project will support and encourage the implementation of stewardship practices to strengthen individual and community properties. Rizza is collaborating with NRCS/CSU Extension, CSU Extension Boulder County, CSU Extension Garfield County, and other agencies and organizations. 


Jennifer SolomonThe Impact of Marine Plastic in Belize
Jennifer Solomon: assistant professor, Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, CSU

Jennifer Solomon will be working to provide the first estimates of rates of marine plastic accumulation in southern Belize. She will engage students and faculty from a new CSU course, Integrated Social and Ecological Field Methods in Belize, in a collaborative education program with Belizean high school students and the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment.  This collaborative education program will also gather data on socio-cultural drivers of plastic consumption and barriers to behavioral change. Solomon is collaborating with CSU’s Warner College of Natural Resources and Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment, and a local high school in Punta Gorda.


Andrew SpencerReturning Natural Fire Processes to Fire-Dependent Ecosystems
Andrew Spencer:  master’s student, Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship, CSU

Andrew Spencer will be investigating the intentions, methods and results of the Nature Conservancy’s Fire Learning Network. His project goal is to describe this network’s overall effectiveness, and to provide recommendations for land managers to consider when developing programs that seek to return natural fire processes to fire-dependent ecosystems. Spencer is collaborating with The Nature Conservancy and CSU’s Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship, Warner College of Natural Resources, and Education and Training Program professors.

More information

For more information about the CCC, please visit the website.