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   Conservation Innovation: Students as Conservation Catalysts
December 5, 2012

December 5, 2012 | 11 am - 12 pm EST

~This was a free, online event.~

Recording: Watch a video of the online event.

  • Note: There is an echo during playback of the video clip in the middle of the event recording. You may watch the video directly on YouTube at the link below.

YouTube Video: "A Paddler's Perspective on the Colorado River Delta" (from the State of the Rockies program and featuring Will Stauffer-Norris and Zak Podmore).



Conference: Large Landscape Conservation Conference on March 1, 2013

Conservation Catalysts Network: A new resource for universities, colleges, and research organizations catalyzing large landscape conservation initiatives

* * *

The next generation of innovative conservation leaders are now emerging from our colleges, universities, and research organizations, and they are out to change the world. This online discussion was with Colorado College students and recent graduates who are out on the water, in the water, and in dialogue with senior federal decision makers. We heard several of their tales, and learned how an upcoming conference will bring some of our brightest young conservation innovators together to share their dreams and experiences.

Will Stauffer-Norris and Zak Podmore told us more about their journey in kayaks and rafts along the length of the Colorado River, from the Green River in Wyoming to Mexico's Sea of Cortez, and how they shared their findings — and their call to action to save the Colorado River — with US Department of Interior officials in Washington, DC.

Colorado College (CC) staffer Brendan Boepple was also be on hand to explain how their adventure forms an integral part of CC's innovative State of the Rockies program. 

In addition, Philip Nyhus, Associate Professor with the Environmental Studies Program at Colby College, and Ginny Keesler, a senior at Colby, described the conference they are now organizing for March 1, 2013, on "Students as Conservation Catalysts." The conference will bring together a cadre of students from the US and abroad to offer their most inventive ideas for advancing large landscape conservation initiatives in North America and beyond.

The session was moderated by James Levitt, Director of the Program on Conservation Innovation at the Harvard Forest, Harvard University, and a Fellow at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

* * *

About the Presenters

Brendan Boepple (Brendan.Boepple@coloradocollege.edu)is the Program Coordinator for Colorado College's State of the Rockies Project. Brendan oversees the Project's different initiatives in order to further awareness of environmental and socioeconomic issues in the Rocky Mountain region.  

Zak Podmore (zak@downthecolorado.org) and Will Stauffer-Morris (will@downthecolorado.org) are Expedition Managers at the Rockies Project. Like Brendan, they are graduates of the Colorado College Class of 2011. Through their different expeditions paddling the Colorado River, they seek to inform and engage the river's stakeholders through photos, videos, blogging, and other forms of social media. A selection of the beautiful videos that Zak and Will shot on their trip down the Colorado can be found at http://www.downthecolorado.org/videos-2/.

Philip Nyhus (pjnyhus@colby.edu), Associate Professor of Environmental Studies at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, is the principal organizer of the upcoming conference on "Students as Conservation Catalysts." His interdisciplinary research bridges the natural and social sciences to address human interactions with the environment. He is particularly interested in the policy dimensions of human-wildlife conflict and endangered species conservation. His current research includes biodiversity risk assessment, GIS-based spatial models, large landscape conservation, and tiger and large mammal conservation in the US and Asia.  

Ginny Keesler (vkeesler@colby.edu) is a senior environmental policy major at Colby College. Her interest in environmental studies was sparked by her experiences growing up in Concord, Massachusetts. Ginny is currently examining large landscape conservation in Maine as part of her senior capstone course and will investigate the subject of conservation easements for her honors thesis.


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