The Rubenstein School offers exciting, hands-on environmental programs that integrate natural sciences and social perspectives. Our small, close-knit community challenges students to discover knowledge, skills, and values to become innovative, environmentally-responsible leaders. More about our School...
- Environmental Sciences
- Environmental Studies
- Natural Resources
- Parks, Recreation and Tourism
- Wildlife and Fisheries Biology
- Environmental Studies
- Geospatial Technologies
- Parks, Recreation and Tourism
- Wildlife Biology
Graduate Degrees, Concentrations & Certificates
- Ph.D. in Natural Resources
- M.S. in Natural Resources
- Aquatic Ecology and Watershed Science
- Environment, Society and Public Affairs
- Environmental Thought and Culture
- Forest and Wildlife Sciences
- Dual Degree with Vermont Law School
- Ecological Planning Curriculum
- Certificate in Ecological Economics
Optional M.S. concentrations:
Other M.S. options:
12-03-2013 Gund Institute Hosts Its First Research Slam
11-19-2013 RGSA Chili Cook-Off Pictoral 2013
11-13-2013 Corps Values
By Monika M. Derrien
Seminar: 2:00 pm, Green Conference Room in George D. Aiken Center (311)
Defense: 3:00 pm, Green Conference Room in George D. Aiken Center (311)
Patricia A. Stokowski, Ph.D., RSENR, Advisor
Cheryl Morse, Ph.D., Geography, Committee Chair
Walter F. Kuentzel, Ph.D., RSENR, Committee Member
Robert Manning, Ph.D., RSENR, Committee Member
Communities and individuals that attribute cultural meaning to their landscapes often see these surroundings as common assets, even when land or resources are owned or managed by diverse landowners or resource managers. Particularly in rural areas, landscapes and their resources form an important dimension of community life and cultural heritage, even as economies change and resource-dependencies evolve. Impacts from forces such as resource extraction and infrastructure and tourism development present particular challenges for community leaders and resource managers, as conservation and planning involve multiple actors at multiple scales, and the resources of interest can often only be managed cooperatively across ownership boundaries.
The three studies that comprise this dissertation examine the discourses of conservation and change that contribute to and shape the management of culturally important natural resources and landscapes. Each study is organized around the examination of individual, community and/or organizational discourses. Discourses produce and reflect knowledge and power relationships that are both explicit and implicit in societies, and serve as distinct types of social action that rhetorically direct and shape the fields of action in which people make decisions about resource management.
The first study uses interviews with National Park Service staff and visitors to Acadia National Park, and community leaders in Bar Harbor, ME, to look at emerging discourses around the management of a “newly discovered,” natural resource: the night sky. The second study examines the ways forests in Vermont are interpreted for various publics by the public and private agencies and organizations that manage them. The third study examines the political/rhetorical discourses of place that surround concerns and observations about landscape change in three small, rural communities in Vermont. Together, the studies form a body of work that informs theory and practice surrounding conservation and development in rural communities.
By Marcela Pino
Seminar: 4 pm, Aiken 311
Defense: 5 pm, Aiken 311
Jon D. Erickson, Ph.D., RSENR, Advisor
Joshua Farley, Ph.D., CDAE, Committee Chair
V. Ernesto Méndez, Ph.D., PSS
Saleem H. Ali, Ph.D., RSENR
Smallholder coffee growers of Mexico and Central America regularly experience seasonal food insecurity. The FAO has characterized chronic, seasonal food insecurity as a predictable known event of limited duration that can also be recurrent or transitory. The literature suggests that an important cause of seasonal hunger within coffee producing families is their dependency on the coffee crop for most of their income.
This research examined agrobiodiversity and other livelihood factors of coffee growing families’ in the Northern regions of Nicaragua and analyzed its relationship to their food insecurity. The Sustainable Livelihoods Approach framework was used to account for household’s assets, vulnerability context and livelihood strategies. The food security conceptual framework was used to analyze household’s food security, focusing on access to food and dietary diversity. Finally, household’s level of agrobiodiversity was analyzed to examine its effects on their food security.
The results show that families eat less quantity and less variety of foods for months at the time. In addition, the study found that families that manage more agrobiodiversity experience more months of food scarcity indicating that richness of agrobiodiversity alone is unable to ensure food security. The study also shows that the capacity of households to consume their production of staple foods can decrease total months of food scarcity. Finally, families’ dietary diversity is positively affected by the number of animals and animal products they manage and the total number of sources of household income.
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