University of Vermont

  • environmental leaders

    "I learned a lot while I was in Alaska—everything from identifying tundra vegetation to what to do if a bear attacks." — Genna Waldvogel

    Genna WaldvogelEnvironmental sciences major, intern at Alaska field station, conductor of research project on seasons and streams. More about Genna >>

  • environmental leaders

    "I felt a strong sense of community in RSENR." — Kelsey Head

    Kelsey Head Environmental studies major, student educator with the UVM Watershed Alliance, creator of environmental curriculum for young people, intern, volunteer coordinator. More about Kelsey >>

  • environmental leaders

    "I directly contributed to the outcome of the project." — Joshua Carrera

    Joshua Carrera Natural resources major, social activist, co-creator of online course, participant in travel study to Costa Rica, Brazil, Ecuador and beyond, delegate. More about Joshua >>

  • environmental leaders

    " I was looking to learn and broaden my experience in the wildlife biology and education fields." — Flavio Sutti, Ph.D. student

    Flavio SuttiPh.D. candidate in natural resources, Consultant biologist in Italy, master in wildlife biology, researching landscape context as a framework for agricultural systems. More about Flavio >>

  • environmental leaders

    "I care deeply about forests, and I have come to care passionately about working with horses in the woods." — Ethan Tapper

    Ethan TapperForestry major, horse logging intern studying forest management and impact of horses working in the woods. More about Ethan >>

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...

Academic Programs

 Undergraduate Majors
 Undergraduate Minors
  • Environmental Studies
  • Forestry
  • Geospatial Technologies
  • Parks, Recreation and Tourism
  • Wildlife Biology
 Graduate Degrees, Concentrations & Certificates



Thursday October 2, 2014
Architect and environmental designer Neri Oxman, who teaches at MIT’s media lab, will deliver the 2014 Aiken Lecture on “Material Ecology: A New Approach to Nature-Inspired Design & Engineering,” at 5 p.m. in Ira Allen Chapel.
Friday October 3, 2014
Gund Conference Room, Johnson House, 617 Main Street
Monday October 6, 2014
Management by Crisis: Land Trust Conservation Engagement and Methods in Vermont

By Louise Lintilhac

Aiken 311

Stephanie Kaza, Professor and Director, RSENR, Advisor
Thomas Hudspeth, Professor, RSENR
Christopher Koliba, Professor, Community Development and Applied Economics

Planning a future for our landscapes can be a daunting challenge for communities in Vermont. Conservation initiatives affect the quality of life for all community members and can be difficult to change in the event of poor planning. Through examining stakeholder relationships with land trusts I have explored the complexities of planning processes used by land trusts in Vermont for conservation initiatives.

The study involved one statewide land trust, the Vermont Land Trust, and two community land trusts, the Stowe Land Trust and the Duxbury Land Trust. I used qualitative methods including document review, observation and interviews to gather data on land trust planning. My study shows how stakeholder relationships shape conservation initiatives, what strategies land trusts use to aid stakeholder involvement, and how stakeholder input affects conservation easements.

Interviews with internal and external stakeholders for each land trust indicate a negative feedback loop within the organizational structure of these land trusts I call “management by crisis.” My case study examples suggest stakeholders are not involved in conservation until there is a threat to the landscape. This makes strategic planning difficult and limits a land trust’s ability to link important parcels together for environmental and social benefit.

I suggest that management by crisis can be replaced with positive feedback using Community Based Participatory Research. This approach relies on communities initiating projects and being an integral part of the planning process from the beginning of a conservation initiative. Involving stakeholders allows land trusts to better evaluate community needs for the landscape.

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