Alison Adams Joins Lake Champlain Sea Grant as Watershed Forestry Coordinator

By Shari Halik, Communicator
June 22, 2020

Alison joined Lake Champlain Sea Grant and University of Vermont (UVM) Extension in March 2020. As the Watershed Forestry Coordinator, she is building the foundation for a new Watershed Forestry Partnership to coordinate riparian forest buffer restoration efforts across the Lake Champlain basin.

She will work with resource managers, federal and state staff, conservation districts, and researchers to share information, identify research questions to be answered, and determine the needs for outreach and support to communities and landowners who want to restore stream and river ecosystems on their properties and in their towns. Alison will also help to organize and oversee a graduate student project related to riparian buffer restoration.

“I hope to develop a strong community of practice statewide, where people have what they need to do riparian restoration and have a network of support among partnership members,” said Alison. “I am hopeful we can build on the great work already being done and move toward a long-term strategic approach throughout the basin by focusing our efforts in places that will see the greatest results.”

With a wide range of interests and expertise in ecosystem services, land cover change, spatial analysis, and ecological art, Alison is a PhD student in the UVM Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources and a graduate fellow in the Gund Institute for Environment's Economics for the Anthropocene program. For her doctoral research, she explores how people connect with nature in non-material ways, with the goal of increasing the inclusion of these critical connections in environmental decision-making and management. She is particularly interested in how environmental change impacts people’s well-being, cultural practices, and behavior, and in the justice and equity implications of these impacts. She expects to finish her PhD in Natural Resources in 2021.

For her PhD research field work, Alison examined the implications of coral reef decline in Hawaiʻi for Native Hawaiian and non-Native Hawaiʻi Island residents, as well as visitors. She interns with and shares her cultural ecosystem services data with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. As co-leader of a team of graduate student researchers supported by the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center in Annapolis, Maryland, Alison contributes her expertise to answer socio-environmental questions related to coral reef decline.

Originally from Palo Alto, California, Alison earned a BA from Yale in History of Art in 2009 and a MS in Natural Resources from the Rubenstein School in 2016. Her thesis research and subsequent work with the Forest Ecosystem Monitoring Cooperative in Vermont focused on mapping forest change in New England. Prior to graduate school, Alison worked in environmental advocacy and community outreach in Washington, DC. Outside of work, she can often be found hiking, rock climbing, or foraging for mushrooms.