Spring lunchtime colloquia
Wednesdays at 11:30 in the Fairchild Room in Dana
This is a preliminary list showing the dates and speakers for the spring lunchtime series. We will add information as we receive titles and abstract information from the speakers.
Three students will share their experiences from their Jan plan internships. Please join us to hear from Nicole Wong who did a water quality internship with the New England Aquarium, Ena Lupine who worked with International Rivers Network in Berkeley, California, and Tarini Manchanda, who made a documentary on the of the lives of the indigenous people of the villages in the Narmada Valley with Friends of the River Narmada.
Environmental Studies Program Mellon Fellow
“Community Natural Resource Management - The Case of Community Forestry in Nepal”
Nepalese Community forestry is one of the world’s most ambitious and highly regarded examples of community natural resource management (CNRM). CNRM approaches devolve centralized, State management of natural resources to vest considerable management authority to local people. Community forests are constituted by government foresters who enroll local forest resource users into Community Forest User Groups (CFUG). Once formed, Community Forest User Groups have rights of access, use, and exclusion, but no rights of tenure to their forestland. In practice if not intent, the government’s user group formation process, supported in part by foreign financial and technical assistance, reflects and exacerbates existing divisions within communities, leading to or at least maintaining elite domination of user groups. Outcomes are mixed in that forest conservation is generally successful, while the program’s potential for improving local livelihoods is constrained by bureaucratic structures and the wider institutional environment.
Dr. Christopher Thoms completed his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan and its School of Natural Resources and Environment where his dissertation research examined the role of United Kingdom aid to Nepal in shaping community forestry policy. This research was supported by the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Program and the Social Science Research Council’s International Dissertation Research Fellowship. Dr. Thoms first become interested in Nepal and its community forestry program as a Peace Corps Volunteer in 1997.
In his research, Dr. Thoms takes a political ecology perspective to examine global-local linkages in conservation and development of rural areas, particularly in the global South. He is most interested in the relationship between decentralized forest policy, social stratification, and forest access. His more general interests lie in exploring the potential of local natural resource management to conserve resources, reduce poverty and promote inclusive governance.
"Black Faces, White Spaces: African Americans and the Great Outdoors"
Dr. Finney recently completed her Ph.D. in geography at Clark University in Massachusetts and is a Canon National Parks Science Scholarship recipient. Her dissertation research explored cultural and environmental encounters in the U.S, highlighting how they are gendered and racialized. In particular, her research seeks to broaden our understanding of African-Americans and environment interactions by exploring how the attitudes and beliefs of African-Americans are influenced by racialized constructions and representations, informing how African-Americans participate in the use of national forests and parks. As a Fulbright fellow, she has also researched the impacts of tourism and modernization on Nepalese women and the environment. She has had the privilege of presenting her work in numerous forums nationally and internationally. All of her work is informed by a need to interrogate the production, representation and dissemination of knowledge about people, places and ideas.
She is currently a Newhouse/Mellon postdoctoral fellow at Wellesley College in Massachusetts in Environmental Studies and Humanities. She will begin her position as Assistant Professor in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at UC Berkeley in July 2007.
"Building sustainable and Just Food Sytems in Maine"
“Vernal Pool Ecology and Conservation: Current Challenges”
Environmental Studies Program
"Why New England Farmers and Environmentalists Should Care About the Farm Bill in 2007"
Professor Bohlen is an ecologist with a lifelong interest in environmental policy and all things aquatic. He comes to the Environmental Studies Program on leave from a position with Trout Unlimited, where he works on stream and wetland restoration, conservation programs under the Farm Bill and Maine environmental policy issues. He previously served on the faculty of Bates College.
Before moving to Maine, he worked on the wetland policy, ecological economics and watershed management with the University of Maryland’s Chesapeake Biological Laboratory and was Maryland Staff Scientist with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. He spent a year on Capitol Hill as the American Institute of Biological Sciences.