Event Title

Innovation in Natural Resources Engagement at Land-Grant Universities: a View from the Center for Collaborative Conservation

Location

Natural Resources Room 109

Event Website

http://uenr.warnercnr.colostate.edu

Start Date

3-24-2012 2:15 PM

End Date

3-24-2012 2:45 PM

Description

Historically, the creation of land-grant universities ushered in the idea of democracy and practicality in higher education. Today, that mission emphasizes the ‘outreach university’, one of service to society. Scholars continue to question whether the land grants are successfully meeting their missions, especially with declining funding to agricultural extension. In natural resources, we face a shift from production, use and management of natural resources to a much broader and more complex agenda of cultural, social, ecological and economic sustainability, in an environment of accelerating change. Here we ask: How might the natural resources parts of land-grant universities meet the complex challenges of sustainability through engagement in the 21st century? We begin addressing this question by reviewing new approaches to natural resources, including the ideas of problem-oriented and transdisciplinary education and research, an emphasis on holism and systems-oriented thinking, and new models for public engagement. We discuss the critical role of the land-grant university in building resilience of communities through engagement with diverse partners and transformative leadership. We then propose a model that focuses on creation and support of innovative and nimble boundary leaders and their supporting boundary institutions that work across multiple landscapes, institutions, disciplines and scales while working on complex, systems-level problems. In describing this model, we reflect on ways to overcome the challenges faced by boundary institutions when working across multiple boundaries on complex problems. We suggest that this model requires an ‘all hands on deck’ approach to problem solving in natural resources that draws from humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, law, engineering and beyond. These hands also include real engagement with community members, from developing fully relevant research to welcoming practitioners as teachers and equal partners. This approach can help propel land-grant education and research so that it is both useful and used, more than ever before. We conclude with some specific examples of new institutions that are attempting to embody these principles in philosophy and practice, based on our experience creating the Center for Collaborative Conservation at Colorado State University, working in the western US and around the world.

Comments

Citation: Reid, RS, Skyelander, K, Huayhaca, C, Lackette, J, Flynn, P, Lynn, S. 2012. Innovation in Natural Resources Engagement at Land-Grant Universities: a View from the Center for Collaborative Conservation. UENR 9th Biennial Conference. http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cuenr/9thBiennial/Sessions/50/

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Mar 24th, 2:15 PM Mar 24th, 2:45 PM

Innovation in Natural Resources Engagement at Land-Grant Universities: a View from the Center for Collaborative Conservation

Natural Resources Room 109

Historically, the creation of land-grant universities ushered in the idea of democracy and practicality in higher education. Today, that mission emphasizes the ‘outreach university’, one of service to society. Scholars continue to question whether the land grants are successfully meeting their missions, especially with declining funding to agricultural extension. In natural resources, we face a shift from production, use and management of natural resources to a much broader and more complex agenda of cultural, social, ecological and economic sustainability, in an environment of accelerating change. Here we ask: How might the natural resources parts of land-grant universities meet the complex challenges of sustainability through engagement in the 21st century? We begin addressing this question by reviewing new approaches to natural resources, including the ideas of problem-oriented and transdisciplinary education and research, an emphasis on holism and systems-oriented thinking, and new models for public engagement. We discuss the critical role of the land-grant university in building resilience of communities through engagement with diverse partners and transformative leadership. We then propose a model that focuses on creation and support of innovative and nimble boundary leaders and their supporting boundary institutions that work across multiple landscapes, institutions, disciplines and scales while working on complex, systems-level problems. In describing this model, we reflect on ways to overcome the challenges faced by boundary institutions when working across multiple boundaries on complex problems. We suggest that this model requires an ‘all hands on deck’ approach to problem solving in natural resources that draws from humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, law, engineering and beyond. These hands also include real engagement with community members, from developing fully relevant research to welcoming practitioners as teachers and equal partners. This approach can help propel land-grant education and research so that it is both useful and used, more than ever before. We conclude with some specific examples of new institutions that are attempting to embody these principles in philosophy and practice, based on our experience creating the Center for Collaborative Conservation at Colorado State University, working in the western US and around the world.

https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cuenr/9thBiennial/Sessions/50