People, Landscape and Communities (PLACE)
We adopt a sustainability science research approach to study urban-rural landscape change. We address dynamic interactions between nature and society and are problem-driven. We explore relationships between ecological and social resources and human decisions, with the hope of advancing diverse solutions to problems related to complex interactions and information failures spanning landowners, municipal officials, forest managers, non-government organizations, and private businesses. We co-produce improved knowledge of these interactions and identify opportunities for avoiding these failures by working collaboratively with stakeholders. We plan to continue the stakeholder engagement and partnerships including the Forest Working Group (Family Forest), Bangor and Portland Stakeholder Advisory Groups (SURP), Cooperative Forestry Research Unit (Spruce Budworm) and Cooperative Extension (K-A), and develop new engagement processes and partnerships. Our research on landscape processes (urban change, forest change, ecosystem services) and human attitudes and behaviors (land decision-making, attitudes towards urban and forest change, sense of place, and social acceptability of forest management strategies) is designed to support short- and longterm solutions to escape the inefficiencies of spillovers, or externalities, and information failures. Solutions include: improved communication networks (landowner engagement workshops and forums, modeling and communication tools, stakeholder partnerships); service networks (stakeholder partnerships with private businesses); decision-support tools; revised forest and land management policies; and changes in landowner, institutions, community resident, and voter behavior.
Featured project on MPBN's “Triple Bottom Line”
Profile of team leader Jessica Leahy
PLACE Team Research Summary
PLACE Team Research Update