Skip to main contentSkip to footer content

Class Notes Spring 2009

Jan 12:  Course planning; ideas for projects


Ruth Yanai:  Forest ecosystem ecology and nutrient cycling.  I've been teaching at ESF for 14 years, including undergraduate Intro Soils and Forest Ecology.  I like working with advanced students on their own projects.  I teach a seminar for graduate students who are preparing manuscripts for publication, and now this.

Terri Wren:  New MPS student (but with non-matriculated student credits to transfer in), interested in environmental impact assessments, environmental consulting (biology background, ecosystems).  Has taken policy and law here at ESF.  Worked for the Nature Conservancy, does search and rescue for DEC.

Nick Brown:  Second-semester MPS student, may finish in the fall with an internship.  Recreation resources major, undergraduate in business administration, concentration in sport and rec management.  Internship experience with adventure tourism (e.g. to national parks), operational management.  Interests: County or township level recreation programs, where you can have more of an impact than in federal projects.  Management practices that minimize environmental impacts of recreation, LAC, VERP, and VIM (we'll need a seminar on those).

Terri and Nick: environmental impacts of new recreational development, such as ski resorts.

Nick: Onondaga County Parks – proposed developments

Terri: impact statements for parks – past developments

1/28/09  Manlius Greenspace Coalition:  Three Falls Woods, between Sweet Road, 173 and Troop K Road is open to residential development, which would threaten public access to trails.  There are endangered ferns, unique limestone karst topography, opportunities for interpretive programs.  How much harm would be done by developing recreational opportunities vs. residential development, or is protection needed. 
Development would require impact analysis. 

Benita Rogers is interested in soliciting contributions from volunteers like us.

Samantha Glenn:  Second-semester MPS, FNRM, Policy.  Three semesters total, finishing next fall.  Political science undergrad, then worked at NRDC for a year, in air and energy, alternative fuels for transportation.  Interest in urban community environmental awareness.  For example, urban farming. 

Syracuse Grows in the local organization: She doesn't know how to contact them except by going to their meetings every two weeks.  See if you can find contact informations.

Stanley Milewski:  Second-semester MPS, ES.  Undergraduate at ESF, ES, concentration in policy.  Policy or law, for an internship.  Future in environmental NGO, energy and climate, not yet narrowed in focus.  Community-wide greening efforts. 

Try searching local papers with keywords.

(try asking Diane Kuehn)

Stanley: Community-wide greening

Samantha: Urban agriculture

Eric Jones:  First-semester MPS.  Undergraduate major in chemistry, minor business, started medical school, then worked for Pioneer (lab job developing genetically improved corn).  Interested in renewable fuels.  Could switch to MS.  Energy return on investment for liquid biofuels. 

Examples of energy assessment for local entities (could be for ESF, if we don't have one).

Liz Canal:  second-semester FNRM MPS.  Probably finishing next semester.  Community education, previously environmental ed at elementary and middle school.  Climate change, renewables.  Undergraduate degree in math.

She will search for New York State educational policies or guidelines for environmental education.

1/28/09 What about biomass?  She's taking a seminar on biofuels and biomass with local speakers every week.  These people might have needs for projects in public education.  Technical projects: Could our buses run on biodiesel?  What about Centro?

Svetlana Kozlova:  MPS, FNRM, second-semester, finishing in May.  Forest certification, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).  Was involved in development of certification in Siberia.  Public participation, how to meet the needs of stakeholders.  She was involved in organizing participation of diverse interests.  Protected areas, and interests of environmental organizations, vs. interests of forest companies.

Search: International comparison of forest certification

1/28/09  UN Forum on Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).  In another class, methodology for evaluating international projects and programs.  The web site that hosts the UNFCCC could be improved. 

Jan 14: Seaching for information

If possible, we will have a librarian, 9:30-10:30, to answer our questions based on our first attempt to find information on the topics listed above.  Please send me your report (items 5 a-e from Mark Meisner's assignment) by e-mail by 8 a.m., and we will have them on my laptop in class.  From 10:30-11:30 we can look at what you found, see what we've learned that could help us in our search, and plan the next steps towards some research topics.  [In fact, we did it the opposite way and had our questions ready by 10:30.]


Terri searched e-journals, found a relevant one, and liked several of the articles.  Jim Williamson was unaware of the tools for searching journals by topic area!  But we agreed that this approach narrows our search unnecessarily.

Nick told us about Tree Search, the USFS gateway to their publications.  He didn't know how to search newspaper articles (but see below).

Stanley:  Didn't find examples of scholarly work on community greening (e.g. Science Direct).

Green guide for Sacket's Harbor, which he worked on, would be an example.

Dams and endangered species: more success.  Summit, database on Environmental Sciences and Pollution Management.  "hydroelectric dams" was treated as a phrase.  Let's ask for help on how to use the search engines. 

Samantha tried SUMMIT, which is the electronic equivalent of the card catalog for our libraries.  This was not very fruitful.  Then she searched a database using key words, and found useful articles in pdf.  Finally, she tried Google Scholar and found a whole book on line.

Jim Williamson gave us a session on searching for information through library resources. 

What database can we search for one-stop shopping?  He recommends: 

Academic 1, Wilson Select, Proquest: full-text databases that are very comprehensive.  Scopus, too, is very good, but mainly sciences.  Lexis Nexis (law and news) is available from the SciTech library, not at ESF.  These databases are really expensive—chem abstracts is $36K/year for 1 user at a time. 

Go for "Advanced" Search, not "Expert" (which expects you to know the syntax of their search language).

"Newspaper Archive":  All the newspapers have been digitized and are searchable.  Try searching on your street address. 

Most of the databases are not "full-text" because the copyright is held by the journal.  So we go through SU Links to get the full text if SU subscribes to that journal. 

Interlibrary Loan:  ILLiad: you need to be on the ESF site, not the SU.

Review articles are indexed by Annual Reviews.  They will also be indexed in the subject-matter databases.

For the Federal Register, use LexisNexis's Congressional database (available at SU).

Environment Abstracts (LexisNexis)  is available on the ESF campus (SU people have to come over here).

SU has an authentication process to use these services from off-campus.  We can get in from outside, but not from an ESF IP address.

Ulrichs will show you which databases include a particular journal, so you can back search for what databases might match your interests.

Thanks, Jim!

Jan 21:  Oral presentation, Chapter 1

If possible, we will have a session on oral presentation skills, 9:30-10:30, followed by presentations on the context areas in Chapter 1.  Plan on a 5 minute presentation (we said 10, but that wouldn't allow time for discussion). 

Feb 2: Chapter 3

3.1  Pick a local ecosystem and think about the complexities and uncertainties. 

This exercise might make more sense if we specified the management question.

Liz:  Hudson River, NYC:  non-point pollution, water levels vary, migratory birds, impermeable surface in the city affects hydrology, habitat destruction.

To manage pollutants in runoff, we would look at impermeable surface.  Cost and benefits of alternative surfaces, including alternative clean-up costs.  The amount of impermeable surface is probably known.  How much pollution is contributed from this source?  Some contaminants might be distinct.  How much water currently moves into the ground, varies seasonally.  Green roofs are another way to reduce infiltration.

Nick:  Three Falls Woods, Manlius:  moss probably not identified to species, nutrient cycling, water flows underground, inputs from route 173 where the water comes from, hemlock susceptibility to the wooly adelgid.  Formation of new sinkholes.

Management issue: Opening up hiking trails.  Few people now know about this opportunity.  How will the system react to increased traffic?  Finding analogous cases could be helpful.  Identifying the locations of sensitive areas should be easy.  Whether the hemlock need intervention would be harder.

Samantha:  Midtown Manhattan:  People, bacterias, trees, pets, grass, garbage.  Two rivers, parks that are not native. 

To manage invasive species in parks.  How invasive are species being considered for introduction?  How feasible is it to remove invasives?  Manual removal, chemical pesticides, biological controls.

Terri:  Sterling Nature Center, a multiple-use county park.  Wetland, heron rookery, population dynamics, recreation, including hunting.  Chemistry of Sterling Creek, which drains agricultural areas.  Climate.  Conservation easements cover only part of the property.  Renaissance Festival and impacts on the creek.

To manage the heron populations:  Population size would easy to measure.  Effects of human disturbance (viewing platforms).  Effect of pollution from Sterling Creek.  Food sources.  Tolerance of future climate.

Svetlana:  a Russian forest reservation area, where logging companies are allowed to do forest improvement cutting.  These operations can affect other flora and fauna.  Effects of logging slash.  There are endangered species (rare water plants).  There is a unique lake, harvested for peat, and the stores are not known.  Effect of collecting non-timber forest products (mushrooms and berries).  Some animal populations are decreasing, possibly due to habitat destruction.  Foresters have established camps which serve as recreational centers, including hunting areas.  Poor cooperation with department of environmental protection.

3.2 Pick an example of an ecosystem near you. (aim for 25)

Onondaga Lake: Water quality, swimming.

  1. Mercury content, lead, heavy metals, rate of delivery from sediments
  2. Disturbance to sediments from swimming
  3. other sources of contaminants
  4. e.g. runoff from highways
  5. bacteria
  6. eutrophication
  7. sewage effluent
  8. combined sewer overflow, rate of occurrence, how much in the lake
  9. water traffic (boats)
  10. water flux through the lake

3.3 Cascading and synergistic effects

Stanley, PDQ:  Cascading: Aquatic systems: pfisteria outbreaks would affect fish species through anoxia.  Synergistic:  effect of contamination of petroleum pollutants and N on longleaf pine.

Svetlana:  Influence of recreational activity on endangered birds, interacting with the effect of pollution on nesting success. 

Liz: Round Lake:  Removal of shiner species would affect a endemic mussel.  Cranberry bogs are affected by toxins from the golf course, if combined with drought, this would attract management attention.

Sam:  Development of a resort in Benson would have multiple effects.  The role model agreement is synergistic.

Nick: Snow Pact:  Removal of rainbow trout (which doesn't produce trophy fish) would affect food chains.  Introducing the bison would affect herbivores that it competes with. 

Terri:  Runoff from the escarpment: drought in combination with the introduction of bison, could threaten plant populations.

Exercise 3.4

Round Lake:  Declining species populations, toxins in the lake, introduction of elk and the diseases they carry.  Hemlock wooly adelgid.

Snow Pact:  meadow ecosystem threatened by bison and by climate change.  Bats: use of caves by climbers and by indigenous practices.  Climate too.

PDQ:  For toxic waste (disrupting bird populations).  Changes in social situation: development of tourism.  The person in charge of the military installation has a big impact.  The mayor is worried about drinking water.  The economy and legislation affects the options for management.

Local examples of coalitions of stakeholders:  Onondaga Lake.  Development of downtown.  Friends of Onondaga Nation.  Save the County.  We don't know which of these are coalitions.

Feb 4: Adaptive Management

Chapter 4:  4.1 and 4.3 (your scenario)

ROLE Model

Adaptive:  would start using the internet, look at what's working elsewhere

Nonadaptive:  doesn't want to use new technology


Adaptive:  learn why the bill is being considered, then weigh positives and negatives, then plan actions accordingly, and learn to aim for more positive outcomes in the future.  If it's negative, how to turn it positive or prevent it from happening again.

Nonadaptive:  Accept the outcome, take no responsibility for it happening, and not learn for the future.


Nonadaptive: Pigeonhole previous experience into the new situation.  Might not ask for guidance from the locals, especially in inferior positions, fail to learn from the new situation.

Adaptive:  Try to build partnerships in the new setting, solicit ideas.

4.2  Type of learning:  tradition, trial-and-error, scientific experiments

Speed of learning:  Scientific experiments are targeted to get answers.

Ease of teaching to others: rules are easy to teach.  Higher-level knowledge skills are involved in interpreting the results of trials. 

Suitable for stable situations: traditional would be fine.  Trial-and-error would be sufficient to optimize a solution if the traditional isn't optimal.

Complex situation:  Tradition wouldn't be sufficient.  Scientific experimention can generate predictions for situations that haven't yet been encountered.

Trial and error can rule some things out, but it won't get you the optimal model.

Traditional: quick, cheap, may not be valid

Trial and error:  more expensive, learn something, advantageous for future planning, can be applied at management scales.

Scientific experiment:  most accurate for producing new knowledge, most expensive, hardest to teach.  So you need more expert contributions.  Takes the longest.

Even the scientific approach may not provide perfect information.


Round Lake:  options:  remove none, some, or all, or alternative types of dams.  Need studies on how these options would affect hydrology, sediments, chemicals, and thereby fisheries.  Since there are multiple dams, you could try different options on different dams.

SnowPACT (introduction of bison):  pros and cons of different options.  Start with a small population and monitor it closely.  Active adaptive management:  develop population models, use them to evaluate models.  Passive: introduce or not, trial and error observation in either case.  Could experiment with free range and fenced.

PDQ:  nesting boxes for red-cockaded woodpeckers.  Evaluate conditions and compare them to conditions where these types of boxes have been successful. 

Feb 9, Chapter 5:  Genetic Diversity

5.1 bring 1 example

Reproductive success, surviorship,

Susceptibility or resistance to disease

Survival under environmental stress, e.g. freezing

Generation time

The following are probably not indicators of fitness:  availability of food and water.

What's an optimal size?

5.2  answer these

Fish hatchery

Both the numbers of reproducing males and females is important to maximize genetic diversity in the next generation.

5.3 answer these

Larger numbers, equal sex ratios

Genetic history:  you want diverse genetic stock

Could look for provenances relevant to the area of introduction

5.4 each bring one answer: Nick 1, Sam 2, Svetlana 5, Stanley 10, Terri 50, Liz 100

1/(2*Ne) (not 0.5*Ne)

1:  50%

2:  75%

5:  90%

10:  95%

50:  99%

100: 99.5

5.5 in class, in scenarios. See spreadsheets.

Management recommendations: Can we control who mates with whom?  Is there a source of individuals to introduce? Can we increase survival?

5.6 try this at home see spreadsheet.

5.7, 5.8 in class, in scenarios

Within-population diversity: founder effects, population size, gene flow beyond the population, inbreeding,

Among-population variation:  natural selection in different environments, history of disturbance, competition, predation

Dangers of combining isolated populations?  You could have additive risks.  They could be adapted to their conditions. 

5.8 relates back to 5.5


Reduce your list to 3, and further develop the three.  One of the things we can work on next week is "what makes a good proposal," so we can have guidelines for your proposals, which are due on Feb 18.

Feb 11, Chapter 6:  Populations and Species

Bring to class your answers to 6.4 and 6.5.

Hybrid:  the offspring of two different parents.  Mules, labradoodles, seedless watermelons.

Many commercial species (all apples, for example) are propagated vegetatively (from cuttings).

6.1  Definition of species

Biological:  individuals who can produce fertile offspring (works for animals, plants, what about asexually reproducing organisms)

Phylogenic:  by similarity of inherited traits

Evolutionary:  history of descent

How might these different definitions affect species protection?

Protection is afforded to subsets of biological species.

We could look at the endangered species act.

6.2  Natural selection

Artificial selection:  humans cultivate species for our use.  Without using molecular methods to manipulating genes, how were organisms modified for our use.  Crossing parents with desirable traits.  Keep the ones that have the traits you want: productivity, flavor, nutrition, form.

Natural selection:  the traits that confer survival are more likely to be passed on. 

How is variation generated?  Random mutations!

Selection operates on phenotypic variation (the expression of the genetic variation)

Aquired traits can't be passed on (they are not heritable).

6.3, 6.5  Species from your scenario

Cerulean warbler:  restricted to old growth forests, populations are declining.  Food web considerations.  Charismatic:  it's pretty, it sings, people like birds.  Vulnerable.  Indicator for old-growth areas.

Cattle:  dominant herbivore.  Plants would regrow if they were removed.  Bison were a keystone species in this system.

Longleaf pine: keystone, because it forms monospecific stands.  100 species of vertebrates are dependent on this forest type.  Umbrella, flagship?  Economically important for tourism.

Shiners are charismatic, sport fishing. 

American marten:  vulnerable, umbrella (they require large areas of undisturbed land), previously economic, hunted for fur.  Flagship.

Meadow mouse:  indicator for wet meadows. 

Wild turkey:  vulnerable, umbrella, charismatic









































































































































































Keystone species are not vulnerable














They are usually economic
















The flagship species are commonly vulnerable











It would be nice to know if the vulnerable ones are rare






























Can a widespread species be vulnerable?  It might be widespread but not common.  If it's a commodity (elephants, passenger pigeon).  If it has highly specialized habitat or food requirements.  Some habitats are more likely to be destroyed by development. 

Can a rare species be a keystone species?  The occasional tree in an agricultural setting can be important structurally.  A rare species could be locally important (Galapagos tortoises).  A hawk?

Can a rare species be widespread?  A plant can be endangered in many countries but be common somewhere else.  The bald eagle has a wide range.  The bluebird, too.

Management actions protecting an "umbrella" species can help protect other species in the same range, if an area is set aside for protection.  Is that enough?  It depends what threatens the other species?  Restrictions on hunting are commonly species-specific.  Protecting land area doesn't protect species from air pollution, climate change, or other threats.  Wetlands are an example where many species benefit. 

6.6  Ruth check the Instructor's Manual: we think we don't get the point. 

Here's what it says:

Desired Outcomes for the Exercise

By this point students should begin to think about species in a landscape con-

text and recognize that management manipulations of habitats can greatly affect

species composition and richness at the landscape level. This is not always easy

or straightforward. Also, some value issues arise, regarding desired conditions.

By whom? And for what?

Points to Be Made Based on the Exercise

  • Alpha, beta, and even gamma richness may be manipulated by manage-

ment decisions. Be careful!

  • Manipulation for one type of species, or richness at one level, can have

unintended effects at other levels.

  • These are yet more reasons why management must be conducted across

political boundaries and with input from many stakeholders.


Round Lake:  If you log one species from the old-growth forest, you will likely lose some species (and gamma richness). 

SnowPact:  If you eliminate species from one habitat, you would increase beta richness (but we wouldn't want to do that).

PDQ:  An invasive exotic species could exterminate other species, which would decrease alpha richness.  This could increase beta richness in comparison to areas not affected by the exotic.

Do exotic species count?

Feb 16 Chapter  7

We tried these ideas from the Instructor's Manual:

  • Have students consult newspaper stories and magazine articles that detail

the declines of threatened or endangered species. From these accounts, 

have them distinguish the proximate and ultimate factors leading to the 

decline. How often are these factors not human-caused? 

Liz:  Polar bears: ultimate cause is loss of sea ice, due to climate change.  Proximate: cub abandonment, starvation, reduced fecundity, cannibalism.  Hunter harvests.

Iberian Lynx:  they don't know what the cause is.  Competition for resources and mates?  Avoidance of inbreeding?  Competition for mates was more important.  Ultimately it's human barriers and habit loss.

The Tennesse Fainting Goat…

Svetlana:  Newspaper reports commonly don't mention the causes.

  • Have students contact the state wildlife agency and find out for what

species they have long-term trend data for different-sized populations. 

Perhaps personnel from the agency would be willing to discuss their ap- 

proach to ensuring viable populations of certain species in the state. 

  • Students could consult various scientific journals, such as Conservation Bi-

ology, and write brief reports on papers that use an MVP, metapopulation, 

or spatially explicit approach. 

  • Computer models that let students calculate an MVP of a species using the

stochastic and deterministic approaches will allow them to see how the 

numbers change, or do not change, with different numbers of iterations. 

  • Students could be asked to catalogue the number of papers in appropriate

conservation science journals and list how many papers focus on single- 

species management versus species community management. For both approaches, are certain taxa more reported on than others? 

Terri: Three journals

Biodiversity and Conservation, searched for "species management" (most recent first)

Of 50 papers, 13 were single-species, mostly insects, next flora.  25 were ecosystem based, mostly aquatic.  A lot were on invasive species.  One mentioned adaptive management as their framework.  1 paper did both.  11 were neither.

Population Ecology, searched for "management" (82 docs, classified the first 50)

28 were single species (all insects except for 1 frog and 1 polar bear) Mostly invasive species.  18 were ecosystem level.  4 had no application.

Studies in Conservation: this turns out to be about museum conservation (pests)

2 single species (both insects), 5 included abiotic factors, maybe ecosystem.

Exercise 7.1 (this should be given as homework)

Bog turtle:  heavy metals might be the ultimate cause, poaching is proximate.  These are "deterministic" forces.

Big-eared bat: suspected ultimate cause: human disturbance of the caves (climbers and naturalists).  This causes a decline in return to maternal caves, so the birth rate must be down (proximate cause).  Habitat destruction is a "deterministic" force.

Pine salamander: ultimate cause is habitat loss, due to Camp Fraser, where the vegetation has been destroyed by pollution.  Ultimate cause has to do with the political climate.  Proximate cause: we might not know.  They could be responding to pollution directly, or the habitat loss could mean increased mortality, reduced birth rate.

Habitat destruction is a "deterministic" force.

We don't have examples of "stochastic" forces in these cases, but weather events seem likely candidates.

The ultimate factors tend to be human. 

Exercise 7.2 (the first part should be done as homework)

Bog turtles are sensitive to water levels.  Experimentally, control water levels for different populations.  Observationally, you could see where they choose to nest relative to water levels. 

Bison: experimentally, you could take 4 small populations: fenced vs. free.  How do they interact with other livestock (cattle)?  If the habitat varies across the areas for testing, block the treatments (random allocation could end up with one treatment in a better habitat).

American marten: observe population dynamics.

Pine salamander: experimental manipulations of uv light (shading)

What are the problems with the experimental approach?  For animals with large ranges, it could be impossible to treat the whole range.  They are costly to set up and maintain.

What are the problems with the observational approach?  We don't control all the important factors. 

Why don't agencies use these approaches?  Cost.

Why should they use them more often?  Seems like they could get more information.

Passive adaptive management is the next best thing to the full experimental approach.

Exercise 7.3

Why would deterministic and stochastic approaches give the same answer to an MPV estimation?  They are using the same data.  Why should we bother with a stochastic approach if it gives the same answer?  The stochastic approach gives you an idea of uncertainty.

(Feb 23)

Exercise 7.4

Round Lake: Bog turtle.  Conditions in the surrounding habitat can't be improve (golf course, cranberry bogs, both of which are trying to expand).  There is a population in the golf course.  If this population is self-sustaining, then trying to create similar conditions in the proposed golf courses, this could help the populations.  Why are they less successful in the wildlife refuge?  It would be easy to try changing something (trial and error) but hard to do real research (active adaptive management) with so few populations to work with.

SnowPact: American marten.  Population sizes are low.  They need large areas of closed forest.  There are areas that look suitable that don't now have martens.  Would it be possible to relocate them to suitable habitat?  There's state forest land that might be suitable; private land is currently managed for timber production, which creates fragmentation.  Maintain habitat conditions, don't expect them to disperse naturally.

PDQ: Pine salamander.  This species is not protected but it depends on swamps that are disappearing as they are drained.  There are two swamps on the map, one in private land and one in a wildlife management area. 

Exercise 7.5

American marten.  Spatially explicit:  introduce martens to each of the three parts of the Henry State Forests and monitor populations and their interactions.  They might not interact if they won't cross the land in between that's harvested.

Bog turtle:  spatially explicit: monitor dispersal.  How would we detect whether pesticides in the golf course are a problem?  The population is doing well.

MVP: Experimental approach:  Not likely, especially for threatened populations.

Observational approach:  We could use this in our scenarios.  Has there been monitoring of these populations over time?  If not, it would take a while to see whether populations are increasing or decreasing?

Modeling approach: You need data on things like birth and death rates. 

Exercise 7.6

Species approach—this has to be a species that other species depend on.  Longleaf pine might be a good example. 

Ecological process—fire is important to maintaining long-leaf pine.  Flooding in the wetlands would be an example for the bog turtle.

Landscape approach—for the marten, which has trouble dispersing across fragmented forest, we could think about movement corridors.

Feb 18 Project Proposals

For future planning, bring your 1st through 3rd choice topics for outside investigation into your landscape  scenario.  A deeper understanding of the species and habitats that we are working with will improve what we learn from the exercises as we continue through the book.  Examples include sensitive species, institutions, legislation. 

On Wednesday we will assign the topics.

Bring 6 copies (unless you want one for yourself), double spaces, no more than 3 pages.

Also send it to me electronically for use in anonymous examples.

February 23, Chapter 8

Finish Chapter 7, look at 7.5

Homework: 8.2, first 50 parks,

Taxa: Sam--amphibians, Svetlana--birds, Liz--fish, Nick--mammals, Stanley--reptiles, Terri--plants

8.4, 8.5


  1. Habitat loss: urban development, suburban development, associated disturbance.  In the past, agricultural development.  Forest management.
  2. Fragmentation:  development, as above, especially suburban.  Roads are important out of proportion to their area.  Forest management.
  3. Degrade quality:  Recreational use.  Pollution (road salt, acid rain, toxic waste, pesticides).  Climate change. 

8.1  There were fewer than 50 parks.


Reptiles: x-y

Mammals included other types of parks, no parks.

Fish species increased with park size; Everglades was an outlier.

There are fewer than 50 national parks.  50 using all the entries on the list gets up to letter G.

We might see better species-area relationships if we knew the area of relevant habitat for each type of species.

8.3 Which land uses create edge effects and which species will be affected?

Crawford State Forest is in three parts.  Can the warbler disperse across these fragmented?  Maybe that's why it's found only the Truman National Forest.

Logging in private forest land would affect marten habitat.  Ranch development in the grassland probably affects organisms dependent on native vegetation.

Camp Fraser is a source of pollution, this is different from fragmention.

8.4 In your scenario.

Crawford State Forest is too small for edge-sensitive species; Truman National Forest is bigger.  BWR is next to the golf course and the cranberry field.

Henry State Park is in three small areas, circular, so least edge per unit area.  Depends how big the habitat requirements are.  KARMA is big.  NCTC has edge-sensitive species.  It's a large rectangle.

Muir Wildlife Refuge is split into multiple parts, and one part is close to the city.  High Times has land area but in multiple land uses.  All the areas are rectangular.

8.5 Actions to increase area, decrease edge, and increase connectivity

How feasible would it be to join the state forests?  If there are no roads in the way, then buying the land could connect the habitat.  This would be more expensive if people live there.  They could purchase development rights, conservation easements, which might be less expensive.  What about tax breaks for desirable land uses? 

Connecting state to national forest could be harder because of jurisdiction.

8.6  Elements of the mosaic

managed forest, forest preserve, cranberry bog, towns, range land, marshes, roads, lakes,

8.7 Here, the city is the matrix.

Round Lake: forest, agriculture

SnowPact: Forest in the north, range in the south.

PDQ: Forest

February 25, Writing

"I will create up to 8 two page fact sheets…"

Hyphenate compound adjectives.  "two-page fact sheets"  "eight two-page fact sheets"

When should you use a numeral for a number?  One rule is that numbers lower than 10 should be spelled out.  Another rule is the numbers followed by units are numerals.  "eight snails each 3 mm in length"

Bulleted entries don't have to be sentences.

But if you use a paragraph format, use complete sentences.

The problem with avoiding the first person, besides confusion as to who is involved, is that you end up with indirect constructions.  Use the first person and active voice if you can.  "I will do it," not "It will be done."

Avoid the solidus (/) except to indicate division.

Acronyms have to be spelled out at the first occurrence.  You can't start a sentence with an abbreviation or an acronym.

March 4 Midterm Exam

The exercises in the chapters look like good exam questions to me.  If you have additional suggestions for exam questions, email them to me by Feb 27.  On March 2, I will share the list of possible exam questions.   (There weren't any to add to the ones in the book.  That was supposed to be so that if people gave me other questions, everyone would know about them.)

You may bring one page of information of anything you want. 

You can bring a computer to the midterm, and provide your response to me on my flash drive.  Save a copy to your own computer.

By the time of the final, I want to include topics other than this textbook. 

Grading Rubric

2.8  Table 2.2 lists 6 characteristics for each type of organization.  I gave 1 point for each you mentioned.  (6) Top score: 10.  Average score:  5.8.

3.3  3 points for a correct illustration (2 for correct definition, unrealistic example).  1 more point for management implications.  (7) Top score:  7.  Average score: 4.8.

4.2  One point for each item in Figure 4.2 used to describe active adaptive management.  One point for differences with passive adaptive management or documented trial and error (non random, no models)  (8) Top score:  9. Average score: 5.7.

-1 point for saying things that aren't true

5.3  1 point each for correct effects of number, sex ratio, and genetic history, 1 point for demonstrating understanding of the founder effect (4) Top score:  4.  Average score: 3.

6.6 1 point each for understanding alpha, beta, gamma richness.  (3) Top score:  3. Average score: 1.5.

7.2  1 point for correctly describing observations and experimental approaches to estimating the MVP.  Additiona l points for advantages, disadvantages, passive adaptive management.  (3)   Top score:  3. Average score: 1.6.

8.5  Points for describing size, shape, fragmentation, isolation, timeline.  (5)  1 extra point for innovative management suggestions. Top score:  5. Average score: 4.2.

Total: 36 points  Sum of all top scores:  41  Top score: 35. Average score:26.5

We also went over midterm questions and set April 13 as the deadline for returning rewrites of midterm questions.  I think I should put a cap on extra credit points on rewrites, as we identified a possible total of 24 points on the first question!  No extra credit on the rewritten midterm.

March 16  Mid-semester Evaluation

FOR 690 folks,

On the Monday when we get back from break, we will discuss how the course has gone so far and how to make the most of our remaining time.

If you type your answers to the following questions and print them out, then we can pass them around in class and your feedback will be read anonymously by another student.  (If one of them is handwritten, we'll pretend we don't know it's from Samantha.)

  1.  Below is a list of the topics and activities in the course so far.  Please indicate which you found especially useful, which least useful.  Give specific suggestions for improvement if you have any.
  2.  Textbook.  (Is the textbook worthwhile?  Shall I ask again at the end of the year?)
    1.  Landscape models
    2. Ecosystem management
    3. Uncertainty and complexity
    4. Adaptive Management:
    5. Genetic diversity
    6. Species and populations
    7. Populations and communities
    8. Landscape level conservation

"First part was best. " 

"Yes, worthwhile. " 

"More useful to spend more time with chapters 4, 6, 7, 8.  One hour per chapter was not always enough. " 

The other textbook was on Biodiversity.   I thought it was too specific for Forest and Natural Resources Management.

Is the Ecosystem Management topic also too specific?

Some people said: most of us have already studied this (others say not). 

Suggestions for next year:

We could select aspects of the chapter to present to those who don't have the background.  Everyone should at least read the chapter, but one person could be responsible for leading the discussion.  Or it could be two or three people for a single chapter, including creating exercises (or deciding how to use the ones in the textbook).

Spend more time at the beginning on the scenario(s).  Give background presentations (that we're doing now).

Suggestions for this year:

We will stick with your  scenarios for the rest of the book.

Seminar topics:  People can volunteer to lead remaining chapters

We can also entertain requests for remedial presentations.

Chapter 9:

Chapter 10: 

Chapter 11: Svetlana will think about it.

Chapter 12:

What's the value of having multiple scenarios?

They help distribute responsibility across the class.

The multiple scenarios provide more examples for sharing across the class.

If we were all on the same scenario, we would be more engaged in learning from each other's topics.  We would be able to compare our answers to the same scenario.

Another solution would be to learn more about the other scenarios.

We could rotate the responsibility for the scenarios during the semester.

The three scenarios illustrate the same problems, would we lose anything by having only one?

  1.  Skill sessions:

"All useful, more than one hour might be better."

Jan. 14           Librarian:  Searching for Information (Jim Williamson)

"LexisNexus for newspaper searching"

"Yes, helpful."

"Okay but not critical"

Keep for next year.  One hour is enough.

Jan. 28           Professional Communication (Jim Hassett)


"helpful but not critical"


Highlight: email correspondence

Depends on your background (Nick had a business communications course)

Bob Malmsheimer teaches impromptu speaking, keep that in mind.

Feb. 25           Writing (Ruth Yanai)

"one hour was not enough."

"yes.  Include examples from other  topic areas."  It's hard to work on sentences if you don't understand the content or vocabulary.

"helpful, don't need to diagram sentences."

"Smith vs. Brown was good."
 Suggestion:  Distribute the corrected sentences.

Future: allow more time.

Mar. 2 Oral Presentation  (Benette Whitmore)

"45 minutes  was not enough"  Next time she would realize that she needs more time.

She thought she had a 20-minute presentation; we should insist that we want more time.

"yes, useful, well demonstrated."

"useful but short"

Suggestions for the future:

Take inventory of the skills in the group as well as the needs.  E.g.  Nick could have told us about professional communication.

Everyone could give a presentation about their background.  This would help us know how to benefit from each other.

Generate a list of possibilities and prioritize them.

  1.  Project-related sessions:

"Move these activities up in the semester to get started on the projects sooner."

Could we meet for 1 credit in the fall semester and 2 credits in the spring semester?  The limited time frame is a major limitation.

The chapter in the textbook that's relevant is Chapter 11.  Should we do it first?

We could have a "skills" session on writing project proposals.

Jan. 12           Course planning; ideas for projects

"we need a way to start thinking about projects before class starts."

Jan. 14           Annotated bibliography

Jan. 28           Project planning

Feb. 2             Project specs

Feb. 4             10 project ideas

Feb. 9             3 project ideas

"narrowing down from 10 to 3 was a good exercise"

Feb. 18           First Project Proposals

Feb. 25           Three Proposals

Mar. 2             Three Proposals

March18: Continue from this point

  1.  What future sessions would most help you with your projects and professional development?  Here is the calendar of remaining sessions.

Mar. 16           Mid-semester feedback; Scenario Reports

Mar. 18           Scenario Reports,  Plan for the Future

Mar. 23           Managing biodiversity (textbook); 30 minutes for project update

Mar. 25           Human dimensions of management (textbook); 30 minutes on midterm topics

Mar. 30           Project readings,  workshop (Nick will be at a conference)

Apr. 1              Strategic approaches (textbook)  midterm  resubmission;  30 minutes on final

Apr. 6              Project readings,  workshop

Apr. 8              Skills development,   Project readings,  workshop

Apr. 13           Project readings,  workshop

Apr. 15           (Ruth out of town)

Apr. 20           Final presentations (2)

Apr. 22           Final presentations (2)

Apr. 27           Final presentations (1) Project reports due:  Evaluation and recommendations

Project-related sessions:

  1. Samantha:  Trip to a community garden, liabilities of public gardens
  2. Nick:  You don't want to read trail maintenance plans.   We could learn about recreation management.
  3. Svetlana:  Visit a company that has Forest Stewardship Council certification.  Ask Rene Germain for suggestions.  You could select  some reading s on the topic. 
  4. Terri:  Visit a reconstructed wetland?  Or read about examples, maybe examples of plans.

Here are some of the topics we listed for skills development:

Negotiation skills, environmental conflict (Sue Senecah), Svetlana will ask at Maxwell and circulate the syllabus.  We could do Friday 10:30-11:30, maybe 11:30 to 12:30 if we wanted to give it 2 hours.  Maybe practical experience with  Reflective Listening.  Or someone from the Conflict Management Center.  Fri  27, Apr 3,  Apr 10.

Landing a job:  We're also interested in job negotiations.  Something from Student Affairs?

Graphics:  Someone was going to check in News and Pubs.  Someone will get back to Samantha.

Modeling:  Ruth can give a workshop on making models in Excel.  Other spreadsheet skills (x-y graphs!)


Leading a session on areas of interest or past expertise could be a project for the course.  For example, Nick's project involves a topic new to him, where a "capstone" project should use what you've learned while you were here.

Samantha, too, is doing something totally new.  Is this relevant to anything I've learned?

  1.  We can revisit the weighting of your final grade in the class.  Currently, we have:

In-class contributions (20%), e.g. discussion questions based on the readings.

Other assignments (10%) (5% Proposal, 2% oral presentations, 2% time sheets)

Exams (30%) (mid-term exam 13%, final exam 17%)

Projects (40%) (oral presentation 10%, outputs as described in written report 30%)

Projects are our way of evaluating skill development. 

"More skills, no tests, going over the textbook should get more time."


Suggestions for the final:  Some of the questions were very open-ended. 

We could use the case studies in the book. 

Svetlana had an experience in another class where they had  a take-home exam working with case studies.

We scheduled a time for planning the final.

Scenario Reports

Each team should send me a list of 4 topics (no more than 3 species), 2 per person, that they will research and present after the break.

Terri: American  Marten.  Semi-tractable claws, like a cat.  Grow fur between their toes in the winter time.  Home ranges (separate for males and females)  1-2 mi2.  Mostly carnivorous, but nuts, fruits, and carrion.  2-4 kits in a litter.  Natural range extended into the mid US, but now they are only

New York: Adirondack high peaks  area.

The don't fall under the Endangered Species Act for the United States.  The Scenario says it's a "species of special interest".

Nick:  Rock climbers and their impacts.  He has experience with a similar conflict in the High Peaks, where peregrine falcons are an Endangered Species.   The falcons will abandon their nests.

The DEC has closed routes or entire cliffs, based on reports.  The climbers are pretty good about reporting (unlike some other types of recreational users).  The sooner the nests are reported,  and the routes are closed, the sooner the nestlings fledge and the

The nest is called a scrape, usually on a rock ledge.  She lays 3-5 eggs.

They started in 1971.  In 1988, they had a population of159 falcons.  

To what degree is climbing affected?  Two years ago,  20 routes were closed, it might be 10%.

For 2008: 25 chicks were fledged from 13 nests, plus 5 others from other areas.

Sam: Cerulean warbler:  insectivorous.  Migratory.  Mid-April- mid-September in North American.   Mature deciduous forest, wet habitats.  Lower Mississippi valley.  Decreased because of logging 100 years ago.  Still reduced acreage, reduced hemlock.  Increased forest edge reduced nesting success.  Area sensitive.   Federally listed as Threatened.

Presentation:  Visuals. 

The parts that you present with excitement  are the parts we remember.

Don't interrupt.

How to slow down:  bullet points might be better than sentences.

Mar 23:  Chapter 9

The Chapter 9 exercises involve a lot of inventory of resources in your scenario.  It will speed things up in class if you have done these ahead of time.

9.1  Where the species listed occur, protection status of these areas

9.4  Identify corridors

9.6  List of protected areas, land uses across the boundaries.

9.7  Try it so you know if you have questions

Exercise 9.1

Round Lake

Bog turtle: golf course, refuge, undeveloped land, so only one is protected.

Cerulean warbler:  state, and national forest and private lands.

Walleyes: hatchery, Little Lake, which is public.

Snow Pact:

Big-eared bat:  RMA (FWS), NCTC (private)

American marten:  Red Cliff area (FWS), same places as the bat

A butterfly…



How secure is biodiversity?  Not very high.  Pine salamander, for example, is not well studied so it's hard to make a plan to protect it.  That landscape is highly altered.  At SnowPact, too, there's a lot of development going on.  Round Lake has a lot of development, impending cranberry expansion.

What about Syracuse?  We have natural areas.  But we have housing developments going up in wetlands.  Why is this allowed?  The Carousel went onto a landfill that was formerly a wetland.  Endanged species don't seem to stop development.

Exercise 9.2

Cerulean warbler: connect the parts of the state forest, because this is an edge-sensitive species.  Fine filter: manage for hemlocks.  There is a mix of farm and forest in between them.

Bat and marten:  NCTC property should be under the management of the FWS (since they're planning to sell it).  This would provide more protection than private ownership.

PDQ: Some of the species are dependent on pine savannah ecosystems.  There is another set of swamp species.  The habitats are widely separated. 

Coarse-filter: strengths: it applies to more species.  Weakness: too broad to apply to individual species.

Fine-filter:  relevant to requirements of laws protecting species.  Too narrow to protect the ecosystems on which the species depends.  You could protect one species at the expense of another.

The combined approach should help protect against the weaknesses of either approach.

Exercise 9.3

Isn't this what we did for the previous exercises?

Exercise 9.4

Round Lake:  It would be good if the state forest land connect through the agricultural landscape via woodlots.

SnowPACT:  Roads dissect the land.  Ranch land is already fenced.  It matters how the land use is distributed between the protected areas.  The escarpment must be a pretty good natural corridor.

PDQ:  The rivers are connected.  This might be good enough for some fish but probably not for a salamander.  The Intracoastal Waterway doesn't connect the natural systems we're worried about.

Exercise 9.5  Propose a corridor

PDQ: The salamadar can migrate through pine forest.  Since Camp Fraser and High Tymes have pine forest, we might just have to create a corridor under the highway.

Round Lake:  The warbler is edge sensitive.  They like mature forest, so how would you connect across an agricultural landscape?  If we knew which parts were essential to current corridors, we could propose to transfer or acquire the development rights.  Easements can accomplish this, too. 

SnowPACT:  We don't know what bats require on the land they're flying over. 

Is North Creek an impediment to martens?

Research the status of the Red Cliff escarpment where it connects protected areas.

How would you monitor whether the proposed corridor is effective?

Road kill surveys, if you're providing road crossing.

Cameras.  Web cams.  Microphones?

Exercise 9.6 

Round Lake: 

Bingham Wildlife Refuge

Wildlife, hunting

Agriculture, golf course (dissimilar).  Not secure against expansion.

Truman National Forest

Forest management, recreation

Farm, private forest, residential

Crawford State Forest


Similar, but less secure because it's smaller.



Karma:  wildlife, recreation, Native American cultural use.  Commercial forest, private forest, ranching.  The area is protected.  The greatest threat is from recreational use inside the borders.

Henry State Park:  Recreation, and presumably wildlife.  Private forest land might have issues with logging.  Could there be a buffer?  A clearcut right up to the boundary would be a problem.

PDQ:  Muir Refuge:  Recreation and biodiversity. 

Fox Swamp is protected from logging and hunting, but outside the boundary everything is permitted. 

Exercise 9.7  Habitat Conservation Plan

Warbler:  State forest people or National forest people?  The HCP applies to the private landowners, and describes an agreement reached with the agencies responsible for species conservation.

The Pine Salamander lives on private lands, so this would be a good case for HCPs.

Mar 25: Chapter 10

Chapter 10 has only 4 exercises, but  some of them are quite involved.

Exercise 10.1 we can talk about in class.

It makes a difference whether the party responsible for the pollution has money or not.  For the farm scenario, you'd need to develop a personal relationship.  The golf course might be effectively tackled legally.  How do golf courses manage runoff?  Are there economic incentives to improve pollution management?  Farm management:  could manure go into a biodigester?  Minimize fertilizer application.  Integrated pest management (IPM) minimizes pesticide use.  Russ Briggs does research in this area in the Skaneateles watershed.  Whom to contact:  Cornell Coop Ext, DEC, NRCS.

Exercise 10.2

List and categorize your 10 stakeholders.  Write down the answers for full credit; it's faster for us in class than if you recreate what you were thinking when you read the assignment.  

For 1 stakeholder, perform stakeholder assessment.  Those of you still sharing scenarios, make sure you each choose a different stakeholder (check your email before choosing, and send an e-mail claiming your stakeholder).  

Think about the last three questions, too.  

Round Lake bikeway:  Most stakeholders are medium "orbiters."  The ones pushing for the bike trail are the Round Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, Crawford State something.  The Panowa Indian Nation is better described in the scenario.

Cranberry growers, golf course, and wildlife refuge share a habitat type and responsibility for the bog turtle.  We're supposed to imagine how the stakeholders interact?

SnowPACT Buffalo: Semak Nation is high, private ranchers, commercial ranchers are most involved; private timber companies are in close proximity.  BLM, FWS will be involved in decision making. State Park managers are further out.  Residents, rock climbers, anglers are probably high orbit.

Maybe other ranchers would be interested in successful commercial ranching of bison. 

We don't think the sensitive species would be affected by bison (any differently from cattle).

There could be opportunities to share land and profits.

PDQ:  Golf course development by HighMark, Inc.  Local, government, and business groups would be involved.  Local leaders (this scenario gave them names and personalities).  Congress and the US Army would be less directly involved.  

The stakeholders have well developed relationships.  What resources would be threatened by the golf course development?  Species that use the habitat there.

Exercise 10.3

Write down your 5 actions or decisions.

Round Lake: Lily bush (p. 21).  No involvement:  law enforcement.  Notification: of private landowners that you will be surveying for lily bush.  Review and comment:  deer management to reduce population density.  Consultation: highway authorities about land management.  Limited partnership: Golf course could be interested in partnering on deer control.

SnowPACT: Ciguena Marsh.  Management plans for species.  The procedure for EIS follows this scheme.  Notice of intent (notification), Review and comment.  The lead agency is required to consult with other relevant agencies and enter into limited partnerships as appropriate. 

No involvement: enforcement of ESA.  Notification: limit hiking.  Review and comment: closing areas to certain activities.  Consultation: involving other groups in planning.

PDQ: Swamp Fox Wildlife Management Area.  Varying degrees of involvement according to height of orbits.

Exercise 10.4

List stakeholders and possible discussion questions.

Focus groups need to be narrow enough to share interests.

SnowPACT:  Zone areas open for climbing

Climbers: how will this affect your recreational opportunities?

Land managers: how will this affect the big-eared bat?

Residents, Chamber of Commerce:  How will this affect tourism and the economy?

Environmental groups: does this satisfy your concerns?

Zoning bodies: how should this code be written to comply with a comprehensive plan?

Semak Nation: how would this affect your ceremonial use of the cliffs?

Round Lake:  Removal of the dam.  Positive for fish, positive for boating, but boating has negative impacts.  Could be non-motorized boating (4-stroke vs. 2-stroke engines).

Fish people:  Walleyes for tomorrow, Native Americans, Friends of Round Lake:  How will this affect opportunites for fishing?

Boaters:  ditto for boating

PDQ: Relocation of the waste dump at Camp Fraser (US Army)

Local leaders: how does this affect planned development?  Options, alternatives?

Other groups: Scientists, Farmers, Forest land owners.

The other topic for Wednesday is midterm exam questions.  We allowed a week for people rewriting exam questions to come up with topics for discussion.  Did we set a due date for the revised exams?  I think it should be next week some time. (We set it for April 13.)

March 30:  Chapter 11

Read Chapter 11 and look at all the exercises.  The ones to write and bring to class are 11.2 and 11.3.  11.1 just requires some thought; tell us a story.

11.1  Bring an anecdote to share.

Samantha: The Eco Committee at NRDC.  The committee was voluntary, and it was well organized.  People would get involved in talking about details for too long.  The plan was to make recommendation for environmentally friendly travel, and it worked.  People were passionate about the cause.  Fewer than 12.

Liz:  Americorps team for NYC parks; people were able to pick projects.  There was conflict about what parks to go to.  The decision-making process wasn't very satisfying.   Everyone had to agree to the project, but it wasn't clear what the decision-making process would be.  12 people, and a major commitment.

Terri:   Search and Rescue has business meetings every month.  The process is clear, they use Roberts Rules of Order.  At the state level, there can be 100 people at the meetings.  People accept the majority rule, but it took a while to get there.

Svetlana:  Board of Members of an NGO in Siberia.  They meet weekly, with a strategic planning meeting for a week once a year, at a nature camp.  They follow an agenda, they try to achieve consensus (they have 7 members), but they don't need to, and the leadership can make decisions.  At  board meetings, they vote and follow majority rule.   Keeping the group small means that the members understand strategic planning; if you make it broader you spend time on education.

11.2  Needs for inventory.  Sure, try it; it reinforces a concept.

Round Like minnow conservation:  Need life history, trophic  relationships.  Learn about minnows (a family of fishes).   Current population, trends.  Examples of minnow conservation programs and outcomes.

SnowPACT: Dam removal.   Flood frequency.  Flow rate over time.  What do hydrological models take as input?  Precipitation, Potential evapotranspiration, catchment area, topography, groundwater relationships, acquifer configuration.    Need: hydrologist.  This case seems like the information needs could be limiting to the success of the project.  You could destroy neighborhoods in the city with flash floods.

PDQ:  Conservation of the coastal fox.  Need information about the species, where it lives and breeds, what's currently threatening it (illegal activities).  Does it migrate to other areas?  Population biology.  Is the current population expanding or shrinking.   Opinions of local people about this area and this animal.  Existing activities of other organizations.  Want: special interests, dependence of local people on this resource.

11.3  I’d be interested in writing a mission statement for this class!  For next year.

We looked at the assessment plan for the MPS.  It says that the instructors of  FOR 560 and FOR 690 score the outcomes for the three learning objectives.  But we don't know what skills the students have when they came and what what value was added by their education here.  We could use a survey, with a list of skills: writing, oral presentation, library research, etc.  Students could report on their proficiency or on their level of satisfaction with their  skills.

Brainstorm:  (Mission statement for FOR 690)

Fulfill requirements


Application of knowledge

Develop advanced knowledge and professional skills, such as..


Professional goals, engage with client

Service learning

Prepare for future employment

Forest and natural resources management

Career outcomes, different paths for students


Provide opportunities for diversity of students (domestic, international, different disciplines)

The mission of FOR 690 to prepare students for professional careers in natural resources management.

The catalog description is like a statement of goals.  Develop professional skill sets.

FOR 690. Capstone in Natural Resources Management (3)

Students will integrate and apply their knowledge of forest and natural resources management to practical problems in their areas of professional interest.  Class sessions include opportunities to develop advanced knowledge and professional skills, such as research, analysis, management, and communication.  The final project outcomes will be delivered to clients through written reports and oral presentations.

These are the objectives, taken from the MPS program assessment "learning outcomes and objectives"

  1. a)  Identify relevant bodies of knowledge required to  address problems in forest and natural resources management.
  2. b)   Apply analytical, research, management, and evaluation skills to develop solutions to problems in forest and natural resources management.
  3. c)         Explain and interpret forest and natural resources management issues in both written and oral communications to landowners and stakeholders.
  4. a)  library skills,
  5. c) presentation skills, writing skills

This course should be taken as the culmination of the MPS program, and includes a project that applies the knowledge and skills…

(We picked up here on April 1.  We also went back and improved our understanding of mission, goals, and objectives as they relate to this class.)

11.4   Strategies

Direct management:  stocking fisheries

Regulation:  limit  recreation,

Incentives:  bounty for predators

Technical assistance: expert  input to a planning process

Partnerships:   among agencies that share responsibility

11.5  The first part we can discuss together.  Writing the goals is a major task. We’ll see how much time to give this.  (FOR 690 and MPS)

11.6  The first part we can discuss together.  The ambitious part is writing the objectives.  We’ll work on this in class.

  1. What are the units for measuring wolf habitat? Should it be acres? The wolf population would be more measurable.
  2. Need to define "excess."  Probably it goes by hunting season.
  3. What is necessary data?  Not specific.
  4. "youth education" is not specific.
  5. not Realistic.  Every landowner would have to want to do it.
  6. What constitutes an "answer"?  Responding is different from answering a question.
  7. Is this what's required by law?

April 1:  Chapter 12

12.1  Evaluation is unpleasant.  It's not nice to be critical.  If I feel good about it, I want the praise and recognition.  Samantha likes grading (she's a TA).  We should be interested in getting feedback, if we know how to use it in a positive way.  We want to keep learning.  This is especially valuable to novices.  Employees get reviewed; it's important to have the means to support your evaluation. 

Ideally:  Evaluations should start with the positive before the negative.  End with a positive as well.  (the "feedback sandwich")


Choosing a name:  Subjective: What feelings should it evoke?  Objective: What do they want to conserve?

Introducing elk:  Objective: History in the area, habitat requirements, likely impacts, including on sensitive species.  Subjective: Why is this important to the Semaks and how to other stakeholders feel about it? 

Ranking species for conservation:  data on population dynamics, factors that threaten them, and how much influence those factors are likely to have in the future.  Condition of suitable habitat.  Subjective: How important are these species? 

What kinds of decisions should be based on objective data?   There's a right and wrong answer, competent people would agree on it?

What kinds should be subjective? 

You could conduct a survey on people's feelings, which would be objective data on subjective content.

12.3-5  Formative, Process, and Summative Evaluation. 

(no more notes, no more power on the laptop)

April 8: Plan the Final Exam

Chapter 2 (Nick)

Exercises 2.1 and 2.2 ask you to relate what's in the chapter to real situations.

Figure 2.4 and page 68 describing the three zones (Figure 2.5).

From the instructors manual: "You are employed in a state or federal resource management agency. Convince a co-worker at your same professional level that moving toward

an ecosystem approach is a worthwhile effort." Give three reasons and support for each.

Chapter 3 (Samantha)

The test questions in the instructors manual are vague.  These could be applied to a specific problem.  We like Exercise 3.4 because it's more applied.

Chapter 4 (Nick)

Exercise 4.3 is best, but we used this on the midterm.

From the instructors manual: "Given this circumstance (create a circumstance based on a local or state resource issue), what kind of adaptive management approach would you

recommend, and why?"  Find a current problem with LexisNexis.

Chapter 5 (Genetic diversity)

We already did the founder effect.

Chapter 6 (Liz)

From the instructors manual:

  1. Why is within-species variation considered so important in conservation?
  2. Discuss the importance of seeing species in a biopolitical sense when interacting with stakeholders.

Chapter 7 (Liz)

From the instructors manual:

  1. Define a metapopulation. When prioritizing protection, which populations

of a metapopulation should a natural resource manager focus on? Why?

Which populations are less important when prioritizing efforts? Why?

Knowledge of metapopulations has enabled managers to develop more

specific guidelines for designing nature reserves. Describe three of these

guidelines, and relate them to the concept of metapopulations.

Second best:

  1. Most management for biodiversity is being done one species at a time. List

four challenges with managing this way. List and explain three ap-

proaches one can use to manage for species assemblages. Suggest one

way you could monitor the success of each approach.

Chapter 8 (Terri)

Exercise 8.1 applied to a specific location (Syracuse)

Exercise 8.6 identify elements of the landscape mosaic (this is too simple)

Exercise 8.8 design an approach to combat the effects of fragmentation.  A successful plan would incorporate concepts from the chapter.  Or:  Describe how such a plan would reflect considerations of area, shape and connectivity of landscape elements (and why they are important).  It should be specific to a context.

We looked at the instructors manual but we're not crazy about them, none of them require application of the concepts.

There's a case study at the end of the chapter but the questions are very broad.

Chapter 9 (Terri)

Best sample test question

  1. Any particular landscape has a mixture of protected areas, as well as areas

in human land uses and ownerships that are not compatible with certain

ecological processes or biodiversity. List a variety of strategies a conserva-

tion practitioner could pursue to minimize the contrasts between pro-

tected areas and the other lands that would tend to make the overall area

more conducive to ecological processes and biodiversity.

Exercise 9.3 seems good, applies to scenarios

Exercise 9.7 and Question 5 pertain to HCPs, which we don't fully understand.  The book should have spent more time on this and less on corridors, which are not hard to understand.

Chapter 10 (Samantha)

Test question 1 is applied to a specific circumstance.  The second could be good if applied to a circumstance, except that we don't know what their "five stages" are.  For the third question, we could ask for pros and cons of different techniques for stakeholder involvement, or ask you to recommend some for a particular circumstance.

Chapter 11 (Svetlana)

Describe what you would need to do to implement a three-year monitoring program for one of the rare species in your scenario.  Give two or three examples for each type of resource, financial, human, and collaborative partnerships. 

Give an example of a SMART objective relating to any possible conservation project, and explain what is S, M, A, R, and T about it.  We could provide the conservation project, or use the ones in 11.4.

Chapter 12 (Svetlana)

Give an example of three activities and three outputs from this conservation project.  Or two if three is too much.  Give performance indicators.  What will be your source of information to verify that the performance standards have been met?

What are formative, process, and summative evaluation?  Give two distinguishing features of each.  What would be included if you were to design and evaluation for…

We don't need other questions related to what we've learned about projects, those will be addressed in your Reports.

In-class test:

Pros: it takes only 2 hours.  You have to commit things to memory instead of looking them up. 

Cons: you have to commit things to memory instead of looking them up.  The questions are more limited because of these constraints.

Recommendations:  we allowed a 1-page cheat sheet.  Think ahead about performance standards.


Pros:  You can choose when to do it and how.  You can answer a question more fully and probably learn more from it.  There are more opportunities for learning.  The answers will be more coherent.


Recommendations: Since a take-home takes more time, it might contribute more to the final grade.  We could specify the expected time to be spent on a take-home.  This could help make the expectations realistic.

Recommendations: Specify the relative value of the questions so you can allocate your time.  

Distribute questions:  Last day of class?

Due date:  The last day of exams.  Electronic submission.

Project Assignment for Feb 4

You should each bring a list of 10 (ten) possible ideas for a project.  For full credit (10 points) you need 10.  This has been a very valuable exercise with my students in the past.  You can have slight variations on a theme, or you can include crazy ideas that you think might not be realistic.  The idea is to take the pressure off finding the perfect project and unleashing your creativity.  For the following week, when you will prepare a draft proposal, you will narrow down the field.

We can use your lists to practice applying our criteria.  Is it interesting?  Is it feasible?  Is there a ready client?  Etc.

E-mail me your list and I'll project them, or bring 7 copies to class so we can all view them.

Final Proposals

Feb 25:  Liz, Svetlana, Terri (distribute on Feb 23)

Mar 2:  Sam, Stanley, Nick (distribute by Fri Feb 27)



4/6/09:  Nick's report has elements of his report to us and his output for the client; now he knows how he wants to separate them.

One way to organize the recommendations might be to distinguish the planning of maintenance needs and the planning of mobilizing personnel (paid and volunteer) to implement them.

Providing the forms that they might use in planning their activities.

How about a format for annual evaluation?

The biggest challenge is keeping the report simple while conveying all the necessary elements.

You want to schedule a time for delivering the final project in person.

3/23/09:  Nick had a meeting with Brian last week and clarified the project.  The earlier meeting with the maintenance director set up some wrong expectations.  Now Brian is excited about the project.  So Nick is learning about trail maintenance plans.  There is a lot out there (trail maintenance organizations). 

3/2/09:  Brian Kelly is difficult to work with.  He chose a meeting time  last week that conflicted with his other obligations (he forgot).  Nick met with the maintenance guy instead.  He and Brian are going to help make Nick's maintenance list more specific.   They are still skiing into April, and they won't know their maintenance needs until the snow melts.  Walking the property to identify needs could be too late.

Instead of making a plan for the 2009 season, maybe the goal could be to provide a model that they could follow in future years.  One of the products could be a timeline of what needs to be done when during the planning process.

2/18/09:  Good format, good level of detail.  Add something about outcomes?  Nick was still guessing what their needs are; he has a meeting next Wednesday.  The list will get shorter and there will be more of an implementation plan.  Include detail relevant to Highland Forest in your problem statement.

2/16/09  Nick talked to someone at the central office for Onondaga County Parks.  She thought that Highland Forest might be good, and she talked to Brian Kelly. 

2/11/09  This is hard because the clients are not responsive.  He will try phone calls to Onondaga County Parks.  


1) Save the County: I received a response from Jeff Devine the Exec Director there. I am interested in his idea to work on a management plan. I feel that working on a "portion" of it is the best bet. This will focus expertise and not take as long to complete or see a result

2) Onondaga County Parks: I received confirmation of my inquiry and it was forwarded to the Director of Public Programs & Recreation, Jon Cooley to review/respond. He was out of the office on vacation until Feb 5th, last Thursday, so I'm hoping to hear from him this week. I would like to pose the idea of restructuring trails and/or resource management here.

3) Town of DeWitt: I received confirmation of my inquiry and it was forwarded to the parks director. I was informed that it may take some time to determine a good fit because they are understaffed and have limited time available. This could mean one of two things; They need help! which would be good for me/us or They won't respond and it will get put to the wayside. I'm hoping that this will be a good fit as being understaffed might bring about more opportunities for planning and management issues within their parks and resources.

1) Onondaga County Parks

  -Trail management/planning.  In Highland Forest, using the trail system is confusing for users.  For example, they have three shades of pink for snowshoe trails.

2) Town of DeWitt Parks & Recreation

  -Park planning

3) Save the County Land Trust

  -working as a facilitator over land use conflicts

Three Falls Woods needs:

4)Mapping:  They need someone to map their trails with GPS.

5)Public Relations (user restriction plans)—she wants to keep the mountain bikers out

6)Management/Conservation plan participation.  One class is already helping with this.  To be feasible, you would need to scope out a portion of this.


These three are general ideas for any of the 4 groups listed above

8)Developing an interpretive program at a park or facility that

doesnt already have one.

9)Local restoration project (community involvement)

10)Identifying a problem that a park or facility may not know it

has and creating solutions (this would involve all of us going to

various locations and taking note of any obvious problems present)

Nick will continue to look for contacts in the first three organizations on his list.



What should the format of an appendix be?  This will be submitted to the city Council to justify the proposed changes in ordinances. 

Samantha has lost contact with Syracuse Grows—they had their last meeting while she was away.  They only meet once a month.  Paul asked for her outline, but hasn't responded to what she sent him.  She's afraid that they've given up on her.  Finding out other people's names (and numbers) from the Advocacy Committee would help; the Director can probably provide those.

We gave Samantha some suggestions for her outline.

3/23/09  Samantha will have an outline by tomorrow, which Paul will take to the Advocacy Committee.  The topic is liabilities and public gardens. 

3/2/9  Syracuse Grows is submitting information to the City of Syracuse in mid-March.  This timeline was awkward for us.  Samantha will be researching related topics and providing the information  to the Syracuse Common Council later this spring.  According to Syracuse Grows, the Common Council moves slowly, so this is probably not too late.


We like the heading, the format, the details on time allocation, and the sections on desired outcomes and performance indicators.

2/11/09  Good news: she met people who are excited about possible activities.  When they decide what they want to ask of the city, Samantha would do the background research they need.  They want a product in March, but she has plans already for spring break.  She might have to tell them her timeline and see what they can do with that (this happens in real life all the time).


Syracuse Grows is not that excited about developing educational materials; they are a new organization.  They are interested in helping to write local ordinances.  She'll know more after tomorrow's meeting.  She hasn't found a contact in the City of Syracuse.  Terri has a contact.

Project Ideas for Syracuse Grows

Syracuse Grows is a grassroots network cultivating a just foodscape in the city of Syracuse. We provide programming resources and education to grow equitable local food production, distribution and consumption through urban agriculture and community gardening.

  1. Getting a grant to start a new community garden
  2. Rainwater catchment system plans
  3. Helping to build the organization by coming to meetings and help with community awareness.
  4. Getting involved in planning groups for specific projects or committees
  5. Implementing an educational plan for families to learn how to garden.
  6. Procure funding for the organization through a local gov't agency
  7. Make up a pamphlet/guide for the organization to give out to anyone interested about their mission; with tips, guidelines, etc
  8. Organizing a food festival in the city of Syracuse that is educational and fun
  9. Putting into place a plan for a summer educational series for children/families about food and gardening.
  10. Working with the food co-op to allow people from Syracuse Grows to sell their food.


3/23/09  She finished one fact sheet, Tim is satisfied with the content, and someone else will do the formatting.  It goes slowly because of waiting for Tim.  Working on two at once would require more input from him.

2/25/09  Skills: layout, design? 

2/18/09  Good introduction, give background.  Find out from Tim Volk how the fact sheets will be produced.

2/11/09  She met with Tim.  He wants a series of 2-page fact sheets on applications of willow plantings.  She has everything she needs.  She will start with snow fences and move on from there.


  1. Energy education in High school. I will make up an energy lesson (supply, demand, alternatives) and teach it to various high schools/classes. 

Outreach (Chuck Spuches, Rick Beal): they have grad student fellows who develop curriculum, including traveling road shows to area high schools.

  1. Willow/NYS biomass alliance Fact Sheets for Tim Volk (I have an actual meeting with him this afternoon)
  2. If time allows after Fact Sheets I could learn web design and help him out with that. This seems like the best way to reach the public. Especially if the website is on the factsheet.
  3. Environmental education in local grammar school
  4. Promoting biofuel school buses at local grammar school
  5. Promoting environmental challenges at local grammar school.  E. g. Recycling.
  6. Working in the biofuels lab: free lab worker
  7. Attend NY Biomass conferences around the state to gauge public interest.  There's one in Oneida on Friday. 
  8. Develop website for ESF Willow Biomass Program
  9. Develop fact sheets for NYS Biomass alliance
  10. Develop fact sheets for ESF Willow Biomass
  11. Survey landowners on woody biomass potential
  12. Energy outreach for small landowners

Liz will meet with Tim Volk again tomorrow.

Stanley Milewski

3/02/09  Communicating with the client is fine as long as you know when to stop by his office. 

Need to develop content for the project (relevant to natural resources policy or management).

Svetlana suggeste studying similar web sites and evaluating strengths and weaknesses (to adopt and avoid).

Improving the proposal for a professional audience:

Include your contact information and that of the client.

Edit for brevity.

Stanley likes to write narrative, but for a document like this, we want to review the information quickly.  For example, time estimates should go into a table.

A simple statement of objectives could be helpful.

2/16/09  The New Environment Association seems most promising; Stanley will meet with Schwarzlander probably tomorrow.

2/11/09  Narrowing in:  The Knothole (number 3, below).  Make sure that the topic is natural resources policy or management.  Nick:  How about the sustainability of Knothole production?

If not, something with Harry Schwarzlander (The New Environment Association). 


  1. A year ago, I was a member of a team that helped the Sacket’s Harbor community to the north draft a document called the “Green Guide.” In this document, we applied our collective expertise to produce a list of suggestions and directives for “greening” the community, while simultaneously promoting the development they have been fortunate enough to have recently. This sort of project could easily be undertaken with almost any small community interested in this topic of almost universal appeal. The class that this project was a major component of was EST 493 (Environmental Communication Workshop) taught by Sue Senecah.

This would be promising if you had a client, and it would have to be scaled back.  There is a Dune Steward Program for the east shore of Lake Ontario.  Diane Kuehn might be a contact.

  1. Surprisingly few ESF students are aware of the U.S. Forest Service office and research station housed in the basement of our very own Moon Library. Undoubtedly, the friendly and helpful personnel at that station could offer an ambitious and self-motivated student a worthwhile project.

Gordon Heisler or Dave Nowak use students in projects all the time. 

I am not sure of the details, but the local Lafayette Experiment Station might offer further opportunities in connection with the main office on campus. I am aware that the experiment station is an excellent and often underrated resource, and it would be great if we could provide a service that would somehow work with, and take advantage of this unusual relationship our school maintains with the station.

Properties Manager at ESF might have other needs, too.

  1. We could make a semester of resurrecting ESF’s newspaper, the Knothole. The Knothole is always shorthanded, and we work to ensure that it is published on a weekly basis, and contains relevant academic works, preferably by our own students and faculty, as well as perhaps publishing our own works, and perhaps even making it a requirement that we formulate at least one (professional journal) publishable article for print at some point during the semester. This would ultimately make the paper far more representative of the diversity of our school, and display the fact that we are not only standouts in the sciences, but also capable of being as artistic, articulate, and journalistic as anyone in the academic setting.

Note; I take a personal interest in utilizing and expanding my abilities as applied to information technology. In our last class meeting, several times I heard the possibility of learning and applying web design to a specific problem. I also outlined my desire and (basically) need to collaborate with at least one other person on a project due to my limited means of communication. Amazingly, despite not having the internet at home, I do have DreamWeaver, a web design application, installed on two of my computers due to its inclusion in a software package I purchased recently. I have never learned to use the program, and if the logistics of a project materialize, I would jump at the chance to participate in such a project, despite the fact that it is not included among my choices for the final three possibilities.


List of ideas for potential projects

  1. A year ago, I was a member of a team that helped the Sacket’s Harbor community to the north draft a document called the “Green Guide.” In this document, we applied our collective expertise to produce a list of suggestions and directives for “greening” the community, while simultaneously promoting the development they have been fortunate enough to have recently. This sort of project could easily be undertaken with almost any small community interested in this topic of almost universal appeal. The class that this project was a major component of was EST 493 (Environmental Communication Workshop) taught by Sue Senecah.

--need a client

  1. We could arrange to take on short-term internships with the local chapter of the DEC. This would provide us with extremely valuable experience in a professional setting, as well as insight into the bureaucratic process.

--possible client, need a project

  1. We could arrange to undertake prearranged volunteer assignments with local NGO’s or grassroots organizations tackling various environmental issues. Several years ago, I completed a very fulfilling and worthwhile assignment of this nature while completing a Service Learning project working for the New Environment Institute, a very small, grassroots campaign housed in the Friends Meeting House (the Quakers’ place of worship, on Euclid Avenue).

--possible client, need a project

  1. Internships with a local EPA office could be productive as well. This would probably not be as productive as working with the DEC, due to things I have heard “through the grapevine” so to speak, about employment with the EPA consisting of little but “shuffling papers” and little hands-on engagement with real-life problem-solving, though in the experience department, this could be a very worthwhile project as well, due to the highly uncertain nature of our collective futures.
  2. An assignment with a local law firm could also be of excellent value. Regardless of the capacities within which we find our future employment, we will likely all be confronted with issues dealing with environmental law in some capacity or another, and what better way to gain firsthand experience.

--Thane Joyal taught an environmental law class here

  1. Central New York boasts an excellent network of allied organic farms. ESF students have worked closely with some of these individuals for various causes in past volunteer efforts and projects, there is no reason to think that this would not once again be a viable source of constructive engagement.
  2. There is a reasonable chance that at least one of us will someday work for an environmental consultant. Needless to say, there are a number of local authorities who count environmental consulting among their collective lines of work. Undoubtedly entailed therein is an excellent opportunity for an internship or other constructive means of employment.
  3. Surprisingly few ESF students are aware of the U.S. Forest Service office and research station housed in the basement of our very own Moon Library. Undoubtedly, the friendly and helpful personnel at that station could offer an ambitious and self-motivated student a worthwhile project.
  4. We could also likely work with area schools in the interest of conducting environmentally-themed programming for grade-school children. I must admit that this is not entirely my own idea, a very good friend of mine, and co-major professor for my M.P.S. degree program, Benette Whitmore, has offered programs of this nature with other faculty members in the Writing Department, and reports that it is a worthwhile and highly fulfilling outlet for one’s creativity and desire to educate others about the environment on an elementary level.
  5. We could make a semester of resurrecting ESF’s newspaper, the Knothole. The Knothole is always shorthanded, and we work to ensure that it is published on a weekly basis, and contains relevant academic works, preferably by our own students and faculty, as well as perhaps publishing our own works, and perhaps even making it a requirement that we formulate at least one (professional journal) publishable article for print at some point during the semester.

Notes; Several times during this proposal, I have mentioned the possibility of completing an internship or similar activity with a varying diversity of potential employers. I should not hesitate to make clear that I understand the necessity of completing a project that will ultimately result in the presentation of a final report to the class. My rationale for the internship projects I made mention of is to approach them in the same manner as I will be approaching my mandatory professional experience for my M.P.S. degree, that is; complete the prescribed line of work as assigned by the employer, and them gain academic credit for the experience by offering a capstone seminar and written report to select faculty, linking the concepts and principles learned during the degree program to what the student learned during their professional experience. In our class, we would not be presenting capstone seminars per se, but in the event of our projects consisting of internships, or something of the sort, we could use the M.P.S. degree program’s capstone requirement as a model for presentation of our projects.

            As I made mention of in class recently, if practical, I would like to request that I be placed upon a team for all project activities due to my compromised standing with regard to communication. I have done academic teamwork on many occasions in the past, and have always occupied the role of “scribe;” a role that I am very comfortable with, and a role I have never needed to fight anyone else for, due to that fact that many people do not, in fact, relish the task of finally committing a project to paper. Due to the fact that when I leave campus, I have no access to the telephone or the internet until I return the next day, this position is ideal for me.



 1/18/09 List the names of the people you are cooperating with.

For a proposal, provided the estimated time and date; there won't be an actual time spent or date completed until the project is over.

 2/16/09  She has had phone conversations with her partners, describing the skills she has gained and how she could apply them.  Content analysis and recommendations.  Interviewing logging companies in the US could be interesting.  Writing grant proposals would also help them.  Her next step is to figure out how much time each of these would require and decide what to propose.


 Evaluation of the process of the development of the FSC certification in the Tomsk region

Evaluation could be based on creating a Logical Framework, analysis of the Logical Framework, and content analysis*.

Logical Framework includes description of the problem, overall objective, outputs, outcomes, performance indicators, assumptions and impute of the project. Analysis of the Logical Framework included revealing logic of interrelations of all the parts of the framework.

She could also contribute to the development of an upcoming workshop or seminar on this topic.

She is interested in developing a survey, but this would not be completed this semester.  Perhaps the survey could be administered during the seminar.

 Evaluation of the effectiveness of the United Nation Environmental (UNFCCC) Program based on their 2008 year report

Evaluation of the effectiveness can be based on creating a Logical Framework, conducting analysis of the logical framework and in terms of achievement of the declared outcomes, project input and impute. It could also include budget analysis.

  1. Content analysis of the Global Environmental Governance Project*

*There are three stages in the content analysis: selection of the documents, codebook design, and data acquisition and analysis.

Selection of documents

Determining which documents should be reviewed can either be simple or complex, depending on whether a program or project intends to have its result reflected in a specific document or not.

Codebook Design

The essence of the technique is found in designing the criteria for classifying text.  The idea behind content analysis is that the existence of text will show the existence of results.  This means that there have to be rules to classify text.

The first step in setting up a codebook is to do this analysis of what to look for.  The second step is to ensure that the categories used meet the criteria of inclusiveness and exclusiveness.  That is to day, the categories must include all of the phenomena in which you are interested (inclusiveness), but the categories must be mutually-exclusive (the categories themselves cannot be duplicative.)  This does not mean that the same text could not be assigned to two different categories, but rather that the categories were logically independent.

Data Acquisition and Analysis

Once documents have been identified and codebooks established, the process of data acquisition is fairly straightforward, if tedious.  The relevant sections of each document are read, codes are assigned and recorded and these codes are usually transferred to a database.  In the end, only the transferred data in the database are analyzed.

 The list of project questions

These would give practice in applying techniques of evaluation.  Forest Stewardship Council.

 Evaluation of the process of the development of the FSC certification in the Tomsk region

Client: Regional government, and the the FSC regional group.  There is also a national group collecting the regional evaluations. 

  1. Evaluation of the process of the development of the FSC certification in the West-Siberian region
  2. Evaluation of the process of the development of the FSC certification in the Russian Federation
  3. Evaluation of social program of the FSC Certification Global
  4. Evaluation of the capacity-building program of the United Nation Forum on Convention on Climate Change
  5. Evaluation of the relation between outcomes and achieving overall objective of the United Nation Environmental (UNFCCC) Program based on their 2008 year report
  6. Content analysis on the Russian Federation impute in the UNFCCC
  7. Content analysis of the Global Environmental Governance Project
  8. Evaluation of the partnerships with major groups and stakeholders for the implementation of the UNEP Programme of Work 2010-2011
  9. Evaluation of capacity-building effectiveness within UNEP International Environmental Governance



Terri has found expert input from Fish and Wildlife Service and from Army Corps of Engineers.  Plans are developing for a "swale" rather than a constructed wetland.

2/25/09  Owasco Valley Audubon Society is the larger organization; they have meetings that might be appropriate venues for presenting the proposed wetland design.

2/18/09  Strengths: format, detail.  Suggestions:  fewer changes in font size and color.  Georgia may be too fanciful a font.  Provide more detail on the timeline and budget for your time.  We like "if you accept this proposal, please let me know."

We discussed how to separate the cover letter from the proposal.

2/16/09  Jean may be out of town.  Terri will write a proposal on the wetland restoration project.

2/11/09  Narrowed down to three:  wastewater design, rain water collection system, or wetland restoration.  These would be design projects, not implementation. 

Ruth:  Don Leopold would be a good contact.  If we have a local expert, you should at least ask him to review your proposal.

Ideas for Closing the Circle

  1. Develop a design for a low input sustainable (no disposable waste) fish production system; choosing a fish other than tilapia; growing fish humanely to produce affordable protein year round.
  2. Design aquatic wastewater systems for property that will utilize wetlands, plants and microorganisms in place of a septic system.

These design projects have products and potential users, seem good.

  1. Create an economic survey of food and dollar flows in the regional economy; people who support local business, farms, and CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and determine the percentage of their dollars support local establishments such as Wegman’s and compare with the percentage who purchase food products at Wal-Mart.

Who is the client?  Who would use this information?  Involves all aspects of the research process.

  1. Develop a program to equip students and others with a basic understanding of sustainability and of their personal interconnectedness and interdependence with all other living things on this planet so that they develop new habits and change old ones and seek out patterns that connect humans with natural systems.

Good, needs a client.  Any school would want that!

  1. Create a directory of the groups of natural resources on the site (28 acres).
  2. Illustrate analytical skills to organize year round growing (outdoors and hydroponic in greenhouses) vegetables – produce and fish so that timing of planting and harvesting allows for year round supply with little overlap with no waste.

Product?  Is this a design project like 1 and 2?

  1. Design a water collection and cleansing system for outdoor garden so that irrigation is unnecessary.  Consider water temperature and plant requirements.

Product?  Is this a design project like 1 and 2?

  1. Plan the restoration of former agricultural (corn) areas on land that will begin its third year without being planted in corn.  Create a diverse wetland and terrestrial system that supports honeybees, beneficial insects, birds (we are on the North American Flyway just over a mile west of MNWR) amphibians.  Students would participate and ultimately understand how these components fit into the larger picture.

Is there a product besides the wetland itself?  Is this too ambitious?

  1. Create a diagram of all the interconnections and flows in this project – probably the most difficult, using all the resources, natural and manmade systems and how they are integrated and dependent on one another.

Who would use this?

  1. In evaluating the simple systems we have designed, look at…How do things work and why?  What alternatives to any concept would work better:  How could we evaluate each system and make any necessary adjustments before a total design commitment to the full scale is made?

What systems?

For Monday Feb 9,  bring just 3 possibilities, but develop them more than what you had today.

Timeless: Keep notes here for the future

Course organization

LCD projector?  Got it!

Internet access: got a cable.

Blackboard: We don't know how students can upload documents.  Now we do!

Ideas for sessions on skills

Library research, finding relevant information.  Bibliographic software, refworks.  Weds Jan 14.

Oral presentation skills:  There are formal classes in public speaking. 

Effective Tables and Figures:  John Felleman declined. 

Technical writing, including formatting conventions.

Professional communications, including impromptu speaking (Bob Malmsheimer declined)  We got Jim Hassett for Jan 28.  Thanks, Terri!

Ask these people for 9:30-10:30 as our first choice, 10:30-11:30 if they can't do that.

Program assessment for MPS degree

(how many semesters does it take to complete the MPS?  Which semester should this course be offered?)

Timing:  Terri (non-matriculated, 1 semester enrolled in MPS, spring)

Principles of management is offered only in the fall, and it's a pre-requisite to this course.

Criteria for selecting projects

Here are some of the guidelines I have in mind in judging suitable projects for this class.

  1.  Content area: Forest and Natural Resources Policy and Management is pretty broad.  I don't expect this to be a limitation, but obviously some topics would not be suitable (promoting SU's basketball team, reducing drunken driving, documenting the history of jewelry making).  Your interests should define the topics.  This project should be an opportunity to apply knowledge skills you have developed up to this point, and it should challenge you to develop some new ones.
  2.  Real need:  There must be a client (individual or organization) who will use your results.  You will develop your proposal in consultation with your client and deliver your final report (oral and written) to this client, as well as to the class.

Chris Nowak, who teaches FOR 490 for our NRM undergraduates, their senior capstone course, pointed out that this is called "Service Learning."  ESF has an office to support service learning; we should get a list from them every year.  Provide a list of examples of past projects.

  1.  Problem solving and critical thinking:  Your solution must be novel, if only in that it applies to a specific case that has not been solved before.  Simply delivering a program that was already developed by someone else would not meet this criterion.  The best projects will be multi-dimensional and challenge you on several levels.

The skills should be transferable to other projects.  They should advance your professional development.

  1.  Scope:  The project should be challenging but also feasible with the resources available to you.  Chris Nowak shared with me his "Time and Motion" reporting system (attached).  In the real world, you would be counting billable hours for your client.  Using such a system seems like a good way to ensure that the very different projects undertaken by different students or teams are similar in the amount of effort (time) you put into them.

Assuming a total time investment of 4 hours weekly per credit, and 4 spent in class, gives 8 hours of time out of class, weekly.  Working through the textbook requires some of that time (half of it for the first half of the semester?)  The total number of hours available for project work might be something like 80 hours per person.  That's only two weeks at full time!  But there are six of you, so we should be able to accomplish a lot.

Get someone experienced to review your project for scope (realism).

  1.  Number:  I will not limit the number of projects or number of persons per project, except that I want each of you to have the opportunity to participate in many components of the process and the total amount of effort should be sufficient and not excessive.

We will take some time on Monday to refine the project selection criteria and the use of a billing system for your time.  On Wednesday, we'll take some time on project ideas (all this while completing Chapters 3 and 4 in your textbook).  The following week, we have a session devoted to project planning.  On February 18, we are scheduled to review project proposals.


What makes a good project?

  1. Qualities of the client.

-- communicating with you.  Will they be available when you need them?

-- will your work be used?

-- alignment of goals

-- negotiation on project scope or content

  1. Produce a product, not just supply a service.

-- Topics must be relevant to natural resources policy or management

-- Think about the audience for your final presentation, too.

  1. Knowledge skills

-- What you want to have learned: new skills, subject areas

-- Levels of Knowledge, from facts to application, synthesis, and evaluation

-- Problem-solving

  1. Scope, feasibility

-- you may be able to adjust the amount of product or the depth or detail

  1. Optional elements

--involvement in an organized group; community organizing

What makes a good proposal?

The proposal should be addressed to the client.  You need to include your contact information and the contact information for the client.

Some of you may want to separate the cover letter from the proposal.

Parts to supply for class on Wednesday Feb 18:


Abstract or Executive Summary (one paragraph)  Is this important for a short proposal?

(A cover letter may include a brief summary, obviating the need for a summary in the proposal)

Problem statement (Background to justify the activity)

Goal, Objectives (Targets) (What are you trying to accomplish)

Methodology, Activities (What are you going to do), including assumptions if necessary.

Risks:  What could go wrong and what will you do about it. (maybe not to be shared with the client)

Estimate time needed for the different tasks.

Outputs, deliverables, services  (Svetlana included an outline of the final report)

Desired outcomes: How the client would use the outputs. 

Performance indicators (how will you know if you are successful)

Benefits to you (not to be shared with the client)

Here are some links to web sites describing all different kinds of proposals:

How to write proposals for non-profits and other organizations:

How to write a business proposal (they want to sell you their books and services):!hc_how_to_write_a_proposal.cfm?

How to write a proposal (systems development?):  (this explains "assumptions" if the request for proposals was not clear or if your ability to deliver depends on something provided by the client)

Generic proposal template:

NSF's guidelines (I use these all the time; you won't):

How to write a proposal for a research paper:

What makes a good report?

Svetlana included an outline of her report in her proposal.  This came from DEFRA (the UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs).

Project report form

Project title






Address of the client (country, region)


Start/End date


Total time spent



Project Background/Rationale

  • Describe the location and circumstances of the project
  • What was the problem that the project aimed to address?
  • Who identified the need for this project and what evidence is there for a demand for this work?

Project Summary

  • What were the purpose and objectives (or outputs) of the project?
  • Were the original objectives or operational plan modified during the project period? If significant changes were made, for what reason?
  • Original Logframe (or your proposal) with changes if there were made should be attached. 
  • Briefly discuss how successful the project was in terms of meeting its objectives. What objectives were not or only partly achieved, and have there been significant additional accomplishments?
  • Quantify all project outputs using qualitative and quantitive measurement indicators.  (more likely qualitative—how good is your product?)
  • Will this work continue or develop after project completion and, if so, who will be responsible and bear the cost of further information dissemination?
  • Attach all project materials that were issued.

Project Impacts

  • To what extent has the project achieved its purpose, or what indication is there that it is likely to do so in the future? (but we don't know what our clients will do in the future?)
  • To what extent has the project improved local capacity to further work of the client and what is the evidence for this?  (this is speculation)
  • Discuss the impact of the project in terms of collaboration to date between parties of the project.  What impact has the project made on local collaboration such as improved links between Governmental and civil society groups? [cut if not relevant]
  • In terms of social impact, who has benefited from the project? Has the project had (or is likely to result in) an unexpected positive or negative impact on individuals or local communities? What are the indicators for this and how were they measured? (this is speculation)

 Project Operation and Partnerships

  • How many partners worked on project activities and how does this differ from initial plans for partnerships?
  • How have the collaborations been organized?
  • What lessons could be learnt?

Monitoring and Evaluation, Lesson learning

  • During the project period, has there been an internal or external evaluation of the work or are there any plans for this?
  • What are the key lessons to be drawn from the experience of this project?
  • What skills were developed under the project by the project author?
  • What skills and knowledge were obtained by the client under the project?

The Logical Framework is more explicit in Svetlana's report.  If we learned about Evaluation earlier in the semester, we would do a better job at this, and we would gain skills in project planning.  There's are courses at Maxwell on this topic (IRB 632 and IRB 633):  Evaluation of International Programs?

Book:  A Practical Guide to Program Evaluation Plannning  (Holden and Zimmerman)


Here is an example from:


Section 2: Natural Resources Management

January 26, 2009

A time and motion report should include a full and accurate accounting of time spent (15 minutes increments) on the following work areas (categories).

Category 1.  Preparation and logistics

-         travel

-         meetings (group, client)

Category 2.  Natural area and resource assessment and evaluation

-         field work (reconnaissance, data collection)

-         data management and analysis

Category 3.  Research

-         library, web work

-         stakeholder interactions

-         reading

Category 4.  Reporting

-         report writing

-         oral presentation prep and practice

Time and motion reports are to be submitted as follows.

- individually, by each person on a project team (individual reports)

- due at the beginning of class each Monday throughout the semester, or as directed by the professor

- report in a formal, memo format

- use all of the categories noted above, and others as developed by yourself, team or class

Svetlana:  Planned time, actual time, and the difference.

Nick: Ask the service learning people what they use.

Stanley might go talk to them, as he needs ideas for a project. 

What makes a good final report?

It accomplishes what was proposed.

Clarity of communication, words and figures.  It should be concise. 

We could have a suggested page limit. But this could differ according to the project.

Abstract or Executive Summary.  In Samantha's case, there will be an executive summary for the larger document, of which her part is an Appendix.  That executive summary would be useful for us to see (as an Appendix!). 

What makes a good final presentation?

We talked about the possible audiences for these final presentations.  Some of you have organizations that would be happy to have you make a presentation at a meeting.  This audience would already be familiar with your topic.

We decided to prepare final presentations for a general audience not familiar with your topic.  Our class is not familiar with the topics other than our own.  We are in a good position to give feedback as a general audience.

Content:  We should learn what you did, and topics outlined in the final report.  The distribution of emphasis will vary across the projects.

The presentations should be between 20 and 30 minutes.  The total time for your session is 45 minutes, to allow for discussion.  The speaker should be prepared to lead the discussion if there are no questions from the audience (but we will have lots of questions).

April 27:  Final Review

Agenda review

The book:  There should be a course on ecosystem or natural resources management.  This would be more important to include as a requirement for the MPS degree (more important than taking so much statistics).  The book we used was geared for an undergraduate audience, in previous years they followed with a graduate-level book on biodiversity.  We think that this would be a good course to offer in the fall. 

Svetlana:  An adaptive management course could be more general than natural resources management. 

Exams:  There would be no exams in the project-portion of the class.

Syllabus:  Needs to represent the course.  The change in title will help.


3 1-h sessions: Too short.

2 1.5-h sessions: This is best.  Avoid 11-2; 9:30-10:50 is better.  Or 2-3:20.

1 3-h session: Hard to keep attention.  One meeting per week is not enough.  The best way is to break up the 3 hours into multiple sessions.

Skill sessions:

Should students generate the list and organize the sessions?  We can provide a list and they can add to it. 


We could have a whole-class project, in addition to individual projects.  If the class were larger, it could be multiple teams. 

Planning:  It would help to start planning the project in the previous semester.  The MP could be involved in planning.  Send email to the class list in December would give a little start.  Guidelines for the capstone project could be included in the Graduate Handbook.

We discussed the possibility of starting with a 1-credit effort in the fall, but some of these students would not have known in the fall what their interests are.  Starting in the fall means you have less ability to take advantage of what you learn while you're here.

Criteria for selecting projects: (notes above)

What about projects that change:

Flexibility is important. 

The student can say, "I'm sorry, I can't do that.  It's too late now." 

In cases where it's advantageous to the student to change the plan, changing is fine.

Literature review:  Future projects should be required to include a reference list.  For example, Terri did research before meeting with her consultants, but these don't get included in the plan.

Asking students to present background on their topic areas early on could help with developing the literature, and it will improve us as an audience.

Presentations:  Practice with feedback earlier in the semester (e.g. giving background)

Performance criteria:  There should be a grading rubric with points.  Add the point scale to the presentation rubric.

Textbook:  Could we find a book that would be appropriate to the project part of this book?  Nick had an experience like this in a management setting.  It would have to be very general.  We are all interested in project planning and evaluation. 

Note: Can students do internships in the summer?