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Students as Catalysts for Large Landscape Conservation

Philip J. Nyhus

February 2014, English

Colleges, universities, and research institutions are important innovators and partners in many large landscape conservation initiatives. Students are essential but often under-recognized constituents in these endeavors. A conference on Students as Catalysts for Large landscape Conservation was held in 2013 at Colby College to explore this topic. Participants came from 12 states, 3 countries, and 19 institutions. This paper summarizes insights from the conference and associated meetings of the Conservation Catalyst Network, including how and why students engage in large landscape conservation, benefits to students and practitioners, and remaining challenges. Land conservation and policy is replete with legacies of innovative and energetic students. The Colby Conference highlighted how students today continue this tradition. Momentum is building around the idea of education and research institutions as important conservation partners and drivers. Extraordinary opportunities remain to harness the creative and passionate power of students to catalyze conservation nationally and globally.

Keywords: Large landscape conservation, students, colleges and universities, conservation catalysts