Program Themes

To effectively build capacity for stewardship of natural resources, we are especially interested in research that falls within the scope of one or more of the following themes.

These themes are overlapping and often complementary. Communities may be involved in efforts that unite two or even all three of these themes. Therefore, although we seek proposals that address any one of these three themes, we encourage research that cuts across the themes. Furthermore, to assure that we do not miss research topics directly relevant to the relationships between communities and their environments that do not fit well with any of these themes, we will consider research proposals from all such areas of interest.

Promoting place-based conservation – Research in this theme examines community participation in the sustainable management of natural resources. It builds community capacity to manage natural resources sustainably on their own and/or to participate more meaningfully in the sustainable management of public lands, as well as to identify new, sustainable sources of income based on natural resources. For example, one fellow’s research on floral green harvesting in the state of Washington led to the development of new biophysical monitoring protocols and recognition of harvesters as possessors of ecological knowledge.

Promoting social and economic justice in environmental management – This theme entails inquiries into inequities in environmental management. Such research builds the capacity of communities to address inequities in environmental management (including the ways in which environmental management may contribute to poverty) that directly affect their lives and livelihoods. For example, research by a fellow revealed the complex ways in which African Americans are denied a role and voice in management of national parks despite a long history of association with them.

Strengthening connections between cultures and the land – Investigations of community ability to maintain traditional lifeways and land uses in the face of outside encroachments and/or competing interests are the central concern of this theme. Such research helps people translate the links between the land and their cultural identity into actions they can take to maintain their connection to the land and exercise some control over the direction of environmental and cultural change. For example, fellow research in Macon County, North Carolina, illuminated the contours of power in the county and enabled residents to utilize their stories about their lives in that place to seek greater participation in county planning.


Community Forestry & Environmental Research Partnerships
UC Berkeley,101 Gianinni Hall, #3100, Berkeley, CA 94720
tel: 510.642.3431

Photo credits:
Colorado Blue Columbine: Dave Powell, USDA Forest Service,
Appalachian Mixed Hardwoods: Chris Evans, University of Georgia,
Japanese Maple: Chris Evans, University of Georgia,