5/7/14 Webinar hosted by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and the Harvard Program on Conservation Innovation, with contributors Abigail Weinberg, Andy Finton, and Tom Lautzenheiser

New science on climate resiliency promises to help land conservation organization in the public, private and non-profit sectors identify places that will continue to host biodiversity even as the climate changes. Working with a grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Open Space Institute has launched a set of 'catalyst' grants to test the application of this science to conservation planning. 


As part of the Catalyst grant program, Mass Audubon and the The Nature Conservancy Massachusetts Chapter have scaled the data for Massachusetts and examined how much of the resilient lands were converted to development between 2005 and 2013. Their findings will be released as part of the highly anticipated Losing Ground report in June of this year. 

This webinar reviewed the science and applications at play, the workings of the catalyst grant program, and offered a preview of the findings from the upcoming addition of Losing Ground. 

We talked with Abigail Weinberg, the Director of the Conservation Research Program at the Open Space Institute, Tom Lautzenheiser, a Central/Western Regional Scientist from Mass Audubon, as well as Andy Finton, the Director for Conservation Programs at The Nature Conservancy in Massachusetts, regarding how we can best invest in resiliency for conservation projects and planning in the future.  

A recording of the "Investing in Resiliency" Webinar may be found here:

Acadian Program in Regional Conservation and Stewardship, July 14-21, 2013

The Acadian Program in Regional Conservation and Stewardship is hosting its third year of participants at the Schoodic Education and Research Institute this summer from July 14-21, 2013. This one week intensive short course program allows participants to get a hands-on collaborative educational experience surrounding how to tackle real-world conservation issues.

Hailing from Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Chile, Belize, and Guatemala, this year’s group of participants will arrive with specific conservation challenges associated with their home locations, and will implore the Acadian Program group to come up with real-world solutions and action plans over the course of a week. Combining foundational training in conservation with cross-cultural collaboration, the Acadian Program offers a unique experience in which students learn the complex landscape conservation initiatives associated with the nearby Acadia National Park, and help each other to think creatively and collaboratively about how to tackle the emerging conservation challenges around the world.

Partners of the Acadian Program include QLF/Atlantic Center, Schoodic Education and Research Institute (SERC Institute), the Frenchman Bay Conservancy, several universities, and colleagues associated with state and federal agencies, including the National Park Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Maine Department of Conservation. With over 30 identified stakeholders involved in conservation across the Acadian region, the Acadian Program offers the challenge to participants to synthesize what they have learned in field experience surrounding Acadia National Park and provide local agencies with recommendations for conservation strategies.

For more information, please visit the Acadian Program’s website at:

Annual Conservation Catalysts Conference at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in Cambridge, MA, May 13-14, 2013

In May 2013, Lincoln Institute fellow Jim Levitt convened a Conservation Catalysts Network (CCN) conference at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in Cambridge, MA. Bringing together faculty and students from a dozen colleges and universities alongside conservation leaders in the field, the group examined case studies of innovative conservation efforts around the world.  Ranging from projects regarding the restoration of the struggling Colorado River Delta, to private land conservation in Chile, conservation easements in Trinidad and Tobago, Australian coastal zone management, the Canadian BEACONS project and boreal forest conservation, working landscapes and the Western Hemisphere Jaguar Network, and landscape-scale conservation on the Serengeti, the May 2013 CCN conference demonstrated the innovative genius of conservation leaders and students throughout the world. 

The May 2013 CCN conference demonstrated the incredible power of collaboration across disciplines and cultures within the field of conservation, and fostered partnerships that will continue to benefit conservation efforts globally. If you would like to learn more about the case studies discussed, several of the case studies from the May 2013 CCN conference are listed under member organizations on the home page of our site. 

Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute (RMLUI) Annual Conference in Denver, March 6-8, 2013

The Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law will be hosting its annual land use conference onMarch 6-8, 2013.  One of the leading land use conferences in the country, attracting upwards of 500 lawyers, academic leaders, real estate professionals and planners from across the country, this year’s conference is centered on the theme of “Land Use for a Lifetime: Changing Demographics and Shifting Priorities.”  

In addition to tracks dedicated to implications of our changing demographics, innovations in sustainability, land use law, and natural resource issues, this year’s conference will devote an issue track to Large Landscape Conservation.  This track, which includes 6 sessions over 2 days, will explore tools and techniques that are critical for protecting large landscapes, examine case studies to understand what works in large landscape conservation, and provide an important forum for networking and collaboration for the Practitioners’ Network for Large Landscape Conservation.  

For more information on the conference and its large landscape conservation track, please contact the Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute at