Please name your RCP or the reason you want to join the RCP Network
I am a postdoctoral scholar in ecology at the University of Oregon, interested in learning more about regional conservation partnerships. After my postdoc, I hope to start a career in conservation/land protection and return to the Northeastern US (where I grew up). I have studied the effects of climate change on species range distributions and want to work toward protecting habitat corridors to facilitate species migrations. RCPs are critical to achieving such a goal.
What has your RCP or organization done that others will be interested in learning?
The research group I am a part of has published papers with evidence suggesting that some native plant species will need to shift their ranges northward to keep pace with climate change (https://besjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1365-2745.13494). We are working on a landscape-level analysis in the western Pacific Northwest that integrates plant species' demographic responses to future climates with current and future habitat suitability based on several different land-use scenarios to project where across the landscape these species will be capable of persisting over the next 80 years. This type of analysis can be informative for deciding which lands to prioritize for protection, especially if a goal for land protection is to maintain resilience and biodiversity in the face of climate change. Additionally, out of a desire to contribute to land protection in my home region, I produced a map of conservation priorities in western New York for a final project in a GIS class (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1MXo5EgOLxn6ANpsbozAS10mYMUk7Nddq/view). I provided my map and a write up to the Western New York Land Conservancy.
What are you interested in working on with other members of the RCP Network?
Too often, academic research has trouble translating into policy and practice. I am interested in how to help bridge the gap between academia and applied conservation. I am also interested in how to develop landscape-level solutions to the climate crisis. For example, the Follow the Forest initiative (https://hvatoday.org/connecting-forest-corridors/) is a great example of a project trying to protect and maintain core forest patches and intact corridors between them across all of New England. Such projects are critical to allow for species migrations in response to a warming climate.