For the third summer, ALPINE welcomed undergraduate and graduate students to our annual Summer Institute program, which took place over two weekends—one at the Harvard Forest in Petersham, MA and the second at the Schoodic Institute in Winter Harbor, ME.
This year’s ALPINE Summer Institute participants came from institutions across New England’s six states, and all had summer internships/jobs with organizations involved with land protection, such as Essex Greenbelt Land Trust in Massachusetts, Kennebec Land Trust in Maine, the Connecticut Land Trust Council, TerraCorps, and the Harvard Forest REU program. With a variety of backgrounds and levels of experience in land conservation, students gathered to learn more about the theory and practice of large landscape conservation. Each participant had a chance to carefully think through what role they might play individually in the future of conservation in the region.
During two intensive weekends, students heard presentations from leaders in land conservation, including: David Foster, director of the Harvard Forest and faculty member at Harvard University; Lee Youngblood, executive director of the Mount Grace Land Trust in Central Massachusetts; Paul Catanzaro, faculty member of the University of Massachusetts; Buzz Constable, president of the Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition; Keith Ross, senior advisor at LandVest; Richard Paradis, faculty emeritus at the University of Vermont; and Aaron Dority, executive director of Frenchman Bay Conservancy in Maine.
Students also completed writing assignments, took field trips, hiked in the woods and mountains, reflected on their summer work and career aspirations, and participated in leadership and prospective thinking exercises.
Now with three cohorts of participants, ALPINE is developing a network of alumni of the program that will share opportunities and stories with each other and facilitate future gatherings.