Conservation Science Meets Land Management: Managing Ecosystems in a Complex Landscape

On February 14th, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment hosted a dialogue to promote collaboration between land managers and academic researchers interested in ecosystem management in the complex landscapes of the San Francisco Bay area. The goal of the meeting was to initiate dialogue on how academic researchers and land management organizations could work together to:

  • Provide cutting-edge science to inform management decisions and best management practices;
  • Foster and enhance collaborative research projects on Bay Area lands;
  • Develop best scientific practices that are both local and global in impact;
  • Create a forum to learn from each other now and in the future;
  • Identify connections and specific ways to work together; 
  • Connect research and management in concrete way

Dialogue Objectives

Presentations showcased research on current ecosystem and land management issues as well as topics in need of research support. Throughout the dialogue, emphasis was placed on identifying ways to enhance collaboration and create a forum for managers and researchers to share and learn from each other now and in the future. Discussion focused on topics of mutual interest including: identifying areas for potential collaboration and future research and investigating potential vehicles for promoting greater collaboration between academic researchers and land managers.

The Need

The challenge of protecting ecosystems and the multiple services they provide - including clean water, nutrient sequestration, forage and livestock production, habitat and biodiversity - can best be addressed through combining the deep knowledge, skills, and expertise of academic researchers with the real world needs of on-the-ground managers for the benefit of this diverse landscape. The meeting was the first step in developing a new and expanded network to address these topics.