Advancing Conservation & Management through Community Engagement

FWCB faculty and their students are engaged in several different aspects of the connections between people and natural resources. Our social scientists study how and why individuals and communities make choices about natural resource issues. Our extension specialists are developing ways for citizen scientists to contribute to conservation research and service.

Rob Blair (Professor/Extension Specialist) founded the Minnesota Master Naturalist program, which is a volunteer program that promotes awareness, understanding, and stewardship of Minnesota's natural environment by developing a corps of well-informed citizens dedicated to conservation education and service within their communities.

David Fulton (Professor, Assistant Coop Leader) focuses on understanding and improving decision processes in the conservation and management of fish and wildlife, using methods from sociology and psychology.

Daniel Larkin (Assistant Professor/Extension Specialist) develops programs for citizens and professionals working to manage aquatic invasive species.

Kristen Nelson (Professor) studies how social institutions and organizations support resource conservation and development, including community-level carbon mitigation projects and community-led biodiversity efforts.

Karen Oberhauser (Professor/Extension Specialist) develops programs that engage K-12 students and teachers in invertebrate conservation research and ecological monitoring. She directs the Monarch Lab. Dr. Oberhauser was awarded a "Champion of Change" by the White House for her work in citizen science. She describes this work in this video.