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Master’s Project: Values and Threats to the Northwoods

Congratulations to Master’s students Kate Keeley, Elliott Kurtz, Luxian Li, Ed Waisanen, Yu Xin, and Fan Zhang, who completed their SEAS Master’s Project “Supporting conservation and decision-making in the Northwoods: Mapping forest values, services, and threats.” The client for this project was The Nature Conservancy of Michigan, with Doug Pearsall as the client contact. Working together with Doug on this was fantastic — the students learned a lot and did a tremendous job. Their main product was a Story Map, an online interactive tool that explored values and threats to the Northwoods (forests in the northern parts of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota). The students worked closely with the Forests Workgroup of the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes Landscape Conservation Cooperative (UMGL-LCC), a consortium of State and Federal agencies and NGOs involved in land management and conservation. Students worked with the Nature Conservancy and the UMGL-LCC over an 18-month period to produce a Story Map that was a valuable pilot project for exploring the potential future use of this type of communication tool. Along the way, we went on two field trips to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to learn about land management and students got to interact with professionals across more than a dozen agencies and NGOs.

You can read about the student team’s methods and findings in their final report, available on Deep Blue, the University of Michigan’s portal for university publications.