Strengthening the Capacity of Biosphere Regions: An Update on the NAPECA Climate Internships

Lake Elmore in Vermont, part of the Champlain-Adirondack Biosphere Network. Photo: Katie Darr

In April 2022, the Commission for Environmental Cooperation awarded a North American Partnership for Environmental Community Action grant to the USBN fiscal sponsor, Center for Large Landscape Conservation, for a transboundary internship project to strengthen collaborations and exchanges between Canadian and U.S. biosphere regions. The funded project, in coordination with the Canadian Biosphere Reserve Association and the USBN, provides stipends to four interns within four biosphere regions. Obtawaing in northern Michigan is paired with Georgian Bay in Ontario, and Champlain-Adirondack in New York and Vermont is paired with Frontenac Arch in Ontario to host the internships. 

Manar Talab
NAPECA Climate Intern Manar Talab

The Obtawaing Biosphere Region (OBR) is working toward the development of region-wide climate vulnerability assessment and action strategies and has hired recent Princeton graduate Manar Talab as an intern to gather and synthesize existing models, research, tools, and best management practices that can be applied at the local and regional level. She will work to connect with the OBR Steering Committee and partnering organizations to develop implementation opportunities.

Importantly, Manar will work with OBR’s Canadian partner, the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve intern, as well as the US Biosphere Network to learn and share best practices and to conduct analyses of how forests can contribute to atmospheric carbon reduction goals and serve as possible revenue sources for the bi-national region occupied by the Georgian Bay and Obtawaing Biosphere Regions.

Sara Constantineau
NAPECA Climate Intern Sara Constantineau

Sara Constantineau started as the Champlain-Adirondack Biosphere Network (CABN) Climate Intern in January of 2023. She is a graduate student at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF) pursuing a Master of Landscape Architecture degree. Through the internship, Sara is working to advance the Atlas of Climate and Environmental Change for the Frontenac Arch and Champlain-Adirondack Biosphere Regions. Her activities include locating relevant sources, filling in data tables to ensure project replicability and data integrity, and helping to establish an ArcGIS data hub as a platform for the Atlas. Sara has also met with partners at Queen’s University and SUNY ESF biological stations, and the CABN steering committee to discuss ongoing work and progress towards meeting the goals of the Atlas. 

During the coming summer, Sara will travel and meet with Champlain-Adirondack colleagues in New York and Vermont and with Frontenac Arch colleagues in Ontario. She will also work with Professors Emanuel Carter and Scott Shannon from SUNY ESF on developing planning and design workshops for both biosphere regions. Sara is excited to support the work that CABN is doing to facilitate understanding and connection between people and place across the bioregion.

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