Student Focus - Spencer Meyer
My curiosity of, and passion for, the natural world has developed in my entire three plus decades living throughout England. From the hardwood forests and ocean-side of my childhood in Connecticut, to the rivers and mountains of New Hampshire and more recently the myriad landscapes and vast forests of Maine, I have grown my own deep roots in the land. Through my own explorations and working with many natural resource management and conservation organizations, I have grown my appreciation for the interconnectedness of people and their environment.
I hold an A.B. from Dartmouth College in environmental studies and a M.S. from the University of Maine in forestry. My professional experience and scientific interests have benefitted greatly from work experiences at the Harvard Forest in Petersham, MA;, the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies in New Haven, CT; and since 2002, here at University of Maine with the Cooperative Forestry Research Unit. I am an active volunteer with the Society of American Foresters and the Appalachian Mountain Club. I currently serve on the Baxter State Park Advisory Committee. I spend the rest of my time with my wonderful wife and son, often on skis, bikes or in hiking boots.
I have chosen to return to school to pursue a Ph.D. under the Sustainability Solutions Initiative to formalize my education about the broad implications of the interactions of people and the natural world. Though I have spent years trying to understand forests ecosystems at the small scale, I have come to believe that the most important interface between people and nature lies in the collective decisions we make at the large scale, as often influenced by policy. Through my research here with the Alternative Futures team, I hope to better understand the policy mechanisms that drive personal decisions affecting the landscape so that we can make more informed decisions in the future to conserve the resources most important to society.