PSU hosts water and preservation conferences

March 21st, 2013 by Heather

    PSU hosts water and preservation conferences

    BY BOB MARTIN

    PLYMOUTH — On Friday Plymouth State University will be hosting a pair of events that will bring Governor Maggie Hassan to town for a speech.

    Beginning at 8 a.m., Plymouth State University’s Center for the Environment will host the 2013 New Hampshire Water and Watershed Conference in PSU’s Hartman Union Building. The event features more than 30 talks addressing current water related research as well as effective strategies at the local, regional, state and federal levels.

    Specific topics to be covered include watershed planning, restoration and management; education and outreach; ecosystem services of lakes, rivers and watersheds; coordinating a response to climate change; and water quality and quantity.

    The keynote speaker will be Linwood Pendleton, who is the director of the Ocean and Coastal Policy Program at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and acting chief economist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The focus of his speech will be clean water and the New Hampshire economy.

    The conference is designed to meet the information and networking needs of a broad audience, which in past years has included scientists; educators; consultants; students; lake, river and watershed groups; environmental organizations; volunteer monitors; municipal board and staff members; elected officials; local and regional planners; and policy makers.

    “Water is a common denominator in the environment, society and economy of this region,” said CFE Director Dr. Joe Boyer said. “This meeting will help further the research and management of water resources for the benefit of both nature and people.”

    Also that day, beginning at 9 a.m. and ending at 6 p.m., community leaders, students and teachers will gather for the statewide preservation conference called “Historic Buildings for the Next Century: Preservation’s Role in a Sustainable Future.” The event is sponsored by the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance and is hosted by Plymouth State University.

    The day-long event will include discussions of new business models for historic sites, effective strategies for public participation in development projects, preservation solutions for mid-20th century buildings and recent student work.

    Ken Viscarello, chairman of the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance, said the conference provides new perspectives and practical strategies on how preservation can play a key role in building a strong future.

    “This is the perfect time to be emphasizing the connections between preservation, economy and sustainability,”

    Viscarello said.

    Preservation advocates, community planners, architects and leaders of heritage and historic district commissions, as well as staff and volunteers who work in museums, historic sites and historical societies are invited to attend.

    The Preservation Alliance chose Plymouth as the location of the conference to highlight preservation activity in the town and at Plymouth State University.

    According to Bruce Lyndes, PSU’s media-relations manager, PSU’s College of Graduate Studies has recently started offering a graduate degree in Historic Preservation.

    “I think the people that organized this event felt PSU would be an appropriate place to have this conference because we are supportive of historic preservation efforts and education,” said Lyndes.

    Jennifer Goodman of Preservation Alliance agreed with Lyndes, saying that they chose to return to PSU to hold the conference because there are great preservation activities that are showcased throughout Plymouth.

    “This is also a way to highlight the great work of the preservation program and other related initiatives at Plymouth State,” said Goodman. “It reinforces the next generation of thinking.”

    Goodman added that there will be a varied audience that includes community leaders pursuing projects all around the state. She said that it also includes practitioners in design and those in construction and planning fields.

    Students and faculty will be presenters in various conference sessions.

    Ben Amsden, historic preservation faculty member and interim director of the Center for Rural Partnerships, said the conference reflects PSU’s commitment to statewide historic preservation efforts.

    “PSU programs like the new master of arts in historic preservation and the White Mountains Institute teach our students that historic resources are vital to tourism, agriculture, the arts and sense of place,” Amsden said. “The conference will be a great opportunity for them to share their work in these areas and its value to the region.”

    Along with the presentations and a gathering at the Common Man Inn and Spa, there are also a series of optional activities that people can take part in. These include walking tours of the new Museum of the White Mountains, The Flying Monkey Theater, Plymouth Regional Senior Center (the former Boston & Maine railroad station), Town Hall and Daniel Webster Courthouse.

    Governor Hassan is also expected to attend each event, and is scheduled to speak about current water issues in New Hampshire at 9:45 a.m.

    For more information log onto Plymouth.edu.

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