Tribute to Ray Burton

November 6th, 2015 by Melissa

The Tribute to Ray Burton Series is a way that the community of Plymouth State University shows its appreciation for all of the good work Ray did for the people of the northern New Hampshire and the University. The Series consists of economic reports that examine long-term economic trends of counties within the district that Ray served for more than three decades.

The first of the Series is the report on Grafton County. Reports on every county in Ray’s district will be released in the coming months; one county per month. Carroll County’s report will be out in March; Belknap’s in April; Sullivan’s in May; and Coos’ in June. Thank you, Ray.





Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan

Coos, Grafton & Carroll Presentation

Plymouth Chamber of Commerce Project

November 6th, 2015 by Melissa

This study analyzes the labor market data to help develop business recruitment strategies. To this end, it identifies the area’s competitive industries today. It also reveals potential industries that could do well in the future.


Economic Assessment of Grafton County New Hampshire 2010 | 2012 Update

March 7th, 2012 by CfRP

Survey of Grafton County, New Hampshire’s Economy

Researchers at the Center for Rural Partnerships at Plymouth State University conducted a review of
economic trends in Grafton County, New Hampshire, emphasizing the County’s four labor market
areas (Haverhill, Lebanon, Littleton and Plymouth) and their economic prospects for the future. The study
was conducted on behalf of Grafton County Economic Development Corporation (GCEDC) to aid that

organization’s strategic planning process. The results of the study were presented in a public presentation
in September 2010, with an update added in January 2012. This report focuses on labor market data, and
includes a chapter, written by Daniel Lee, devoted to changes in the County’s labor market over the past
decade. The original 2010 presentation and the 2012 update are provided as appendices.

Grafton County NH Economic Assessment 2010 Update (PDF)

PSU Students Named “Young Preservationists” by the NH Preservation Alliance

October 24th, 2011 by CfRP

Photo from the Berlin Daily Sun

October 24, 2011PSU students who participated in the Brown Company Research & Development Building public mural project are being honored as the inaugural recipients of the “Young Preservationists” award from the NH Preservation Alliance.

The Alliance is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a series of events and the institution of this new award intended to honor contributions made by young adults that support, communicate, and highlight important  NH places, innovations, and other artifacts of cultural and historical significance.  The recipients are invited to participate in a number of events over the coming months.  Their specific contributions will be featured and celebrated at these events.

Photo Credit: Kaleb Hart

The mural panels are the high-profile centerpiece of a trio of collaborative projects intended to feature the unique and powerful history of innovation of Brown Company in Berlin, NH.  Comprising twenty-four 4’x8′ painted panels, the exhibit is on display on the street-facing side of the building where it will remain until the restoration is complete.  After that, the panels will move indoors to become a permanent exhibit.

Photo Credit: Kaleb Hart

The mural project came about when Jim Wagner (Northern Forest Heritage Park and Brown Research Building Rehabilitation Project) and DES representative, Keith DuBois, inspected the building and determined that a protective solution to the leaking windows of the building’s west wing needed to be implemented as soon as possible.  (The wing is slated for environmental remediation and historic rehabilitation, as was completed in the building’s east wing.)  DuBois had the idea of covering the windows with student art projects and an idea was born.

Wagner, who has collaborated with the Center for Rural Partnerships at Plymouth State University on other projects in the past, saw an opportunity to involve PSU students in a one-of-a-kind project to educate the public and celebrate an important part of Berlin’s history.  He contacted Thad Guldbrandsen, who connected with faculty members Tom Driscoll and (now Dean of Arts & Sciences) Cynthia Vascak.  Tom offered to create a public mural course for the Spring 2011 semester and the planning phase began in earnest.

Photo Credit: Kaleb Hart

Students visited the site, interviewed content experts, developed and proposed multiple designs, and executed the final version—all within the bounds of a single semester!

Photo Credit: Kaleb Hart

Involved in the project were: Olivia Benish, Michelle Boudreau, Brittany Connors, Nicole Copple, Nathan Cote, Katie Cotoir, Elizabeth Dalp, Meredith Gourley, Tara Krehbiel, Craig Maines, Kristin Sarette, and Sam Smart.

Photo Credit: Kaleb Hart

Kaleb Hart captured the project in progress with photographs (including those featured in this post) and is producing a video documentary.

The mural project required collaboration and support from a wide range of participants, including funders, off-campus organizations and suppliers, content experts, and others.  In addition to securing partial funding and networking to connect with supportive suppliers, Jim Wagner coordinated the off-campus participants and installation of the panels.

Photo Credit: Kaleb Hart

PSU contributions included course development and execution (Tom Driscoll), project facilitation (Thad Guldbrandsen), content review (Linda Upham-Bornstein), design and execution (PSU students), and project proposal development/management (Alice Richmond).  The project was funded, in part, by the Neil & Louise Tillotson Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation via the CfRP’s Coös County Outreach Initiative.






Brown Company R&D Mural Unveiled: PSU Student Work Receives Rave Reviews!

July 29th, 2011 by CfRP


Berlin NH July 29, 2011—A series of twenty-four 4’x8′ mural panels depicting scenes that capture elements of Berlin’s scientific and cultural history were unveiled  this week as part of a trio of events celebrating the restoration of the Brown Company Research & Development Building.  An article in the Berlin Daily Sun tells the story in greater detail.  Click here to read more!

Photo from the Berlin Daily Sun

The mural project idea was fostered by a conversation between Jim Wagner (Northern Forest Heritage Park and Brown Company Research and Development Building Rehabilitation Project) and Keith DuBois (NH Department of Environmental Services) about the ongoing destruction to the West Wing of the R&D building resulting from twenty-four damaged windows on the street-facing side.  DuBois suggested the idea of having them covered with student art and Wagner, who has worked with the Center for Rural Partnerships on other projects, contacted us right away.  PSU Art department faculty member, Tom Driscoll, was enthusiastic about the project and created a course in public mural art for the Spring 2011 semester.

From there, the project grew to include substantial support from community businesses and an array of funding sources.  Wagner and Linda Upham-Bornstein provided cultural and historical expertise to guide the students in their design process.  PSU student, Kaleb Hart (2011), documented the process and installation in photographs and video.

The panels will protect the building during its restoration and then move indoors to become a permanent exhibit.

Public feedback is overwhelmingly positive.  At the unveiling, people volunteered that they altered their routes to come and see the panels and that the images make them feel proud.

The students involved in the project include: Michelle Boudreau, Tara Krebiel, Kristin Sarette, Olivia Benish, Katie Cotoir, Nathan Cote, Sam Smart, Craig Maines, Elizabeth Dalp, Nicole Copple, Meredith Gourley, and Brittany Connors.


Upcoming Events in Berlin Celebrate the Northern Forest Heritage Park

July 19th, 2011 by Melissa

Tri-County Community Action Program, in coordination with The Northern Forest Heritage Park and The Center for Rural Partnerships at Plymouth State University invite you to the unveiling of three exciting projects based on the Brown Company Research Building:

  • Student murals covering the west windows on the Research Building
  • A student film project documenting the research and production of the murals
  • An exhibition on Brown Company’s “Industrial Explorers

Please join us to celebrate this exciting and unique partnership and to help raise awareness about the Brown Company Research Building and some of the great things happening in Berlin.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011
5:00 p.m.
at the NFHP Bunk House
961 Main Street, Berlin, NH

R.S.V.P. Northern Forest Heritage Park, (603) 752 -7202
via email: or

For more information about the Northern Forest Heritage Park, please visit

Support for these projects was provided by Plymouth State University, Tri-County CAP, The Northern Forest Heritage Park, White Mountain Lumber, the New Hampshire Department of Corrections, A. R. Couture Construction Corporation, the Neil & Louise Tillotson Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, and several volunteers.

Brown Company R&D: “Industrial Explorers” Exhibition Online

July 13th, 2011 by Alice

The “Industrial Explorers” exhibition of panels tracing the origins and history of the innovative Brown Company Research and Development group is now available to view online and to download (see links below).

The Berlin, NH, company pioneered a number of innovations, driven by a desire to make better use of the forest as a resource for a wide array of products—from “aeroplane spruce” to “kraft” pulp/paper, and including some unlikely stops along the way (“Kream Krisp,” anyone?).

Below are links to two files and one web page. The first is to a file of the panels, themselves. The second is a transcription of the text on the panels. The third is a page on this website, where you can view images of the panels.  We’ll post a link to an online slide-show version of the exhibition in the near future.



JPEG Panel Images

Please contact Linda Upham-Bornstein, who did the research and developed the content of the exhibition, with questions or comments.  She can be reached best via email:

All of the photos used on the panels came from the Beyond Brown Paper collection, which you can view and annotate online at:

Community Research Experience Course

July 12th, 2011 by CfRP

Sample Student Work:


Livermore Final Powerpoint

Final Livermore Poster

Marketing Plan for Black Swan Inn

Fox Pond Park: Final Report

Community Benefits Agreement Presentation

Crawford Notch Heritage Tourism Presentation

Ecotourism Prospects in Henniker, New Hampshire Presentation

Exploring Erosion Presentation

Central NH Regional Marketing Presentation


Livermore Final Paper

Ecotourism Prospects in Henniker, New Hampshire Final Paper

Swain Farm Final Paper

Spectacle Pond Final Paper Cover Sheet

Spectacle Pond Final Paper

Crawford Notch Visitor’s Guide Final Paper

The BALSAMS Final Paper

Central NH Regional Marketing Final Paper

Presentation Flyers:

CRE Presentation Flyer Fall 2012

CRE Presentation Flyer Spring 2011

CRE Presentation Flyer Fall 2010

CRE Presentation Flyer Spring 2010


Community Research Experience Sample Syllabus:

SS4994 Community Research Experience Fall 2010 Syllabus


Amsden & Chase Risk Management Article Featured in Tree Farmer Magazine

March 16th, 2011 by Alice

The article in Tree Farmer magazine is a natural extension of the ongoing workshops and resource development Ben Amsden and Lisa Chase collaborate to provide to landowners in New Hampshire and Vermont.

Tree Farmer magazine’s January/February edition includes a new article co-written by Ben Amsden (Plymouth State University) and Lisa Chase (University of Vermont Extension).  “Tools for Managing Risk in Tree Farm Tourism” highlights the issues, questions, and concerns addressed in previous workshops, and includes helpful ideas about how land owners can best prepare themselves to welcome the public.  Topics covered include liability, insurance, security, and tips for developing a personalized set of tools–such as building a network with other land owners, for sharing information, lessons learned, emerging themes, opportunities and resources.  Read the article here.

Ben Amsden and Lisa Chase have been working together since 2008 to provide content-rich workshops and other resource materials to land owners interested in providing land use access or participatory experiences for fun, recreation, and education.  Ben is the partnerships & grants coordinator and research assistant professor of social science and tourism management of the Center for Rural Partnerships at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire.  Lisa Chase is the director of the Vermont Tourism Data Center and a natural resources specialist with University of Vermont Extension in Burlington in Vermont.  Both Ben and Lisa have a specific interest in the relationship between people and rural landscapes.  Their work with land owners regarding various aspects of risk management is funded in part by the Northeast Center for Risk Management Education (NECRME) at the University of Delaware, in Newark Delaware. Goes Live!

February 9th, 2011 by Alice

The Weeks Act Centennial celebrates 100 years since the conservation vision of John Weeks that led to the establishment of the eastern national forests.

A diverse group of individuals and organizations have combined efforts to create an official website to promote information, events, and other opportunities related to the 2011 celebration of the Weeks Act centennial.  In addition to providing an overview of all of the events and educational opportunities related to the centennial celebration, is a treasure trove of information about the history of the Act, cultural arts unique to the region, and multi-media presentations.

Not only is this a great site to visit to get information, it’s interactive!  Share stories about your forest experiences and read those shared by other visitors on the Memories page.  Has your family grown tired of your annual recounting of Uncle Bob climbing that tree in record speed when he heard a bull frog for the first time?  Tell it here!  You’ve got a whole new audience!  Bookmark and return to visit it often for updates, new tales, and to keep track of upcoming events. is part of a coordinated New Hampshire effort celebrating the Weeks Act Centennial and honoring the tradition of conservation and partnerships exemplified by the act, which created Eastern National Forests.  Celebrating the Weeks Act and the creation of Eastern National Forests provides an opportunity to promote increased awareness of sustainable forestry, land stewardship and citizen-based conservation.


Contact Us

Mailing Address:
MSC 68, 17 High St.
Plymouth State University

(603) 535-3275 (Voice)

Ben Amsden
(603) 535-3276

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