Plymouth State University students Carolyn Greenough and Laura Getts have been awarded 2016 Plan NH scholarships. Plan NH’s Scholarship and Fellowship Program recognizes and honors outstanding New Hampshire students who are interested in aspects of the built environment and its impacts on the social, economic, and/or environmental capital of a community. Both Greenough and Getts are graduate students studying Environmental Science and Policy and work with PSU’s Center for the Environment.
Greenough is researching viewshed alterations due to land development and large scale energy generation and transmission projects in the Lakes and White Mountain Regions of New Hampshire. These regions have a strong sense of community, have been a favorite recreational destination for many generations, and have an economy largely based around tourism. While energy needs are real, cultural ecosystem services can be diminished by such development projects. Her work will help understand the variety of values citizens and stakeholders hold regarding viewsheds, which alterations are acceptable, and what balances can be struck.
Greenough noted, “I am extremely grateful for the support given to me by Plan NH. I feel so fortunate to have been selected as a recipient for this honor.” Greenough’s work is also part of the Ecosystem and Society project of the NH EPSCoR Program through their National Science Foundation’s Research Infrastructure Improvement Award # EPS 1101245.
Dr. Shannon Rogers, who serves as Greenough’s advisor, said “We, at Plymouth State and the Center for the Environment, are committed to community engaged scholarship that addresses local needs and values, such as this viewshed project. We are very grateful for Plan NH’s growing support of environmental policy work that impacts New Hampshire’s communities and built environments.”
Getts has been working collaboratively with off-campus partners, including the Central New Hampshire Bicycling Coalition, Bike-Walk Alliance of New Hampshire, Foundation for Healthy Communities, NH Department of Transportation (NHDOT), and several regional planning commissions, to assess active transportation statewide with a focus on bikability. Laura’s research approach, funded in part by Foundation for Healthy Communities, NH Charitable Foundation, and Bike-Walk Alliance of NH, blends a combination of spatial analysis, modeling, and, soon to be included, public surveys and participatory mapping in GIS to assess patterns of current biking activity and identify potential barriers to access and participation in active transportation options. With this support from PlanNH and new funding from NHDOT, Getts and her research partners aim to inform NHDOT, regional planning commissions, and towns across New Hampshire about the current status of biking as well as identify network gaps and barriers to use which will hopefully lead to a more sustainable transportation network in the state.
In support of Getts’s application, Dr. Amy Villamagna noted “I am consistently impressed with Gett’s caliber of work, her incredible work ethic, maturity, attention to detail, enthusiasm, and aptitude. She has quickly proven herself to be a strong leader in statewide bikability and sustainable communities research.” When notified of the scholarship award, Villamagna added, “I am delighted that Plan NH has recognized the incredible commitment to sustainable planning shared by both of our students. They truly represent the future of New Hampshire sustainability.”