Plymouth State University and the Newfound Lake Region Association signed a Memorandum of Understanding creating a partnership allowing graduate students to work with NLRA through hands-on education, while the NLRA receives resources from PSU. In photo, front left, NLRA President Rob Moore signs agreement with PSU President Sara Jayne Steen. From left, back row, PSU’s Center for the Environment Associate Director June Hammond Rowan, NLRA Executive Director Boyd Smith, Andrew Vielleux, NLRA Program Manager and Joseph Boyer, Director, PSU’s Center for the Environment.
PLYMOUTH, N.H.– A partnership between Newfound Lake Region Association (NLRA) and Plymouth State University’s Center for the Environment (CFE) will provide new resources for protecting and improving the health of New Hampshire’s fourth largest lake and its watershed, and more opportuniti
es for PSU students to gain environmental management and protection experience. Plymouth State University President Sara Jayne Steen said the five-year memorandum of understanding signed on January 12 will benefit the University and the region.
“This new relationship charts a path to broadened environmental literacy, effective management policies and stewardship surrounding watershed ecosystems,” said Steen. “Our undergraduate and graduate students will benefit greatly from the opportunity to engage with NLRA through hands-on education that has real-world outcomes.”
Located ten miles southwest of Plymouth amidst a beautiful vista of mountains and small towns, Newfound Lake is one of New Hampshire’s cleanest and clearest lakes, with a watershed ecosystem encompassing more than 63,000 acres. Because of its scenic appeal, development pressures and recreational use pose significant threats to the surrounding land and water quality. NLRA Executive Director Boyd Smith believes the MOU will facilitate research, monitoring, education and stewardship of the lake and its watershed.
“I see this as a natural extension of work we’ve already started,” Smith said. “Furthermore, PSU students will get an enhanced educational experience while helping us protect the watershed, which serves the public good.” CFE Director Joseph Boyer noted that PSU and NLRA have collaborated previously on a watershed protection master plan project and that this agreement will benefit both groups. “The student experience is key,” Boyer said. “There are great opportunities for PSU students to participate in management, planning, policy and water-quality monitoring projects and interact with NLRA staff who may come to campus to teach a class or offer their expertise in the field.”
Newfound Lake, photo courtesy Newfound Lake Region Association.
“The intent is to create a framework for sharing resources and ideas, identifying what we’ve already accomplished and what still needs to be done,” said June Hammond Rowan ’11EdD, CFE’s associate director and research assistant professor. “Our goal is that projects our students and faculty participate in make a significant difference for the Newfound watershed,” she added.
While pursuing his master’s degree in environmental science and policy at PSU, Andrew Veilleux ’13G completed an internship at the Squam Lakes Association in Holderness, NH. That opportunity provided him with applied education experience that helped prepare him for his career. Veilleux currently serves as NLRA’s program manager. “I see a lot of opportunities in this relationship,” Veilleux said. “The theory learned in the classroom and the ‘hands-on’ experience are a great combination. What I learned at PSU through my master’s program is parallel to what I’m doing now.”
Boyer believes the partnership will open up avenues to new resources for both NLRA and PSU, including community and federal grants. “The NLRA has access to funding to help meet environmental protection and monitoring goals, while PSU can provide expertise and resources that NLRA doesn’t have, such as our faculty, to help meet their needs,” Boyer said.
“We’re a small organization with a huge mission,” said Rob Moore, NLRA President. “We have a lot of challenges in protecting the lake and the watershed; we’re very excited about this partnership.” PSU and NLRA officials expect to convene an annual meeting with area stakeholders, such as business people, students, faculty and environmental advocates to discuss current and future projects.
For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU News Services Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or firstname.lastname@example.org