WCU professor wins grant for Parks study

by Aug 22, 2012NEWS ka-no-he-da0 comments

CULLOWHEE – Diane M. Styers, assistant professor of geosciences and natural resources at Western Carolina University, won nearly $15,000 in funding for a project that involves analyzing how land use affects national parks.

The U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station awarded $14,995 to Styers for a project titled “Land Use/Land Cover and Community Demographics: Implications to Natural Resource Management in and around Olympic and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks.”

The funding supports an initial mapping project to analyze community influences and other drivers of natural resource management practices in and around Olympic and Great Smoky Mountains national parks.

“Such a study will contribute toward a better understanding of the spatial extent of where people live, work and play in these areas, which will aid in land use and resource management decision-making practices,” said Styers.

Styers is working with Lee Cerveny, a research social scientist based at the research station, on developing a long-term research program. WCU students will be involved in the project through paid research assistantships.

Info: Styers (828) 227-3819 or dmstyers@wcu.edu.