To encourage, facilitate, and enhance the availability of research-based knowledge and scholarship that advances the quality and vitality of the Adirondack Park and related environs.
—Mission statement adopted by ARC Board of Directors, January 2007
The charter Board of Directors of the ARC has made great strides since its election at the Annual Meeting in May 2006. I would like to share with you some of the important actions the Board has taken during its first year, on behalf of our organization.
Our goal has been to establish ARC as a durable organization, building upon the 13-year foundation of ARC annual conferences and the Adirondack Journal of Environmental Studies (AJES) established by the founding members in 1994.
We have focused on producing a strategic plan, implementing an enriched program consistent with prudent financial management and funding support, and developing new ways to effectively communicate Adirondack research to inform policies, planning and management of the Park’s public and private lands and communities.
Following an August 2006 retreat, the Board organized itself into four working committees responsible for oversight of programs and research, AJES, partnership development, and administrative needs. We adopted working principles and policies as well as a 2007 budget that includes funding for an executive director and support staff; initiated a Sustaining Membership program in partnership with institutions, companies and organizations whose goals and programs are a natural complement to the work of ARC; and adopted a strategic plan to guide our future growth.
The strategic planning process, guided by Board members Dan Fitts and Gary Chilson, was finalized at a Board retreat expertly facilitated by Fuller Communications in January 2007. The Plan established a mission and vision statement and guiding principles and sets three goals:
- To establish the ARC as a durable organization by developing and implementing a strategic plan, developing a funding plan, and securing staff;
- To catalyze and facilitate research through annual conferences and AJES; and
- To effectively communicate Adirondack research by establishing distinctive ways of formulating an applied research agenda and initiating and housing databases of research and research/information providers. (See http://www.adkresearch.org for complete plan.)
I am pleased to announce that the ARC Board, in January 2007, confirmed the appointment of Dan Fitts as ARC’s first executive director. Dan is a native of the North Country. He has worked for the New York State Legislature in Albany and with the Adirondack Park Agency as supervisor of administrative services and executive director. He holds a B.A. from SUNY Plattsburgh in Environmental Science, and an M.S. from the College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse. Dan is currently chairman of the ESF Board of Trustees. He brings a wealth of knowledge about Adirondack issues and concerns, strong management skills and experience, and a network of contacts among people, organizations, institutions, and communities vital to the well-being of the Adirondacks and related environs.
The ARC has begun the recruitment of organizations, agencies, and businesses as Sustaining Members and Partners with mutual concerns for fostering the well-being of the Adirondack Park and its communities through application of science-based knowledge. Our new Members and Partners to date include New York Power Authority, Niagara Mohawk of National Grid, Ecology and Environment, Inc., New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, and the Open Space Institute. We also note with much appreciation the considerable in-kind support of Nixon Peabody, LLP and the Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks.
ARC is proud to support a new initiative called the Research Consumers and Producers Synergy (RCAPS), spearheaded by Board member Dan Spada. It is intended to develop a mutual benefit partnership for research priorities, funding possibilities, and application and use of research-based knowledge between those who need the information/knowledge and those who can supply it. A November 2006 workshop in Newcomb drew some 70 participants from all sectors of the Adirondack community to begin work on this initiative. At the 2007 14th Annual Conference organizational plans will be laid for this new initiative, which promises to effectively change the way in which research-based knowledge is applied to the needs of the Adirondack community.
The 2007 Annual Conference theme is Sustainability, Climate Change and Protected Areas. The effects of average global temperature warming, ecologically and economically, will be felt in the Adirondacks. Those effects could be positive and negative, disruptive and unpredictable. Global warming, fueled by use of fossil fuels, is the cumulative impact of countless local and regional decisions about how we procure and use energy and allocate resources. We can work to reduce the impact of those effects and to adapt to changes that cannot be locally controlled. It will be the single greatest challenge, environmentally and economically, faced by the Adirondack Park in this century. There are still many uncertainties about regional impacts of climate change, but uncertainty is a two-edged sword—conditions could change for the better and they could change for the worse.
ARC will strive to keep the Adirondack community at the forefront of research-based knowledge about the ecological impacts of climate change on the Park and will work with our partners to find researchable answers to concerns about energy costs and supplies, impacts on the forest products, maple sugar and winter recreation industries and on communities for the cost of municipal expenses related to water supplies, waste disposal and infrastructure.
Your interest, support and involvement with the work of ARC is welcomed and encouraged.
Elizabeth W. Thorndike, Ph.D.
President, Adirondack Research Consortium
Leave a Comment
You must be logged in to post a comment.