Faculty and staff in the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR) are engaged in natural resources sustainability around the state. Extension programs help managers and decision makers improve natural resource management and planning in Indiana. We deliver programs around the state to help communities consider how to plan for their unique and life-sustaining natural resources. Faculty and staff are members of the Purdue Land Use Team which provides educational and technical assistance to plan commissions around Indiana. Additionally, FNR faculty and extension staff actively participate in statewide planning and related training initiatives. Some of the programs FNR faculty and extension staff have developed in collaboration with our partners include:
The Purdue University Extension program, Enhancing the Value of Public Spaces, addresses public spaces and their role in enhancing the quality of place by helping regions, communities and neighborhoods plan and prepare for a sustainable future. The Indiana-based curriculum is designed for use by decision makers and local leaders with oversight and management of community public spaces such as parks boards and planning commission members, public officials and their staff and members of organizations whose missions provide services related to programs or management of public spaces. The program provides a framework for collecting data on community assets and using that data to plan public spaces improvements.
Many NPS projects attempt to influence water quality by changing human behavior. It therefore makes sense to partially evaluate NPS projects based on what they’re actually managing for – human behavior. Social indicators do just that. They can evaluate the social dimensions of projects – are they increasing awareness about NPS pollution? Are they changing attitudes toward water quality? Are they increasing capacity to address NPS pollution? Are they changing behavior in ways we expect to lead to improved water quality? Products are provided to help you use social indicators to evaluate NPS programs and workshops in your community.
Extension programs that support sustainable community development strategies are available to communities throughout Indiana. These support decision makers with evaluating, prioritizing, and implementing sustainability strategies for their communities.
Tipping Points and Indicators, a research and extension program for Great Lakes coastal communities, helps local decision makers, including watershed management groups and planning entities, identify impacts of land-based activities that threaten the sustainability of ecosystems in their watershed.
Weather and climate patterns are a driving force behind the success or failure of Corn Belt cropping systems. Useful to Usable (U2U) is an integrated research and extension project working to improve farm resilience and profitability in the North Central U.S. by transforming existing climate data into usable products for the agricultural community. Our goal is to help producers make better long-term plans on what, when and where to plant as well as how to manage crops for maximum yields and minimum environmental damage.