Wednesday, September 24, 2014

university and community

Balancing practical and academic research outcomes

written by        

Arren Mendezona Allegretti

PhD Candidate Ecology, Colorado State University

Center for Collaborative Conservation

Attila Paksi

 Jon Corbett, ISE Board Member and Associate Professor at UBC Okanagan facilitated this engaging workshop. Highlights included a lively discussion on the advantages and challenges of working with the university and community from academic and community perspectives.
Happy Birthday to Jon!!! :)
Some challenges from an academic perspective involve funding constraints, incompatible timelines of academics with community members, sustaining trust, and avoiding the imposition of researchers own preconceptions and values. The community perspective involves universities taking and transforming local stories out of context to match researchers’ world views. Others involve the lack of clear community benefits, consultation fatigue, language differences, miscommunication of intentions, accommodating researchers, and invasion of privacy.
From the Philippines, Arren and Amay, the
leader of the indigenous
Higaonon people in Mindanao, Philippines

Opportunities of working with the university from a community perspective involve capacity-building, sharing community identities, conservation of territory and traditional knowledge, jobs for community members, and the potential of the community being well politically-viewed. Academic perspectives may include publishing opportunities, genuine exchange of ideas and knowledge, and training opportunities for students.

View from the CNR's hostel in Lobesa
Overall, this workshop entailed reflection of varying needs and resources differentially expressed by academics and community members. Participants discussed bridging gaps between the“researcher and the researched,” particularly as we acknowledge academic roles, personal needs, interests, and values from different parties.

Arren Mendezona Allegretti 

Attila Paksi 

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