INCOMME Fellowships

Actinodium cunninghamii, endemic to Western Australia.
Image credit: Peggy L. Fiedler

One initiative of the Mediterranean Reserve Managers International Cooperative (MRMIC), now known as the International Cooperative for Managing Mediterranean Ecosystems (INCOMME), was to establish a fellowship program for scientists working in, and managers of, protected areas in all five regions with Mediterranean-type ecosystems. The purpose of this fellowship is to facilitate the exchange of information, to fund collaborative research, and to support training in land management techniques.

The inaugural MRMIC Fellowship competition, held in Fall 2011, awarded two fellowships of $5,000 each. The competition was open to all INCOMME members, MTEG members, and other qualified individuals interested in working on a relevant management issue at one or more NRS reserves.

The successful candidates were Dr. Jeffrey Clary, Reserve Manager, UC Davis Natural Reserve System, and Professor Fiorenza Micheli, Hopkins Marine Station, Stanford University.

Management of Oak-dominated Landscapes:
Lessons from Catalonia and California

Dr. Clary is collaborating with colleagues from the Center for Ecology Research and Forestry Applications (CREAF), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain. UC Davis NRS managers and researchers and their counterparts in Catalonia, Spain, will visit one another’s reserves in order to:

  1. Develop relationships between land managers dealing with structurally similar landscapes and diversity management challenges through on-the-ground meetings at UC Natural Reserves and Parc Natural de Collserola.
  2. Facilitate land-management information exchanges between researchers working in Mediterranean-type ecosystems in California and Spain;
  3. Engage wider audiences interested in Mediterranean land management with seminars hosted in California, at UC Davis, and Catalonia, at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona – CREAF, and , the Catalonian institute for research and technology into food and agriculture, IRTA, at its Torre Maimon during respective visits.
  4. Develop protocols for a parallel study of oak population dynamics at Parc de Collserola and the UC Davis Natural Reserves of Quail Ridge  and Stebbins Cold Canyon.

Enhancing the capacity of Mediterranean marine protected areas (MPAs)

Kingia Peoples Bay
Kingia australis (Dasypogonaceae) at Two People’s Bay Nature Reserve, Western Australia. Image credit: Peggy L. Fiedler

Fiorenza Micheli, Department of Biological Sciences, Hopkins Marine Station, Stanford University, Pacific Grove, California. Professor Micheli submitted her proposal in collaboration with Dr. William Douros, West Coast regional director for the National Marine Sanctuary Program; Dr. Simonetta Fraschetti, Associate Professor, Laboratory of Zoology and Marine Biology, University of Salento, Italy; and Dr. Federico Niccolini, Associate Professor, Department of Institutional Economics and Finance, University of Macerata, Italy.

The objective of Professor Micheli’s project is to devise science-based conservation and management measures for two key Mediterranean areas (the northern Tyrrhenian Sea and the Adriatic Sea), and work with academic scientists, government agencies, local marine protected area authorities, and non-governmental organizations to implement these policies effectively. Participants from Italy will visit Monterey, California, to work collaboratively with Fiorenza Micheli and William Douros (West Coast regional director for the National Marine Sanctuary Program ) to identify key elements of reserve monitoring, and of organizations charged with the management of the already established Pelagos Sanctuary  located in the Tyrrhenian Sea, and a proposed sanctuary located in the northern Adriatic Sea.

Partners from both the United States and Italy will visit California marine protected areas that are part of the University of California National Reserve System: Bodega Marine Reserve, Landels-Hill Big Creek Reserve, and Scripps Coastal Reserve. Through these visits, and by interacting with the staff of NRS reserves, participants in this project will learn about research and management conducted here in California, and will present their approaches in the Italian marine protected areass. Lessons learned will be incorporated into the research plan for COCONET , a network of marine protected areas in the Mediterranean and Black seas, and in ongoing activities within Italian marine protected areas (e.g., planned zoning of uses within some of these MPAs).

The Call for Proposals for the second INCOMME Fellowship will be announced in October 2012.