Program director: Mary Hufford
Provides a hub for community-to-community (C2C) peer learning to steward place, culture, and land. It currently focuses on rural Appalachia but emerging partnerships may take us into urban settings and other regions. Current projects are:
Grow Where You Are Collaboratory / Appalachia
Project director: Mary Hufford
Knowledge exchange for economic diversification in central Appalachia
- Innovation Youth Camps: Summer camps for high school students to study possibilities for sustainable livelihood creation in their locales. Learning modules will be taught by college students, regional experts, and scholars, with camps culminating in action plans developed by high school students for their home counties.
- Success2Success Knowledge Exchange Network: Appalachian network of place-based collaboratories: knowledge sharing forums, networks, and peer review for quality control, to aggregate data about successful projects in agroforestry, textiles, foodsheds, soil conservation, tourism, entrepreneurship, energy, land reform, and planning. It supports collaboration of citizen science and scholarly research to engage communities in cross-county civic deliberation, policy making, collaborative action projects, and mutual inspiration and innovative visioning.
Land Collaboratory / Appalachia
Project director: Betsy Taylor
LiKEN is collaborating with many other partners to do a follow up to a ground-breaking 1979-1980 study of land and mineral ownership, land use, and taxation in Central Appalachia (for more, see www.appalachianlandstudy.com). LiKEN will be developing a digital platform for knowledge-sharing connected with this current study. If you are interested in shaping the research design for this new study, or in participating in the work, please fill in a survey here. We anticipate wide partnerships with hundreds of citizens, local government bodies, and regional scholars. In summer 2016, an initial planning committee included LiKEN scholars and scholars from the University of Kentucky Appalachian Center, the UK Geography Department, and the UK Community and Leadership Development Department / School of Agriculture.
Here is a statement of our Mission Values Organizational Structure for this large collaborative project.
Projects Under Development
- Appalachian Subsistence Livelihoods and Economic Transition in Central Appalachia
- Project director: Mary Hufford
- In many communities people depend upon seasonal gardening, hunting, fishing, and gathering of non-timber forest products for subsistence. These may not be significant sources of income, but provide sustenance and security. Planners and policy makers often ignore these livelihoods or dismiss them as “traditional” or “backward” for those without formal education. Gardening, ginsenging, wildcrafting, provisioning with fish and game, and diverse other livelihoods are based on local land, culture, and ecologies. They prefigure many of the good features of post-carbon, ‘go local’ economies that we need in the 21st century. These livelihoods carry on vital cultural traditions and skills and nurture psychological and cultural security. But, the metrics used by planners and officials seldom include non or low market livelihoods in measures of good health, good jobs, or good economic outcomes. LiKEN supports a participatory and transdisciplinary study to model historical human interactions with the biological diversity of the Central Appalachian mixed mesophytic forest and aquatic systems distinctive to the Cumberland and Allegheny Plateaus. This is a partnership between LiKEN and Appalachian Studies, Virginia Tech.
- Community Health Effects of Subsistence Gardening, Hunting, and Gathering in Central Appalachia
- Project director: Betsy Taylor
- A community-based participatory research study of health effects of a seasonal round of gardening, hunting, fishing, and gathering in Central Appalachia. Using indicators that link community health to such participation, the study will measure the extent to which historically high levels of participation continue, as well as the effects of discontinuation. Outcomes include an interactive web-based network for the exchange of information to monitor and strengthen community involvement in the seasonal round. This is a partnership between LKEN and Appalachian Studies, Virginia Tech.
- Legal frameworks and data quality of MTR coal permits and legacy costs
- Project director: Betsy Taylor
- We are exploring a possible collaborative research on mountaintop removal permitting and bond release for evidence based policy discussion about Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) reauthorization, the POWER+ plan, and other initiatives seeking to nurture just economic transition for frontline communities.