Lisa Cugini, (401) 874-6642
URI Coastal Institute Director Elected Chair
of International Association for Landscape Ecology
Narragansett, R.I. -- April 28, 2003 -- University of Rhode Island Coastal Institute Director and Professor of Natural Resources Science Dr. Peter August has been elected Chair-Elect of the United States Regional Association of the International Association for Landscape Ecology (US-IALE). August will assume the position of Chair in 2004 and serve for two years.
US-IALE is a professional nonprofit organization that aims to develop landscape ecology as the scientific basis for the analysis, planning, and management of Americas landscapes. Through scientific, scholarly, educational, and communication activities, the association fosters landscape ecology in the US; provides a link among practitioners in landscape ecology within the US as well as the international community; and promotes interdisciplinary research and communication among scientists, planners, and other professionals in the field.
"Landscape ecology is the integrative discipline that examines how change over large areas effects species, ecological communities, and ecosystem services," said August. "Inasmuch as human activities are the dominant drivers of landscape change, this is an especially important field of study. It provides the scientific basis for sustainable resource management. It is an honor to be chosen by my peers to represent the United States section of the International Association of Landscape Ecologists."
August is a Professor of Natural Resources and the Director of the Coastal Institute at the University of Rhode Island. He received a B.S. in biology from the University of San Diego, an M.S. in biology from Texas Tech University and a Ph.D. in biology from Boston University.
August came to URI in 1981 as an Assistant Professor of Zoology. In 1985, he moved to the Department of Natural Resources Science to begin development of a Geographic Information System (GIS) database in a cooperative project involving the University and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management. August started the Environmental Data Center (EDC) which serves as the Center of Technical Excellence in Rhode Island for GIS information processing.
A resident of Hope Valley, August's research interests are mammalogy, landscape ecology, conservation biology, and GIS. He has published more than 50 papers in journals, book chapters, and conference proceedings. Current projects include developing protocols to identify critical lands for conservation, biodiversity mapping, and developing Internet-based spatial data distribution systems. He has served on a number of standing committees for the American Society of Mammalogists, was a Councilor at Large for the United States Association of Landscape Ecologists, and serves on the Board of Directors for The Nature Conservancy Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Natural History Survey, and the South Kingstown Land Trust. As Director of the Coastal Institute, he oversees programs to advance knowledge and solve environmental problems in coastal ecosystems locally, regionally, and internationally.