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Press Release: Center for Policy Analysis publishes first book as part of New England Regional Policy Studies Research Project

Center for Policy Analysis publishes first book as part of New England Regional Policy Studies Research Project

Focus is on promotion of conservation goals through creative writing

Author:  John Hoey
Date:  December 1, 2006
Department:   Political Science / Center for Policy Analysis
The UMass Dartmouth Center for Policy Analysis has published its first book: English Prof. Luke Wallin's Conservation Writing: Essays at the Crossroads of Nature and Culture.

The purpose of the Regional Policy Studies Research Project is to provide grants to assist full-time faculty members in UMass Dartmouth department or program with policy-related research projects that have a high probability of resulting in peer-reviewed articles or comparable publications.

Conservation Writing combines several varieties of creative writing in the promotion of conservation goals. The book consists of 13 essays, widely published in books, journals, and newsletters, and all rewritten for this volume. The essays present examples of conservation writing, discussions of its craft, and examinations of key ideas in ecology, landscape planning, and environmental ethics which conservation writers need.

In the book's introduction, Wallin writes, "A conservation writer requires the knowledge scientific ecology can offer about a specific place, but also a sense of an audience with the power to protect local values. The writer requires research, yet no amassing of data alone can produce an emotionally moving document which will engage the will to conserve. For this, a writer needs immersion in subject, to the point where creative connections between concepts and words take place on an unconscious level, then emerge on the page as raw, first-draft surprises. In other words, beyond science and textual analysis, the conservation writer requires a commitment, and a process like that of the literary storyteller, the creative writer."

The table of contents, introduction to the book, chapter excerpts, three chapters, and the bibliography may be found at www.lukewallin.com.

Besides teaching English at UMass Dartmouth, Wallin is a senior research fellow at the Center for Policy Analysis. He holds an MFA in Fiction Writing from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, an MA in Philosophy from the University of Alabama, and a Master of Regional Planning from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

His conservation work has included land preservation in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, consulting on an organic farm in France, and farm and forest management in the American Southeast.

He has given talks on Conservation Writing at the University of Chile, at James Cook University in Australia, and received a Fulbright Foundation Award to teach at University College Dublin. While in Ireland Wallin collaborated with Anne Buttimer, Professor and Chair of the Geography Department, on a teaching project and in co-editing the book Nature and Identity in Cross-Cultural Perspective, which presents work on place and identity from nearly 20 countries.

The Center for Policy Analysis is offering the book for $14.95 (plus shipping) or for $7.11 as a download, in hopes of reaching as many people as possible, including writers who would like to apply their skills to conservation, and conservationists who would like to sharpen their inspirational and persuasive abilities.

Prof. Wallin can be reached at 508-999-8393 or lwallin@umassd.edu.

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Policy Analysis is a multidisciplinary research unit that promotes economic, social, and political development by providing research and technical assistance to client organizations. The Center for Policy Analysis strives to erode the walls between research and teaching by training students in the techniques of applied social science and by conducting university and community based educational programs.





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