Science provides a deeper understanding of the inevitable and inescapable changes to the land and helps to inform decisions about its ongoing stewardship. This relationship between science and stewardship has been a priority for Highstead from the beginning, guiding how we interact with our own land and how we support land conservation efforts throughout the Northeast. Today, our commitment is stronger than ever as we conduct, curate, and share research that is vital to securing the attention and resources required to advance land conservation efforts that look to ensure a healthier and more livable world.

Scientific understanding

The knowledge that is gained from studying nature and ecological processes over time and examining the implications on both the natural world and human society creates a contextual foundation for discussion and action. At Highstead, we observe unmanipulated, natural land dynamics so that we can see the effects of different disturbances and cycles. Our work is often conducted at the intersection of multiple forces, ranging widely from the impact of deer on native plants to the connection between land conservation, climate, and human health. One constant thread is our desire to develop a sharper and more nuanced understanding of land and nature and our mutually dependent relationship with the world around us.

Informed stewardship

In developing a deeper scientific understanding, we’re able to contribute to the body of knowledge that informs land stewardship decisions locally and throughout the region. We look for ways to apply our learnings to help individuals and families, private landowners and managers, as they seek to steward their land in line with their own values and goals. We’ve seen our science-based stewardship work translate well at small and large scales, applicable to anyone seeking to make informed decisions about managing their land in ways that are grounded in science and ecological understanding.