The institute’s research aims to improve our thinking on wild land and natural processes, create a new framework for understanding and valuing natural and semi-natural environments, and seek to enhance our relationship with wild nature.
The basis of the research focuses on:
- The nature of the intrinsic value of wild land
- Perceptions of wild land, its cultural and ecological components
- Identifying and valuing ecosystem goods and services from wild lands
More specific areas of research include:
- Protected area management in the UK, its current and future goals
- Integration of wild land into the wider landscape – new paradigms for land use and agriculture in a landscape continuum
- Spatial strategies for large-scale rewildling
- Delivering wild land values in multi-functional landscapes and habitat networks
- Developing a Recreational Opportunity Spectrum for current and future landscapes
- Fear and danger – the barriers to species reintroduction
- The integration of wild land with open countryside and the peri-urban landscape
- Developing and inspiring a future view of wild land in the literary and artistic milieu
- Using visual and spatial approaches to envisioning new, wilder landscapes
Research contracts and consultancy:
- 2014-2015 Public Participation GIS: Engaging the public in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge planning.
- 2014 Talladh-a-Bheithe Wind Farm Proposal: Review of impacts on wild land. Report commissioned by JMT.
- 2013-2014 Darwin Fellowship: La Primavera Biosphere Reserve, Jalisco, Mexio (Karina Aguilar).
- 2012-2013 Developing EU Wilderness Register (with partners in Alterra, NL and PanParks).
- 2011-2012 Developing Map-Me tool with US Forest Service for enabling public participation in landscape scale surveys.
- 2011-2012 Technical advice on Perception Survey with Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park and SNH.
- 2011 Policy advice to JMT on developing wild land policy.
- 2010-2011 AHRC grant “Reflecting on Environmental Change through Site-based Performance.”
- 2010 Technical advice and assistance to SNH on national level mapping of wildness in Scotland.
- 2010 Research Joint Venture Agreement on Modelling Wilderness Character with US Forest Service and Leopold Institute Montana.
- 2010 Mapping wildness in the southern extension of the Cairngorm National Park.
- 2010 Mapping wildness in the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park.
- 2010 A review of the status and conservation of wild land in Europe for the Scottish Government.
- 2009 A reconnaissance level survey of wild land in the UK for the John Muir Trust.
- 2007-2008 Mapping wildness in the Cairngorms National Park.
- “Talladh-a-Bheithe Wind Farm Proposal: Review of impacts on wild land“. Report commissioned by JMT, August 2014.
- “Wilderness Register and Indicator for Europe“ Report to EU, October 2013.
- “Mapping Wilderness Character in Death Valley National Park” Report to US National Park Sevice, April 2012.
- “Wildness study in the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park: final report” Final report prepared for the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Authority and SNH, January 2011.
- “Wildness study in the Cairngorms National Park” Report prepared for the Cairngorms National Park Authority and SNH, 2008.
- “A review of the status and conservation of wild land in Europe” Report prepared for the Scottish Government, November 2010.
- “A reconnaissance level wild land map of the UK” for the John Muir Trust’s new vision.
- “Europe’s Ecological Backbone: Recognising the true value of our mountains“ mapping work for EU/EAA report.
- “10 messages for 2010 – mountain ecosystems” maps for EU/EEA report.