Peter Alagona

Peter Alagona
University of California, Santa Barbara | UCSB · Department of Environmental Studies

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33
Publications
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320
Citations

Publications

Publications (33)
Article
Geographers and environmental scientists use conceptual models to understand ecological processes and support management decisions. Most of these models are based on short-term experiments and field observations, which might not account for longer term forces that shape ecosystems over decades to centuries. How can scholars use historical sources a...
Article
Species reintroductions involve considerable uncertainty, especially in highly altered landscapes. Historical, geographic, and taxonomic analogies can help reduce this uncertainty by enabling conservationists to better assess habitat suitability in proposed reintroduction sites. We illustrate this approach using the example of the California grizzl...
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Historical data play an important role in our understanding of environmental change and ecosystem dynamics. By lengthening the temporal scale of scientific inquiry, historical data reveal insights into the dynamic nature of ecosystems. However, most historical data has yet to make a full contribution, remaining “dark” and out of reach to the broade...
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How does the classification of biological organisms shape efforts to conserve them? This essay addresses this key question through the scientific, administrative, and legal histories of steelhead and rainbow trout. Members of the diverse salmon family, these two fish have different life histories and physical appearances, but since the 1930s scient...
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This essay looks at the history of Santa Cruz Island and preservation and conservation efforts there through the work of the National Park Service, the Nature Conservancy, and the University of California Natural Reserve System. Alagona argues that these efforts are sometimes counterproductive because they rely on incomplete or outmoded understandi...
Article
Thoroughly researched and finely crafted, After the Grizzly traces the history of endangered species and habitat in California, from the time of the Gold Rush to the present. Peter S. Alagona shows how scientists and conservationists came to view the fates of endangered species as inextricable from ecological conditions and human activities in the...
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Leave No Trace (LNT) is a United States government educational program guiding outdoor recreationist behavior on public lands. The program consists of seven principles imploring outdoor enthusiasts to “enjoy the outdoors responsibly.” This essay employs a political ecology framework, comprised by critical consumption research and political economic...
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This study explores the historical distribution and abundance of anadromous steelhead and associated freshwater rainbow trout in the Santa Ynez River watershed of northern Santa Barbara and western Ventura counties, California, prior to the completion of Bradbury Dam in 1953. Steelhead and rainbow trout once occurred throughout the Santa Ynez River...
Article
The Mojave Desert in California is undergoing a boom in renewable energy, mostly in the form of utility-scale solar power plants. These projects have met with resistance from diverse groups concerned about impacts on desert landscapes, ecosystems, water resources, archaeological sites, military training exercises, and other natural and cultural res...
Article
In 1937 Joseph Grinnell founded the University of California's (U.C.) first biological field station, the Hastings Natural History Reservation. Hastings became a center for field biology on the West Coast, and by 1960 it was serving as a model for the creation of additional U.C. reserves. Today, the U.C. Natural Reserve System (NRS) is the largest...
Article
Historians who have written about wildlife in North America have told their stories in many ways: as tales of ecological decline, tragedies of the commons, chronicles of scientific discovery, parables of ethical redemption, clashes of values, reorganizations of spatial relationships, expansions of federal authority, and struggles of conservation ve...
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This essay offers an introduction to the much longer story of the emergence and development of habitat as a key concept in environmental science, law, and politics. Since the nineteenth century, naturalists have recognized that habitat could be a limiting factor for wildlife populations. As early as the 1920s, ecologists adopted the concept of habi...
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This paper argues that field courses can improve college students' interest and engagement not only in the environmental sciences, but also in the environmental humanities—including environmental history, philosophy, and literature. We base this argument on five years of experience teaching an environmental studies field course through the Wildland...
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Full-text available
This paper argues that field courses can improve college students' interest and engagement not only in the environmental sciences, but also in the environmental humanities—including environmental history, philosophy, and literature. We base this argument on five years of experience teaching an environmental studies field course through the Wildland...
Article
Full-text available
Leave No Trace (LNT) has become the official education and outreach policy for managing recreational use in parks and wilderness areas throughout the United States. It is based on seven core principles that seek to minimize impacts from backcountry recreational activities such as hiking, climbing, and camping. In this paper, we review the history a...
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This essay describes the conservation history of California's hardwood rangelands: a vast region of oak woodland, grassland, and chaparral vegetation that occurs almost entirely on private property. Conservation has played as important a role in the history of California's privately owned hardwood rangelands as it has on the neighboring public land...
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This article describes the history of the Coachella Valley Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan (CVMSHCP), in the Riverside County region of Southern California. When this collaborative biodiversity conservation planning process began, in 1994, local participants and supporters had numerous factors working in their favor. Yet, as of April 200...
Article
Natural disasters differ from unnatural disasters not so much in their causes or in their effects but primarily in our reaction to them. In natural disasters nature plays the role of a catalyst. Yet nature does not provide a convenient enemy to rally against and attack in retribution. This in part explains why, unlike the social and political unity...
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In the early 20th century, after hundreds of years of gradual decline, the California condor emerged as an object of intensive scientific study, an important conservation target, and a cultural icon of the American wilderness preservation movement. Early condor researchers generally believed that the species'' survival depended upon the preservatio...
Chapter
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Contemporary ranches and dehesas are layered onto centuries of human use. The Spanish dehesas began forming during Roman rule, and by the time of the Christian Reconquest were managed for grazing, hunting, farming, foraging, and forestry. California’s oak woodlands were shaped by thousands of years of Native American management, including widesprea...
Article
Thesis (Ph. D.)--UCLA, 2006. Vita. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 283-317).

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