Parks Stewardship Forum • The Interdisciplinary Journal of Place-Based Conservation
Welcome to Parks Stewardship Forum: An Introduction to the Journal from the Editors

Welcome to Parks Stewardship Forum: An Introduction to the Journal from the Editors

Rebecca Conard, George Wright Society
David Harmon, George Wright Society
Jonathan B. Jarvis, Institute for Parks, People, and Biodiversity

On behalf of the University of California Berkeley’s Institute for Parks, People, and Biodiversity (IPPB) and the George Wright Society (GWS), welcome to the inaugural edition of Parks Stewardship Forum, The Interdisciplinary Journal of Place-Based Conservation. The journal serves the global stewards of parks, protected areas, cultural sites, and other forms of place-based conservation—the people at the forefront of conserving the special places most crucial to safeguarding the world’s cultural and natural heritage.

IPPB and GWS are excited to bring Parks Stewardship Forum to the conservation community. We believe that effective place-based conservation requires thinking that goes beyond the horizons of a single specialty or discipline. Parks Stewardship Forum is all about making connections: among different ways of thinking, different ways of acting, and different ways of engaging the public.

Parks Stewardship Forum will deliver interdisciplinary information and problem-solving techniques across all topics relevant to the world’s parks, protected areas, cultural sites, and other forms of place-based conservation. The journal represents all areas of inquiry relevant to these aims, including but not limited to the natural sciences, cultural resources-related disciplines, social sciences, and interdisciplinary perspectives. Parks Stewardship Forum will include research and scholarship in all these areas, as well as in the areas of governance, management practice, and conservation theory and history.

By virtue of their complementary missions, IPPB and GWS are a natural fit to co-publish Parks Stewardship Forum. Established by UC Berkeley in 2017, IPPB is devoted to the investigation, dissemination, and application of science to the critical issues facing national, state, and local parks, and equivalent protected areas. GWS is a nonprofit association founded in 1980 to build the knowledge needed to protect, manage, and understand parks, protected areas, and cultural sites around the world. Parks Stewardship Forum is dedicated to the legacy of George Melendez Wright, a UC Berkeley graduate who pioneered scientifically based conservation in the US National Parks.  More can be found about Wright’s legacy at

The IPPB­–GWS partnership is new, but in another sense Parks Stewardship Forum already has a long track record, since it continues (and expands upon) The George Wright Forum, an interdisciplinary journal of parks, protected areas, and cultural sites that GWS published from 1981–2018. Indeed, to emphasize the continuity we are picking up the volume numbering where The George Wright Forum left off. That’s why this issue is denoted as Volume 36, Number 1. Parks Stewardship Forum also serves as one of several communication vehicles of the new UC Berkeley Institute for Parks, People and Biodiversity, bridging the published research of the University of California and other academic institutions into real-world applications.

Beyond this, we plan to take the new incarnation of the Forum to higher level, with a specific recognition that parks and public lands play an increasingly important role in broader issues such as climate adaptation, public health, education, jobs, Indigenous sovereignty, and environmental justice, among others. Parks Stewardship Forum will feature younger and more diverse voices, both for their own sake and in service of helping prepare the next generation of conservation leaders.

Achieving these aims requires getting information into the hands of people across the world—with as few obstacles as possible. That’s why IPPB and GWS enthusiastically embrace the open access model of publishing. As an open access journal, everything published in Parks Stewardship Forum is freely available to all. There are no paywalls, no download charges, no embargoes. Likewise, open access publishing encourages authors to share their work with others while at the same time retaining their own rights to their work. So, all original works published in Parks Stewardship Forum are distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial [sic] 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0) that allows others to copy, distribute, translate, adapt, and build upon original submissions to Parks Stewardship Forum, as long as they provide appropriate credit to the author(s) and do not use the submission for commercial purposes. We are proud that Parks Stewardship Forum will be published on the University of California’s eScholarship platform, a group of open access journals that have collectively amassed over 60 million views to date.

You can find Parks Stewardship Forum on two websites, each with a distinct purpose:

  • On the eScholarship platform at This site is designed for scholarly reference and use, with articles readable and downloadable in PDF format.
  • On IPPB’s website at This site is designed with online browsing and reading in mind.

The content of the journal is identical on both sites; only the web interface is different.

Speaking of content, here’s a quick summary of Parks Stewardship Forum’s regular departments:

  • Points of View leads off each issue. Here you’ll find informed opinion pieces from our two regular columnists: Rolf Diamant in “Letter from Woodstock” (continuing the column he began writing for The George Wright Forum in 2012) and Nina S. Roberts in “Coloring Outside the Lines” (which debuts in this issue). We’ll also offer occasional editorial from other writers.
  • Many issues will feature sets of four to eight papers on a theme, organized by a Guest Editor. Some of these themed sets will be initiated by the editors, but we also invite your proposals (see below).
  • New Perspectives is our department for contributions that do not need to undergo peer review. Papers in this department could include analyses, case studies, updates on resource management, and so on. Like all material in the journal, contributions to “New Perspectives” are reviewed, edited, and screened for plagiarism by PSF’s editors.
  • Advances in Research and Management is our department for peer reviewed papers. Our peer review process is double-blind: neither the author nor the peer reviewer’s identity is revealed to the other. Although this department will be of special interest to academia, anyone can submit to it.
  • The Photographer’s Frame, curated by our Photo Editors, Gary E. Davis and Dorothy Davis, is an opportunity to tell a compelling conservation story in 10 captioned photos, accompanied by a short preface.

We invite you to contribute to Parks Stewardship Forum! To make a proposal to the editors for an article in “New Perspectives” or “Advances in Research and Management,” or for a “Photographer’s Frame” photoessay, go to To propose to Guest Edit a set of theme papers, go to Both webpages contain links to our Submission Guidelines.

We’d like to close by thanking Rolf Diamant and Nora Mitchell, who supported the transition from The George Wright Forum to our new journal;  Ernesto M. Vasquez, CEO of SVA Architects in Santa Ana, California, who underwrote the costs of designing Parks Stewardship Forum; and Laurie Frasier, who designed the journal and the reading website. We also thank Katie Fortney, Justin Gonder, Rachel Lee, Catherine Mitchell, Rachel Samberg, Tim Vollmer, and Günter Waibel of the University of California for their help in getting the journal approved and set up on the eScholarship platform.

We welcome donations to either IPPB or GWS to help defray the costs of publishing Parks Stewardship Forum. If you are interesting in helping, please visit or and click the Support/Donate links.

We hope you enjoy—and are inspired by—Parks Stewardship Forum. Let us know what you think by contacting us at

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